By G.A.Ponsonby
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson’s credibility has been left in tatters by UK PM David Cameron according to former Conservative MSP Ted Brocklebank.
Writing in the Sunday Post, Mr Brocklebank, who was a senior member of the party’s Holyrood group of MSPs, said that David Cameron’s referendum position had “destroyed any remaining shreds of her credibility”.

In his article Mr Brocklebank, who was Annabel Goldie’s rural affairs spokesman, wrote:

“So where does this leave the Scottish Tories?  Up the creek with neither paddle nor coherent strategy would be a charitable assessment …
“…[David Cameron’s] offer of more devolved powers post-referendum, destroyed any remaining shreds of her credibility.  Her winning candidacy for the Tory leadership in Scotland was based on her line in the sand approach to further devolved powers …

“If the PM could so off-handedly torpedo his new Scottish leader’s entire raison d’etre, what did that say about her absurd earlier claim to be Cameron’s “equal” in a Scottish political context?”

Commenting on the article, SNP MSP Gordon MacDonald said it had left the Tory Party in Scotland at sixes and sevens on the constitution.

Mr MacDonald, SNP MSP for Edinburgh Pentlands, said:

“The Tory Party in Scotland are now at sixes and sevens on the constitution with their leader caught between playing to the reactionary element of her party and the ever-changing instructions from her boss in Westminster.

“Her comments about the Scotland Bill being a ‘line in the sand’ were clearly out of sync with the  thoughts – if not outlined policy – of her boss David Cameron who has been making noises about powers for the Scottish Parliament. It makes one wonder what they actually spoke about the day after she got elected.

“The anti-independence parties are falling out with each other and within themselves.  Ruth Davidson needs to make clear who is in charge of her party, and what exactly they are offering the people of Scotland.

“Only the SNP will stand-up for the people of this country by putting forward positive policies which will move Scotland forward.”

Ruth Davidson replaced Annabel Goldie as leader of the party in Scotland.  The former BBC presenter was a dramatic victor over one time favourite Murdo Fraser who had called on the party to ditch its toxic image and re-brand itself in Scotland.

Ms Davidson’s tenure has been marked by a number of high profile gaffes that have left her periodically at odds with her London bosses and having to backtrack.

Her claims that the Scotland Bill was a “line in the sand” were undermined after Mr Cameron suggested that further devolution could be discussed if Scots rejected independence.

She was also left floundering after describing the SNP’s proposed referendum question as “fair and decisive” when within hours, senior party figures were claiming it was biased.

Some commentators have questioned the decision to hand the leadership of the party to a political novice.  The Times journalist Angus McLeod said it was clear that the Scottish Conservatives had made a “massive mistake” and described Ms Davidson as being “all over the place”.

Ms Davidson became an MSP for the first time at the last election, having previously been a presenter for BBC Scotland.


2012-02-26 23:59

Davidson was telling the truth regarding future powers; whilst Cameron waffled to offer jam tomorrow.
I do not think Cameron thought his comments would be taken quite so literally as a chnage in position.
Davidson assumes what she was told would be the default position, but with elections in may there has to be akjam tomorrow position and she must have known that somebody would suggest it.
Murdo was a far better option and a ballot today and he would walk it even with the blue rinse set.
2012-02-27 00:10

I think the Tories had one chance to get it right for the next decade, or more. They BLEW it BIG time!

There was one contender in the leadership contest last year who had, in my view, the only chance to take the Tory party in Scotland into the 21st century and he was beaten by a “novice” M.S.P.

My own suspicion is that there may very well have been more going on behind the scenes than we the general public were aware of in the “election.” I strongly suspect that Tory “London” H.Q. had a “wee dabble” to ensure that no one ended up as Scottish Leader who would/could undermine god A.K.A. “Call me Dave.”

By electing R.D. the Tories in Scotland have only themselves to blame and, in my feeble view, are now doomed to be rated in the depths of Scottish politics alongside the Lib/Dems.
Welsh Sion
2012-02-27 00:15

There used to be an alleged clairvoyant in a women’s magazine who called herself Ruth the Truth. Maybe she’s still going strong. (I hasten to add that my mum used to get this impressive piece of literature second-hand, so we could do the crosswords together, that’s all – honest!)

Anyway, I was convinced all this fortune telling business was a load of crystal balls…

Now, I do believe this ‘new’ Ruth the Truth has proved my point.

In unity,
2012-02-27 09:49

She is indeed still going strong, and a very good friend of mine. There was a time when she wrote for the NotW, but she’s better now. She’s got some interesting predictions for the times ahead

2012-02-27 00:17

Murdo Fraser would undoubtedly have made a better and more experienced leader of the Scottish Tories. He would also have, in my opinion, provided Alex Salmond with a more credible opposition at FMQ’s instead of Davidson, who seems to think that the faster she talks will disguise the fact that there is no substance in what she is saying.
2012-02-27 00:23

I agree proudscot, Murdo would most certainly have been the better leader. I believe most of the Tory M.S.P.’s also thought so and they backed him for the leadership.

I think there are far too many in the Tory party who are terrified of change, and that is what, I believe, Murdo offered the Scottish Tory party.

Sadly for the Tories, I believe, there is only one way for them to head….ever downwards.
2012-02-27 10:24

I dont think it matters what Tory they had Cameron would still have left them in the dark floundering. Half the problem is that he does so many Uturns that the Tory party must think they are on a roundabout. Even Dave doesnt know what direction he is going to go next.
2012-02-27 12:32

You could very well be right scotsgal. However, from what I remember about Murdo’s campaign he actually wanted to change the name of the Tories in Scotland. He had, rightly in my view, clearly identified the name Tory as a toxic brand in Scotland. I believe his idea was to totally change their name and become a new and totally independent conservative party in Scotland without any ties to London.

I believe had they gone down this road the Tories in Scotland would not be looking like the complete bunch of headless chickens that they currently are.

2012-02-27 00:32

Here’s hoping that after Independence, Scottish politics will rise from the ashes with only competent politicians left standing. The likes of Ruth and Lamont will being a thing of the past…

…Well I’ve got to have a dream! 😉
call me dave
2012-02-27 01:02

Well lets face it ‘call me Dave’ has a real job looking after the UK and like, Ms Lamont,has family responsibilitie  s as well.
While Ruthless is only part time with only that bit of North Britain to look after which have this rare endangered species of tory voter.

She must remember that Dave has written Scotland off and doesn’t do manners or respect, even for his own place-person or voter. The right hand down South doesn’t let the right hand up North know what’s happening and it’s all Dave’s fault!

Ruth is too inexperienced to be in charge; not into the conservative clique in Westmonster; is out of the loop as she has no networking connections beyond Hadrians wall and has no pals in her own party within Holyrood.

If had some compassion (and I do) I might feel sorry for her in some respects, torpedoed into the deep water and then left out to dry by your boss and colleague must must be a sobering thing!

I would not blame her if she tore right into the jumped up Eton toff and millionaire in a public address or open letter and stormed off somewhere over the rainbow to nurse her wrath before getting a job she would be happy with and good at doing!

Good luck Ruthless after May 2012.
2012-02-27 01:05

Your dream would come true simply because “Scottish” labour, Tories and lib dems are not registered as Scottish political parties they are merely extensions of the London parties e g official name of “Scottish labour” is the labour party in Scotland etc. the reason behind it is under electoral commission rules one political can’t fund another political party which means London labour couldn’t fund so called “Scottish labour” if it was registered in Scotland and after independance they would simply become null and void parties unless they got funding in Scotland which means they would truly have to be independent of London also think about it former labour mps would all of a sudden flood the new Scottish labour pushing out lammont, gray etc. because there political careers in westminister would be ended instantly after independance and they would try to continue it in holyrood knowing westminister is not an option anymore which will be even tougher for them as people will know how the labour mps are just trough-seekers looking for there next fix of expenses and will simply end labour as a party that nobody wants to elect after seeing this! I’m sure new parties will emerge with a difference that the current unionist parties don’t have a genuine intrests of Scotland at heart!
2012-02-27 03:22

From behind the Herald paywall…/…

Edinburgh tycoon Malcolm Scott is the biggest Scottish Tory donor, and three of his companies are in administration.

“party sources said the financial blows would mean Davidson’s wish to create new internal posts would have to be funded by London.”

Last month Sir Jack Harvie said he was quitting as party fundraiser.

Not only does Cameron not bother telling her, when he undercuts her policy line, but she is going to have to go cap in hand to London to be able to fund anything in Scotland.

What a disaster. What a shame.
2012-02-27 07:14


I agree proudscot, Murdo would most certainly have been the better leader. I believe most of the Tory M.S.P.’s also thought so and they backed him for the leadership. I think there are far too many in the Tory party who are terrified of change, and that is what, I believe, Murdo offered the Scottish Tory party. Sadly for the Tories, I believe, there is only one way for them to head….ever downwards.

This is absolutely spot on.

Murdo’s position generated a lot of interest during the leadership election. Am not suggesting that it found favour with the general public but at least people were listening to the party for a change.

The problem, however, is the membership is largely about social events. They enjoy their summer soirees and are more than content in the knowledge that there is a Tory PM. They generally view the Scottish Parliament as an afterthought. Happy to have an MSP address their get togethers but a reasonably high number don’t even vote for during the S.P elections.

Now, you had Murdo advocating to them that things weren’t working and change was needed. There was resistance against this change. Heck, am surprised Murdo did as well as he did. For those that want to see the Scottish Tory Party doing better, then his position was correct. However, for many they failed to see their being a problem at all.


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