Sunday 16 January 2005

Another one bites the dust

Just a few months before a likely General Election a little-known Tory MP has defected to Labour:
And according to Jackson, the Tories have “dangerous” views on Europe, “incoherent” policies on public services and had “wobbled” on Iraq.
Mr Jackson is correct. The Tories do have "dangerous" views on Europe: They refuse to commit to leaving the EU if it insists - as it does - on abolishing Britain. The Conservatives are “incoherent” on the so-called public services: Despite all the damning evidence why hasn't the opposition called for a massive culling of the welfare state? Yes, the Tories have "wobbled" on Iraq: I was beginning to think that they were being advised by this guy.

I wonder what the implications of the self-destruction of the Conservative party are for Scotland. Some Scottish Tories have argued for a party that would be independent from the one in London. Supposedly such a party would benefit from no longer being seen as a branch office of an essentially English outfit. So far the "Unionist" tradition has prevailed, but what would happen if the Tories had a catastrophic General Election result in England? Indeed, we may well see the Scottish Conservatives improving their position at Westminster. At Holyrood they face five obviously leftist opponents and extensive news coverage makes that very clear to the Scottish voter. Down in England Blair has conned millions of people into thinking that he is an unthreatening, middle-of-the-road character who is almost a Tory. Nobody up here could possibly think that the Labour party is somehow the heir to Margaret Thatcher.

Perhaps, then, the Scottish Conservatives have much less to worry about than do their southern colleagues. A defeated and demoralised English Tory rump will not be a pretty sight. Come mid-May will we see the Scottish Tories declaring their own independence?


David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

Stuart Dickson
A poetic cry. Shame it is a bit wonky.

18 January 2005, 18:07:32 GMT
– Like – Reply

EU Serf
Good riddance I say, we have only a few more No Nation Tories to get rid of. Then someone with a spine can stand up and say enough. No more EU, no more Nanny state, no more BBC, no more socialist medicine, no more socialist education, no more Guardian recruitment supplement.  
No more slow creep to oblivion, lets have our country back.

18 January 2005, 14:28:04 GMT
– Like – Reply

Neil Craig
This feels more like an example of rats & sinking ships than any great decision of principle. One reason given by this "former minister" (minor job under Thatcher - not renewed = not a great career) was that he didn't believe in their cost cutting promises which, since the details are to be announced tomorrow, seems suspicious timing. He is also listed as a Clarke supporter but one of Clarke's better decisions was to oppose the war for the reasons which are now obvious. 
The Tories are in a pretty bad state if they are retreating to their stronghold of Scotland. 
In fact their vote is only about 6% less than Labour's. They will only be trashed by the FPTP electoral system which, for reasons that prove they are indeed conservative (small c) they continue to support. Labour are likely to get a majority on 31% of the vote (even if the Tories got 32%) but this would & probably will, mean 2/3rds of voters will oppose them. Not good for the Tories & much more important, not good for democracy.

16 January 2005, 20:28:52 GMT
– Like – Reply

Stuart Dickson
Thought you might quite like this classic quote from 1967: 
-"...which in the words of Oliver Brown caused 'A shiver to run along the Scottish Labour benches looking for a spine to run up.'"

16 January 2005, 15:05:56 GMT
– Like – Reply

Andrew Ian Dodge
I am afraid this latest defection is not really too surprising. The lesser-known wets have been defecting like this for a while. It will be interesting to see if there is a Tory Party in any way resembling the current one a month after the next general election. 
I believe they are truly marching towards oblivion...there collective spine having left the collective body and headed quite some time ago.

16 January 2005, 14:22:54 GMT
– Like – Reply

Stuart Dickson
Bye bye Stewfart, I cannot say that it has been a pleasure. 
I would love it if our good friends and neighbours the English would aspire to independence too. After all, you lost it in 1707 as well. But alas it is not so. Indeed the English establishment spend rather a lot of time, money and effort trying to keep the Disunited Kingdom together. Perhaps concerned about losing their permanent seat on the UN Security Council; having to relocate the entire UK arsenal of weapons of mass destruction to an English naval base (Gravesend anybody?); or, Lord forbid, giving up the tidy revenue from 95% of the UK's oil and 50% of its gas. 
Dear old Stewfart. The charge of xenophobia was unwarranted, and could far more aptly have been hurled at several other F&W commentators. Your departure from public life, however fleeting, is much to be welcomed.

16 January 2005, 12:59:47 GMT
– Like – Reply

David Farrer said...

Stewart: "The task of abolishing Britain is in the hands of the Scottish and Welsh electorate.." 
Funny, this xenophobic assumption, that the English actually want two Sclerotic socialist economies strapped to their body politic like a perished rubber dilo. I don't think so. 
The task of saying five nice things about Stewart has proved beyond my motal abilities. Stewfart being a creature of his word can therefor no longer post in this incarnation on this blog. 
But there might be other blogs....

16 January 2005, 11:38:15 GMT
– Like – Reply

Stuart Dickson
-"...the EU if it insists - as it does - on abolishing Britain." 
Are you quite certain that you have not just performed a giant rhetorical overreach there David? The task of abolishing Britain is in the hands of the Scottish and Welsh electorate, not a bunch of civil servants in Brussels. Us electors are quietly getting down to the assigned task - we will have attained it before you know it. 
-"...will we see the Scottish Tories declaring their own independence?" 
It would be a good step in the right direction for Scottish Tories, and I strongly commend the proposal. It didn't do the Scottish Greens any harm at all when they became independent from the Green Party of England & Wales in 1990, thus leaving the southern party the only significant player south of the border with Scottish independence as a de facto policy!

16 January 2005, 09:51:08 GMT