By a Newsnet reporter

The SNP have criticised the Tory party for their inability to offer anything new to the people of Scotland in their latest anti-independence campaign.  Led by Ruth Davidson – whose popularity amongst the Tories has plummeted over 75 points to an approval score of just 4.8% – a new campaign called ‘Conservative Friends of the Union’ will be launched on Friday at the Conservative conference in Troon.

The launch of the Conservative campaign puts them at the forefront of the Unionist No campaign.  Labour remains without a coherent strategy on the constitution and there  has been no clarity from the self-described “party of devolution” on what future devolution actually means, with some in the party calling for ‘devo max’ or ‘devo plus’ and others such as Johann Lamont refusing to consider the transfer of extra tax powers such as corporation tax.  Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats promise a commission to discuss extra powers for Scotland, but insist that this discussion can only begin after a No vote in the independence referendum.  

Earlier this month in a speech in Aberdeen, Ms Davidson promised to deliver “real devolution”, saying that this could be achieved if Scotland copied Conservative policies being introduced south of the Border in education, housing and health.  According to Ms Davidson these policies would “put choice into the hands of Scotland’s people and give them the power to shape their own lives”.

The Conservative led reforms to the NHS in England have sparked controversy.  Sustained opposition from the main professional bodies representing doctors and other health professionals as well as the main trade unions and voluntary organisations have forced more than 1000 amendments to the UK government’s plans, which would see greater private sector involvement in the NHS in England.

During her election campaign for party leader last year, Ms Davidson described the discredited Scotland Bill as a “line in the sand”.  The Scottish Conservative leader believes Scottish self-government to mean that Scotland should adopt policies decided by the Conservatives in Westminster and sees no need for extra powers for the Scottish Parliament.

Despite constant calls for “clarity” from the anti-independence parties on what independence would mean, the new Conservative campaign highlights the incoherence and lack of clarity of the anti-independence campaign.  Scots voters face being presented with at several different versions of the No campaign, each making different promises.  There are few signs of a united No campaign making a clear commitment to Scotland’s voters about the shape of Scotland’s future within the Union.

The risk for the No campaign is that they could be seen as asking Scots voters to sign a blank cheque.  Without a single clear proposal from the Unionist camp, even if concrete plans finally emerge from each of the anti-independence parties, the winning version of Scotland’s future within the Union will be decided by UK-wide Westminster electoral arithmetic and not by Scottish voters in the referendum.  

As the Conservatives are the largest party across the UK, Scots could very well find themselves living under a Conservative version of “devolution”, even though the party enjoys little support in Scotland.  

SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson has said that the people of Scotland will not be fooled by a party that have been continually rejected voters in Scotland.  The SNP for Cunninghame North said:

“The anti-independence campaign is openly Tory-led, and this will only serve to boost support for independence even further.

“The more the anti-independence campaign in Scotland is seen to be Tory-led, the stronger support for independence and a new relationship of equality between Scotland and England will become.

“Over 2,500 new members have joined the SNP since the New Year since the new year and David Cameron’s blundering intervention on the referendum debate.

“Tory policies foisted on Scotland from Westminster – cutting disability living allowance from the most vulnerable in society, dumping Trident nuclear weapons on Scotland, and cutting too far and too fast – illustrates why we need full powers in Scotland.

“The people of Scotland know far better than to be duped by a party that has continually failed this country, and been comprehensively rejected.

“Labour have fallen into the background on the debate on Scotland’s future, while the Lib Dems are increasingly irrelevant.  When the people of Scotland are given the choice in 2014 between home rule with independence or Tory rule from Westminster, I am confident they will trust themselves and vote Yes for independence.”


Comments  

 
#
cjmasta
2012-03-18 01:15

What`s the point in having a parliament in Scotland if we just adopt the southern tories policies? Oh thats right, if it was up to them we wouldn`t have a parliament from which to express our ambition and make a real difference in how peoples lifes are affected every day. What a visionless bunch of wasters.
 
 
#
J Wil
2012-03-18 01:33

If you look at the Sunday papers you will find reported, a rebellion among the medics in England over the planned changes to the health service there. Some intend to fight marginal consituences as prospective MPs to displace LibeDem and Tory MPs.

Why would anyone want this situation of creeping privatisation and upheaval in Scotland?
 
 
#
C2DEalba
2012-03-18 13:16

I believe that is what is needed in the UK, a new party however, Doctors are upper class by income thus I don’t see them as doing much for people as a whole. Despite the whole inference that a Doctor conjures up, caring and considerate.

Scotland is better off with independence.
 
 
#
Ericmac
2012-03-18 15:53

Brilliant … The English can now vote for the Doctors Party (First Aid for Politics). Apparently they plan to field fifty candidates!
 
 
#
Ericmac
2012-03-18 16:23

There are a huge amount of publications out there that need to ‘countered’, by sensible nationalists comments.

We are not covering them all.

Is there any organisation who coordinates this?

I dont see the SNP, SIC or SDA doing it yet.

Is anyone interested in helping organise it?

Just a very small example….

thecourier.co.uk/…/…
 

 
#
Roll_On_2011
2012-03-18 01:41

I have noticed over recent weeks that Ben Borland, who has had articles on NNS, has been absent from the Scottish Express. But he now has an article in today’s edition:

Questions over Cameron’s new Independence adviser’s link to poll tax

scottishdailyexpress.co.uk/…/…

David Cameron’s right hand man in the fight to save the Union was last night under pressure to explain his role in bringing the hated Poll Tax to Scotland.

Andrew Dunlop was already uncomfortable after it emerged he is a parking cheat councillor who lives in leafy West Sussex – 450 miles away from Holyrood.


[Edit] Added:

I also note this from a Daily Record article

dailyrecord.co.uk/…/…

It is not the first time that Cameron’s new adviser on Scottish affairs has attracted controversy.

He was a trustee of the discredited Atlantic Bridge educational “charity” set up by former defence secretary Liam Fox. It was ordered to close by the Charity Commision last year amid concerns over its activities.


Coming so soon after the Cameron – Coulson debacle I presume we can now call the Tories ‘The Nasty Neep Party’. With appologies to Neeps.
 
 
#
pictic-1
2012-03-18 03:00

He, does this mean Camerons man for Scotland (Moore) is not bringing home the bacon … 😉
 
 
#
K Mackay
2012-03-18 03:20

If the Tories want us to stay in the union they should keep their mouths shut. Surely they can see that as a party that has never been welcomed in Scotland and at many times hated that anything they say will push us further away.

As I see it, they’re either remarkably stupid/arrogant or they actually want rid of us.

Hope they carry on this way, it takes a Tory to tell you that destroying public services gives you more ‘choice’. I just hope the people of Scotland are listening when they say these things.
 
 
#
ButeHouse
2012-03-18 03:22

She’s sharp, she puts a very good case but she is essentially clueless re the current mood of the people of Scotland. Brilliant presentation is no use unless it’s matched by the content, which it certainly is not e.g. re the Scotland Bill she: ‘….sees no need for extra powers for the Scottish Parliament’.
 
 
#
C2DEalba
2012-03-18 13:22

Brilliant presentation, can fool many people! Just check out the whole marketing profession.

Ruth is a good communicator however, its clear she lacks political experience.


Quote:

Conservative Friends of the Union’





I don’t see that title rallying the people of Scotland.

 
 
#
Harry.Shanks
2012-03-18 14:00

I find that title “Friends of the Union” rather disturbing.

It is reminiscent of something from the 1930’s
 
 
#
Dundonian West
2012-03-18 14:32

Quoting Harry.Shanks:

I find that title “Friends of the Union” rather disturbing.

It is reminiscent of something from the 1930’s




My Gran remembers them well.
Cable Street Riots et al?

 

 
#
Azg
2012-03-18 04:02

Interesting. (In a very specialised meaning of “interesting”, obviously.) The one that tends to mean bovine excrement.

“Ms Davidson promised to deliver “real devolution”, saying that this could be achieved if Scotland copied Conservative policies being introduced south of the Border in education, housing and health. According to Ms Davidson these policies would “put choice into the hands of Scotland’s people and give them the power to shape their own lives”.

Oh maybe it’s just me, but I do seem to see a wee bit of disconnect there.

I will try again to understand it. No, sorry, I just can’t make it work.
Copying Tory policies from south of the Border is the way to “put choice into the hands of Scotland’s people”.

Eh?

Nope, I have tried again and I still find it beyond me.

I remain convinced that the only reason Ruth Davidson is in her post is so that Cameron can honestly claim not to be completely ruthless.
 
 
#
admiral
2012-03-18 09:01

Quoting Azg:

Interesting. (In a very specialised meaning of “interesting”, obviously.) The one that tends to mean bovine excrement.

“Ms Davidson promised to deliver “real devolution”, saying that this could be achieved if Scotland copied Conservative policies being introduced south of the Border in education, housing and health. According to Ms Davidson these policies would “put choice into the hands of Scotland’s people and give them the power to shape their own lives”.

Oh maybe it’s just me, but I do seem to see a wee bit of disconnect there.

I will try again to understand it. No, sorry, I just can’t make it work.
Copying Tory policies from south of the Border is the way to “put choice into the hands of Scotland’s people”.

Eh?

Nope, I have tried again and I still find it beyond me.

I remain convinced that the only reason Ruth Davidson is in her post is so that Cameron can honestly claim not to be completely ruthless.



Put choice in people’s hands? Put taxpayer’s money in the pockets of foreign private healthcare companies and charge students £9,000 p.a. fees, how does that constitute choice?

It is taking away choice, and replacing it with lack of transparency and accountability. Private companies are not covered by the Freedom of Information Act, even if the majority of their income is from public funds!

 
 
#
Exile
2012-03-18 17:55

It’s the Tory thing about small government. She wants our parliament and the SG to stop governing. Power to the people and all that, assuming the people all have loads of money to exercise their choice once the Tories have ‘freed’ them from government. I’m not surprised you don’t get it, Azg, as it’s complete equine excrement.
 

 
#
Des58
2012-03-18 08:42

“The launch of the Conservative campaign puts them at the forefront of the Unionist No campaign.”
Anything wrong with that? Sounds excellent to me 🙂
 
 
#
Briggs
2012-03-18 08:56

Far be it for me to help the Tory Party, but wouldn’t it be advisable to run a pro Union campaign?

Of course the case for it may be so threadbare they have to run a negative campaign.
 
 
#
Ericmac
2012-03-18 17:02

Yes, we have way too much ammunition!

www.siol-nan-gaidheal.org/…/

They are obliged to stick to their anti campaign.
 

 
#
cadgers
2012-03-18 09:16

“Tory policies foisted on Scotland from Westminster – cutting disability living allowance from the most vulnerable in society, dumping Trident nuclear weapons on Scotland, and cutting too far and too fast – illustrates why we need full powers in Scotland.”

Why is no-one mentioning that the tory health bill privatising nhs england will eventually, through the Barnett formula, cut by a big amount the grant to our own NHS? We’ll be forced into privatisation through the back door, with these companies hee hawing all the way to their off shore banks.


guardian.co.uk/…/…
 
 
#
John Lyons
2012-03-19 10:58

That’s an excellent point! I hadn’t thought of that!
 

 
#
Mark MacLachlan
2012-03-18 10:06

CFU or Colonic Forming Unit as they call it in the study of viral bacterium.

Which fits in rather scatalogically with this…

scotlandsaysyes.com/…/…
 
 
#
Conned no more
2012-03-18 11:26

Anyone working under the illusion that what we hear in the Media about what the Tories are doing about “The Referendum” is anything other than a facade to fool the majority and distract the few who are genuinely involved should ignore all of it and look behind the facade.
In particular, look at who is behind “Reform Scotland”, the supposedly independent think tank that came up with ‘Devo Plus’, a plan designed as an escape route allowing the majority of the Electorate to vote for something other than full independence.
The release of ‘Devo Plus’ miraculously coincided with the Cameron and Clegg visits telling us how wonderful the Union is and if we voted to stay in it they had something ‘something much better’ than we have now.
‘Devo Plus’ has been blindly accepted as the way by the main stream Media and pushed as ‘the way’, not blindly because they know it is a con by the other supposedly independent on-line site “Scottish Times”.
 
 
#
Exile
2012-03-18 17:58

I think you’re probably misreading the Scottish Times, Cnm.
 

 
#
proudscot
2012-03-18 12:09

It also beggars belief that Robertson, the Labour MP for Central Ayrshire, is cosying up to Cameron at the forthcoming Tory Conference in Troon. I wonder if this will mean that Johann and Ruth will be each other’s new bestest friends in the Holyrood Parliament from now on?
 
 
#
mmarsattacks
2012-03-18 12:32

I for one welcome this addition to the ‘Yes’ campaign. Ruthie must surely be a plant, non?
 
 
#
Siôn Jones
2012-03-18 12:53

A Machiavellian strategy would be for the Tories to enthusiasticall  y embrace Scottish independence, and throw the full weight of their best people behind it. That would cause the electorate to smell a rat – “What’s in it for them?” they would ask – and I am sure that there is a hefty proportion of the Scottish Electorate that could not bring themselves to vote for anything supported by the conservatives – even though they might agree with it – so the independence vote would be diminished. Don’t tell ruthie, though.
 
 
#
C2DEalba
2012-03-18 13:27

Good concept, but they would simply never do that, arrogance is a key cultural aspect of the Westminister Government. Didn’t you watch “How God made the English” on BBC2.
 

 
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alasdairmac
2012-03-18 13:47

It just shows how detached from reality the Tories are up here. But I suppose that it has to be admitted that they are sticking to their principles of privatised health care, university fees and widening the gap between rich and poor even further. God bless ’em; the’re the best argument for independence ever
 
 
#
Harry.Shanks
2012-03-18 14:03

And of course, all 3 of those “principles” have now been adopted by the Liberal Democrats – but since they sold any principles of their own down the river, I guess they had to borrow from somewhere.
 
 
#
Hing em high
2012-03-18 15:28

They are only doing what last Labour govt wanted to do but couldn’t agree on the timing of it!
 

 
#
Conned no more
2012-03-18 14:23

The real (adult/senior)Tories in Scotland or in Westminster for that matter are in no way detached from reality and will be content they have us so occupied with chatter about Davidson et al.
Devo Plus has it in the bag! The polls show it. It’s the Scottish Electorate ‘safety blankie’.
 
 
#
Holebender
2012-03-18 14:31

Quoting Conned no more:

Devo Plus has it in the bag!




It has to get on the ballot paper first, and that ain’t going to happen unless there is a realistic prospect of it being implemented. The SNP won’t put it on the ballot paper unless there is a commitment from the unionists that it will be delivered if voted for, and the voters aren’t going to vote for a vague promise of a pig in a poke if they reject independence. They’re not falling for that one again!

 
 
#
John Lyons
2012-03-19 11:19

I think the Unionists will want this option. Eventually they must realise a straight Independence vs Status quo vote will see them lose. They’ll want a middle ground.

The SNP might allow it, it’ll split the no vote.

If it’s Devo Max.the SNP will campaign that the unionists don’t really want you to have it and will never deliver it. The only way to deliver full FISCAL autonomy is with FULL independence. If it’s Devo lite and they’ll campaign why do we need to take such tiny steps down the road to independence when reaching our final destination is inevitable?

I can see a third option getting onto the ballot paper…
 

 
#
Conned no more
2012-03-18 14:50

(This is not an argument in favour of Devo Plus, so please don’t shoot the messenger)
Reform Scotland have deliberately detailed what is on offer with Devo Plus. And looking at who they are, they already have the nod it would be accepted by Westminster.
If it looks like a winner for the Unionists, as initial polls seem to indicate, then the SNP would be hard pressed to keep it off the Ballot Paper.
Indeed, such has been the early favourable reaction to it, I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets watered down and run up the flag pole again. The exercise is to find the minimum they can get away with to keep us tied to Westminster.
 
 
#
Hing em high
2012-03-18 15:31

Actually the exercise is to roll back devolution so that they can build nuke stations and nuke waste dumps etc and enforce a whole raft of other nasty policies on Scotland that devolution stops now that there is something that was never meant to happen – and that is an SNP overall majority in Holyrood!
 

 
#
Holebender
2012-03-18 14:52

Fight the Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt! Vote YES!

xark.typepad.com/…/fud.html
 
 
#
Hing em high
2012-03-18 15:20

Another anti Independence relaunch!Is it me or are we getting one very week now?

It feels like we have had one every week since the New Year
 
 
#
cynicalHighlander
2012-03-18 15:23

Seems someone has posted a lot of info, speed reader required.
Newsweek Scotland: trowel at the ready: bbc.co.uk/…/…
 
 
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Bob Kingdom of Fife
2012-03-18 17:14

I am a card carrying nationalist and activist, worked and lived for 45years under several ‘ unionist ‘ government’s and watched them destroy Scotland , we have a competent Scottish National Government at Holyrood , i and many like me will be actively working towards Full Independence, am sorry but ‘devo-plus’ just does not wash these ‘ loser’s ‘ away.First wash for these ‘unionist’ loser’s is the May Council Election’s . Alba Gu Brath.
 
 
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Arbroath1320
2012-03-18 21:04

Who says that it is only the AIB who throw their toys out of their prams.

Looks like the FBI is upset at not being talked to by the SCCRC.

scotsman.com/…/…
 

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