By a Newsnet reporter

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson used her keynote speech at the Conservative conference in Troon to call on Lib Dem and Labour politicians to join her in a united stance against independence.  

However despite the long heralded claims of anti-independence politicians that they would campaign on the basis of a “positive case for the Union”, Ms Davidson’s speech was immediately criticised for its lack of a positive vision for Scotland within the UK and its failure to promise anything new to voters.

Ms Davidson set her party the goal to “reclaim our place as the voice, and party of choice, for mainstream Scotland”.  She spoke of her “love” for Scotland, and called for a united campaign to defeat independence.

The Tory leader said:  “When it comes to the very future of the country I love, I will not falter.

“As Conservatives, where we need to lead, we will lead.  Where we need to join, we will join.  And where we need to fight, we will not be found wanting.”

She continued: “Scotland expects us to put aside our differences and pull together for the common cause – to give a voice to the silent majority, to build a chorus across our nation.

“Today we stand on the brink of history.  The world is watching, this is our cause and we will not be found wanting.

“We will add our sound to the millions of voices declaring as one: A strong Scotland in a strong Britain.  Together for good.”

Ms Davidson called upon Labour and the Lib Dems to join with her in a campaign against independence, saying:

“I say to Johann Lamont and to Margaret Curran, to Willie Rennie and to Michael Moore, Scotland expects us to work together, and we are.  

“Scotland expects us to lead and we will.

“Scotland expects us to put aside our differences and pull together for the common cause – to give a voice to the silent majority, to build a chorus across our nation.”  

The new party leader then announced a number of reforms to the Scottish Conservatives, including a new logo, plans to boost party membership, and a review of policies.  She urged the party faithful to be more assertive, saying:

“We won’t get [voters’] support from hiding our light under a bushel, from saying nothing to offend, for apologising for being Conservatives.

“No more shy Tories, because there are dividing lines in politics and we must never be afraid to speak out.”

Ms Davidson said that the Scotland Bill would give new taxation and other powers to Holyrood.  She argued that the Scottish Parliament ought to focus its attention on the powers it already possessed and the powers detailed in the Scotland Bill.

However the Scots Tory leader did not comment on Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement, which he repeated on Friday at the conference, that he was “open-minded” about additional powers for Holyrood beyond those detailed in the Scotland Bill.  During her leadership campaign, Ms Davidson described the Scotland Bill as “a line in the sand”, a position which the Prime Minister’s comments have undermined.

Instead Ms Davidson announced that she would not compromise with the SNP, saying: “Our position is clear – we are foursquare for the Union.

“Scotland is better off in Britain and you don’t defend Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom by compromising with the forces of separatism.”

Ms Davidson also called for a single question on the referendum ballot paper, and ruled out a second question on more Holyrood powers.  She also claimed that delay in holding the referendum was creating uncertainty and damaging business.  Her comment came just a short time after global renewables giant Gamesa announced €150 million worth of investment in a new plant in Leith expected to create up to 800 jobs.

Commenting on Ruth Davidson’s speech to the Scottish Tory conference, SNP MSP Chic Brodie said Scotland deserves more than a short speech with little vision for Scotland.

The MSP for South Scotland said:

“This short speech failed to present anything new to Scottish voters. The so-called ‘positive case for the Union’ has fallen flat at the first hurdle – first we had Lord Trimble’s tasteless, ill-informed and ill-advised comments about Scotland, and now we have Ruth Davidson’s complete and utter failure to offer any new positive vision for our country.

“She also failed to say where she now stands on more powers for Scotland, which is perhaps no surprise after her ‘line in the sand’ comments about the Scotland Bill were swept away by David Cameron’s vague promises of ‘something else’ if people vote No to independence.

“But such vague promises of jam tomorrow from a Tory Prime Minister will only succeed in encouraging more Scots to vote Yes to independence, as will Ruth Davidson’s own recent comments that a No vote could be followed by Tory cuts to Scotland’s cash.

“As such, the comments Ms Davidson made in her speech that her party is a ‘new and invigorated’ one are simply false – they are the same old Tories, who cannot and should not be trusted with Scotland’s future.

“If a lacklustre speech with little vision for Scotland is the best the new leader of the Scottish Tories can do, the SNP is looking forward to even more people in Scotland opting for home rule with independence rather than Tory Westminster rule.

“The people of Scotland deserve much more than a short speech with little imagination for the future of their country.”


2012-03-25 02:11

Well Ruth, looks like your speech is now over shadowed and b@ggered, after the news of your bosses corruption has been revealed!
2012-03-25 02:38

Sigh! The ‘millions of voices’????? Do you think she actually believes the stories in the Telegraph, Mail and Express? 😀
J Wil
2012-03-25 03:16

“Scotland expects”

How would she know?
Vincent McDee
2012-03-25 03:34

Conservative Party co-treasurer Peter Cruddas has resigned after being secretly filmed allegedly offering access to the Prime Minister for £250,000.

The Sunday Times have revealed footage showing Mr Cruddas, who became co-treasurer in June 2011, making the offer to undercover reporters.

In the video, Mr Cruddas is heard discussing the access to David Cameron different sized donations would get.

“Two hundred grand to 250 is Premier League… what you would get is, when we talk about your donations the first thing we want to do is get you at the Cameron/Osborne dinners,” he said.…/25630

Also in…/…
edinburgh quine
2012-03-26 10:57

I can be a bit slow on the uptake but it’s just dawned on me why thon labour mp was snubbed by camerob. He didna pay his (camerob’s) asking price

2012-03-25 07:47

I felt acutely embarrassed for Ruth yesterday,I was reminded of the famous words of a certain tennis champion.
2012-03-25 08:23

The tory party are at the end of the line. There is no vision from these Scottish Conservatives other than more of the same. Nothing aspirational for our nation, her people or our future.

Well, at least the right wing space is open and ripe for a new party in an independent Scotland. These people will never offer anything to the people of Scotland as worship of Britain comes first thus Scotland can and will be sacrificed. This is ideal of the Scottish Tories. Shame on them.
2012-03-25 08:34

Cruddas and the 250,000 premier league. Is this what Ruth means by the way to go? No wonder Labour’s Brian Donahoe is so enthralled with the Tory’s. It is Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum with the unionist parties.
G. P. Walrus
2012-03-25 08:52

“the millions of voices declaring as one” – “it’s awfully packed in this tiny hall in Troon.”
2012-03-25 09:43

‘The silent minority’ indeed. They werney silent last May wee Ruth.
2012-03-25 11:23

What an anti-climax; the second in two days. One would have though that, standing as they are at the door of the Last Chance Saloon, they could have been somewhat more inspired and inspiring.

Firstly, the damp-squib of the “Friends of the Union” launch fronted by four, in Scottish terms at least, completely irrelevant nonentities. Are they really the best that they could come up with?

Then this utterly visionless leader’s speech which offers us absolutely nothing other than more of the same old several-times-rejected Tory policies.

I suspect that with the SKB and Gamesa announcements on Friday taking the wind right out of Cameron’s sails, and then last night’s money for access revelations, that this is a weekend (another one?) that the Tories will want to forget.
2012-03-25 11:28

It wont have been lost on anyone that had tuned into albeit briefly to the Tory wake at Troon to see how much they love Scotland with the Union flag dominating the stage as the backdrop. The Brit Unionists are the real nationalists, they are just too blinkered to see the reality by putting Britain before Scotland every time. It will lead to their ultimate downfall in 2014. Cant come soon enough.
2012-03-25 15:34

Quoting EdinScot:

It wont have been lost on anyone that had tuned into albeit briefly to the Tory wake at Troon to see how much they love Scotland with the Union flag dominating the stage as the backdrop. The Brit Unionists are the real nationalists, they are just too blinkered to see the reality by putting Britain before Scotland every time. It will lead to their ultimate downfall in 2014. Cant come soon enough.

As a very definite NON supporter of either of the so-called Old Firm clubs, I’d just like to point out that the only place you’ll see more union flags displayed, is at Ibrox. Mind you, the Parkhead lot are just as bad with their Tricolours. It’s sad to see so few Saltires on display by those two sets of supporters of Scottish football clubs!


Welsh Sion
2012-03-25 14:06

It is indeed more of the same from the same old Tories.

This, for our very own Minister for Colonies, the Right Honorable Member for Chesham and Amersham, West Anglia:…/…

More ammunition for Leanne and yourselves, I think.
2012-03-25 14:13

Just looking at the age of the assembled Troon Tories, no wonder they want a quickie referendum.
H Scott
2012-03-25 22:25

‘Davidson promises more of the same’

Well it’s worked so far.
Marga B
2012-03-25 22:43

“Wales would be “isolated from the rest of the United Kingdom” if Plaid achieved its goals.” Isolation, separation, same old diagnosis, it seems. Nice to see Wales raising its head.
2012-03-25 23:01

Ruths introducing a new logo.Radical
Not as Radical as Murdos plans,granted,b  ut a new logo is quite sufficient for the old dears of the tory party.
Cameron says its time for the unionists to reclaim the saltire.Well,why didnt they have one as the backdrop to their conference?
2012-03-25 23:07

Precisely. The SNP haven’t been claiming it as their own, the unionist parties have always been free to use it…they just haven’t and won’t, because that would suggest support for Scotland in its own right, which is uncomfortably close to support for independence.

2012-03-25 23:22

I’ve been trying to find the “friends of the union” website,but with no luck.Has anyone got a link?
2012-03-26 13:36


2012-03-26 00:01

She can’t even agree with her unionist party leader on where the “line in the sand” is drawn – how can anyone take this antedeluvian representative seriously? The phrase “couldn’t hit a coo’s erse wi a banjo” springs to mind…
call me dave
2012-03-26 00:02

It’s a mausoleum with 4 pictures with union jacks and that’s it . . nothing to write home to your mother about.
Warning : Photo of Ruthless home page.

facebook and twitter links:
J Wil
2012-03-26 00:03

Just caught a snatch of Cameron’s speech at Troon. If that is respect then he shouldn’t have bothered. His lack of respect reflects on a large portion of the electorate that voted for Salmond and I am sure that much of the other part will be offended too.

The audience was highly amused at his little vignette attacking Alex Salmond and his quip about Chicken Run, but I am sure they will be laughing on the other side of their faces come the council elections.

Rather than be abusive to Scotland and Wales you would think they would be trying their best to win us over.
call me dave
2012-03-26 00:17

Summing it all up the guest speakers in no particular order:


Violence! civil unrest


Racist and misinformation


Patronising -jingoism and disrespect


Partisan and left holding the baby.

The rest have done their stint and have scraped the Scottish clay off their Unionist jackboots for another year as they went back to their respective bunkers..
2012-03-26 12:25

Ruth Davidson told the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party conference that Alex Salmond should stop wasting time on constitutional matters and concentrate on the job he was elected to do – running Scotland.

Ruth Davidson should not judge others by her own standards and abilities. Multi-tasking may be a bit beyond her, but the First Minister and the other Scottish Ministers are more than capable of carrying out their duties on behalf of the Scottish people and at the same time promoting the case for the Independence that would give them the tools to do even more.
2012-03-26 15:56

Nice one! Occurred to me he was elected to sort out constitutional matters in any case…. no one else has offered to do it in the history of our parliament.

call me dave
2012-03-26 13:13


‘Call me Dave’ has just been forced to publish the full list of dinner guests at his home after revelations about ‘donations for dinners’ stuck its ugly head into the public forum.

Dave has form for this on a previous occasion early on in his prime minister-ship.


Having again raised the union standard in Scotland on a wobbly pole at the weekend their own internal black ops department chop it down before the flag even gets time to flutter and attract a few voters their way.

PS: Hope my names not on the dinner list.
Dundonian West
2012-03-26 13:54

Labour millionaire Millibands and other Labour worthies.
Are they on the list? Haven’t seen it.
J Wil
2012-03-26 14:34

Some assiduous person is going to go through that list like Sherlock Holmes to find out if two and two make five regarding policy decisions, timing and parliamentary bills.
call me dave
2012-03-26 15:04

Quoting J Wil:

Some assiduous person is going to go through that list like Sherlock Holmes to find out if two and two make five regarding policy decisions, timing and parliamentary bills.

Like a link to the tax deduction 50p in the £ becomes 45p in the £:

Never. . purely coincidental!

We are so cynical and unworthy AND I’m caught in the granny tax too!

(but I’m not a granny)


£382,451 – Peter Cruddas
£150,000 – Mark Bamford
£150,000 – Jean Parmer
£111,000 – Mary Cross
£109,200 – Edwin Healey
£100,000 – Nicholas Jenkins
£100,000 – Alexander Knaster
Source: Electoral Commission

2012-03-26 15:57

I may be a cynic too but I’d guess they were all in the 50p tax bracket if they could afford to give that sort of dosh away.

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