THE TORIES BUBBLE HAS BURST
Those heady days when Ruth Davidson boasted she would be the next First Minister and unionist journalists wrote about it as a serious possibility rather than a poor joke. As lifelong Labour voters abandoned Labour and voted Tory to “save the Union” , as they became the official opposition in the Scottish Parliament relegating the once mighty Labour Party to third place and an increasingly irrelevance within Scottish politics. The Tory good years. They are no more.
The General Election saw more than half their seats in Scotland disappear, and this in a “good election” for the Tories with Boris gaining an eighty seat majority at Westminster. The “survivors” clinging on with tiny majorities very vulnerable to complete extinction next time round, the more so in that Boris’s Government is proving to be hugely unpopular in Scotland and viewed as the most incompetent in memory.
Competence is something that is very important to Tory voters. Many like to think of themselves as more competent than most. More able to make the big decisions. Competent in business, in budgeting, in life. How challenging then to stay loyal to bumbling Boris as they witness the failures on Covid, on the failure to arrange trade deals to replace the trade that will be lost due to Brexit, printing money like there is no tomorrow. Worse, it appears normal controls of who gets contracts is no longer being properly handled with contracts being issued to friends, supporters and donors minus the usual purchasing safeguards to protect the taxpayer. This is not the prudent way they expect a Tory Government to behave.
This would seem an excellent time for the Independence Movement to set up a specific body to attract Conservative voters to the Independence cause. Polls show about 10% of Tory voters supporters are already in favour but with a bit of effort I am sure this could be doubled or even trebled quite quickly. A message of competence and efficiency would be well received. With Nicola as First Minister its not a difficult message to sell on that basis.
The Tory leadership in Scotland know they are in trouble. Relationships are strained, how long before Murdo Fraser tries to create some Independence for the Scottish Tories from Boris’s Tories down South? He must have been furious with Boris’s visit that resulted in much greater problems for the Tories in Scotland than before.
Look at the language since, Ruth Davidson stating the mistake they made was not “sticking the boot in” after the 2014 Referendum. She seems to forget that is exactly what happened in the disgraceful scenes in George Square immediately after the referendum. The boot into who? They did not hesitate, her fellow countrymen and women that’s who! That language reflects huge panic as Davidson seeks to once again energise the thuggish element of Tory support in Scotland based round the worst elements of religious bigotry from the seventeenth century. Davidson has form on this.
Religious bigotry is the last refuge of the scoundrel but one the Tories think is useful when they are losing support as it can create some diversion from the normal politics of our country. It is hugely irresponsible and dangerous. Those of us brought up in the West of Scotland celebrate how that divisive threat has diminished over the years of our lives, it was a cancer on our society for so long and like a cancer it can rear its ugly head again unless decent people, of all religions and none, work hard to make sure it doesn’t. Davidson should be ashamed of herself.
Of course such tactics are also very dangerous for the Tory Party as well. A big chunk of the Tory Party consider themselves the Party of law and order and Tory leaders flirting with the language of extremism and militancy could alienate large numbers of them from the Party. We should not be afraid to challenge the Tories on this. My forecast if we did is that it would stop very rapidly.
Jackson Carlaw, while a step up from Labour’s appalling leadership is completely outclassed by Nicola and he finds it difficult to score any points in their exchanges at First Ministers Questions.
They lack activists and their organisation is very poor, verging on non existent in many parts of Scotland. They have lost some big donors in recent times so finance is almost certainly a challenge. The days of the Tories being able to vastly outspend the SNP are a thing of the past. It could be the other way round in the future if the SNP used its huge membership more effectively.
The future looks bleak for the Tories in Scotland. They are expected to defend the indefensible. They are the representatives of a Government in London that is anti Scottish, that treats our Government and people with regular contempt, that makes no attempt to disguise their willingness to ignore our best interests, that has no interest in moving Scotland forward. Intent solely in acquiring our wealth and resources. They play the role of being Boris’s little helpers in Scotland and with a no deal Brexit looming, little helpers will be amongst the first to go as public opinion becomes very angry as the UK economy tanks
Ruth Davidson has retired, Jackson Carlaw if he has a brain in his head should do the same. 2021 is not going to be a good year for the Tories in Scotland.