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Is this as much as you're covering in the run-up to the Scottish parliament elections, as though it is simply a traditional political battle?
If SNP (the ethnic "Better Off Out" party?!) achieve a major victory, it has the potential for setting off a chain reaction for UK politics as a whole.

The Tories (and Labour) will have to develop policies to satisfy demands for improvement in the constitutional arrangements for the Union or to handle the implications of independence, satisfying English grievances as well as Scottish ones at the present state of affairs.

Don't overlook what could happen in 'a faraway land of which we know little'.

Worth a look at comments on "The Scotsman" boards. e.g.

A literal waste of time and money by the Conservatives, the Conservatives will never EVER gain any meaningful support in Scotland, they simply dont seem to be able to grasp that!, why i wonder?.

All the Conservatives need to do to win power is to offer England its own Parliament and offer a referendum on EUssr membership and they will win by a landslide.

Let scotland go be an "Independent" puppet state of the reincarnate of the Soviet Union the EUssr, reliant on handouts from Mother Brussels, that is their destiny, it certainly isn't Englands.

I see that Holyrood uses the old constituency names and boundaries, i.e. pre 2005 general election. That is truly ridiculous. This was an opportunity to reduce the number of MEPs and claw back some of the money wasted on and by Holyrood.

Occasional Visitor @ 1 - the comments on the Scotsman's board are as representative of Scotland as Conservative Home is of all of Britain,i.e. they represent an activist base.

The forums on the Scotsman used to be quite fun place to discuss Scottish politics but they have almost exclusively become the haunts of shouty activists WHO WRITE IN CAPITALS and who bellow 'IT's TimE' at the slightest provocation and who generally are their own worst advertisement.

Stephen - spot on - The Scotsman forum is now populated by regugees from the 'freescot' forum that shut down a while ago.

And a small point Deputy Ed - our candidates are standing for the Parliament not the Assembly.

Fair point Max.

Steve, is it not a sensible halfway house to make the Scottish Party independent (CDU/CSU style)? I think this will happen.

Stephen B | April 02 14:06
.."the comments on the Scotsman's board are as representative of Scotland as Conservative Home is of all of Britain,i.e. they represent an activist base."
Between all the kneejerk ItsTimers and Mel Gibsonians are a number of pro-Unionists along with we occasional English folk sticking our oars in because of the election's perceived UK significance.

Steve | April 02, 13:17
"All the Conservatives need to do to win power is to offer England its own Parliament and offer a referendum on EUssr membership and they will win by a landslide."

Dream on. It was in hopes of such offerings I started looking regularly at this site but alas without such comfort. Now I just pop in from time, still forlornly hoping to fulfil my desire to return to being a Tory voter.
OK, so I'm a crusty dinosaur.

Dep. Ed. - The CDU/CSU example is slightly off when compared to english/scots tories. The CSU offer a more robust conservatism to that of the CDU, far more economic and socially conservative, matching the cultural conservatism deep within bavaria.

I don't see how Scottish conservatism could differ from English conservatism. What we have to recognise is that Scotland isn't a party-politically conservative place - it won't be for another generation.

All we would be saying, if we were to adopt a CDU/CSU arrangement, is vote for the scottish conservatives because theyre not english, emphasising no real difference between english and scottish conservatism, save for the deep unpopularity of the conservative label in general in scotland as opposed to england. Should any scottish conservative party coalition with the english tories, it would face the same fate as the conservatives are now as the label is unpopular.

One could try to tap into the deep social-conservatism in scotland, in the traditional catholic and protestant communities. But, this would conflict with the trendy social liberalism of the Notting Hill Cameroons, which has seeped into the Scots Tory manifesto seemingly re-branding the family to include same sex couples.

If you want a CSU/CDU relationship, conservative social values will need to be the cornerstone of a small 'c' conservative party that will vote issue by issue with a conservative party in minority government in england. I, personally, don't see any other way - in the short term - that we can overcome the entrenched hostility to the party name and label.

...such is the problem when trying to hold together a unionist platform whilst devolution creates so many impossible problems.

Occasional visitor at 16.12: I'll stick my oar in every now and again on the Scotsman site but on the whole I find it depressing talking to zealots of any persuasion.

I do however, suspect that the significance of this election is lost south of the border - but as I'm not there I might be reading this wrong.

Tim at 16.53: I don't think social conservatism is the way to go but neither do I think trendy Notting Hill-ism either. Neither approach would cut much ice with the voters and at the cost of sounding like a Notting Hill-ite, the party needs rather to be confident and honest, up to the task of tackling today's problems capable of showing leadership and fighting Scotland's corner within the UK.

The Scottish Conservative campaign launch got a lot of excellent coverage on BBC Scotland yesterday. I missed Michael Cricks input on Newsnight, did he do his usual hatchet job?

Whatever happened to the 'Vote Blue Go Green' message? The word GREEN was nowhere to be found in the Scottish Tory manifesto. Have the leaves fallen off the tree already?

Goldie may not want to enter coalition talks and that is certainly what to tell people before the election but just a little more SNP support and the very real prospect of an SNP/Conservative coalition opens up. We can support the SNP request for a referendum to let the people decide as part of our new localism. Either way it will settle the issue for a generation.
In so far as its leadership will let it be, the Conservatives are the right wing nationalist party in England and they should be that in Scotland too. If the Scottish Conservatives are to revive it will only be as an economically and socially conservative party appealing to Highland and Lowland sentiment.

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