By a Newsnet reporter

Peter de Vink, a veteran Midlothian Conservative councillor, has been deselected by the party after hosting a lunch for First Minister Alex Salmond at Edinburgh’s New Club, and saying independence is inevitable.  Mr de Vink held the lunch so that the First Minister could be confronted by some of his critics, but after the event he was told by senior Conservatives that he could no longer be a candidate for the party.

Speaking to the Sunday Herald, Mr de Vink said that the Scottish Conservatives must become “more realistic” about independence, and develop a strategy for the party should Scotland vote for independence in the referendum.  However he complained that instead the party leadership was attempting to shut down debate.  He fiercely criticised party leader Ruth Davidson for being “so out of her depth, it’s just a laugh”.

Mr de Vink said:  “Here’s the party that stands for independence of views, freedom of speech, freedom of action, and yet we are so intolerant when it comes to this.  They look complete plonkers.  They look so inept.  Ruth Davidson, she is so out of her depth it’s just a laugh.”

Describing how he was driven out of the Conservatives, Mr de Vink wrote in the Sunday Herald:

“In the invitation to the lunch I said I had come to the conclusion that independence was actually a very attractive option for Scotland.

“Some people sent that to their friends in the higher ranks of the Tory party and they accused me of running with the hare and chasing with the hounds.  I said, ‘Bollocks, this is a local election, nothing to do with independence’, but they said No.  So I became a victim of the cabal …  They said I have to be a unionist to be a Conservative, which I think is barking mad.

“The Tory party is painting itself in again by absolutely dismissing independence just as they dismissed devolution.  Look at what a pathetic party it has become, with one member of parliament at Westminster.  I call that pathetic … always hankering back to the past.  Why not look to the future?”

The veteran Conservative says that the party is doomed to repeat the mistakes of the 80s and 90s, when they opposed any form of devolution, a strategy which resulted in their electoral annihilation in the Westminster General Election of 1997.  Michael Forsyth, the Conservative Scottish Secretary who masterminded the party’s catastrophe, is a leading supporter of Scottish party leader Ruth Davidson.

Writing in the Sunday Herald, Mr de Vink said:  “I fear we are once again harking back to the old days where we draw a line in the sand on Scotland’s constitutional journey.

“The negative arguments of the current leadership will cause more Scots to support independence rather than vote against it, while leaving the party condemned to the pages of history.”

In 1988, Mr de Vink was a co-founder of the Tory party’s Scottish Business Group and has raised thousands of pounds for the party.  However he now says he regrets raising so much cash for the party, saying he “hated to think about it”.  

Mr de Vink said he was going public in order to launch his campaign as an independent candidate for Midlothian council, and to send a message to the Conservative party, saying:   

“I am almost convinced beyond reasonable doubt that we will have independence and when it comes then we are going to have missed the boat.  That’s my message.”

Responding to Mr de Vink’s comments, SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson said:

“This is yet more misery for Ruth Davidson as even a stalwart of her party has admitted he believes ‘the negative arguments of the current leadership will cause more Scots to support independence’.

“Peter de Vink also said this stance will leave the ‘party condemned to history’ – and described Ms Davidson as ‘so out of her depth’.

“It is disappointing to hear Ruth Davidson is presiding over a party that when a candidate, who has been faithful to the Tories since the 1970s, shows a difference of opinion, in this case supporting an independent Scotland, he is dismissed.

“Instead of taking this dismissive attitude, Ms Davidson should listen to Mr de Vink when he says an independent Scotland is ‘a very attractive option’ and get behind the growing support for Scotland to stand on its own two feet.

“News of this dismissal is the last thing the Scottish Tories needed – especially after Ms Davidson’s very short and uninspiring speech yesterday in which she failed to offer any new positive vision for our country.”


Comments  

 
#
alicmurray
2012-03-26 01:07

Mr de Vink has cheered me up no end. Very glad he has noticed and telling everyone that “independence was actually a very attractive option for Scotland”
 
 
#
art1001
2012-03-26 15:52

I think any rational, objective person would come to the same conclusion that independence is a very attractive option for Scotland. Not hard to reach it really. If we stay in the clutches of London we are going to hell in a hand cart and I think Mr Vink knows it.

In a strict, business sense, as it would create greater value and business opportunities it would definitely benefit the rest of these islands in the long term too. Also it would put the brakes on London’s costly world power ambitions for starters. They have never learned that “empires make you poor”.

However our unionist opponents are not irrational I think. But they are not arguing from the point of view of what is best for Scotland either. Whoever is ‘stronger together’ it is certainly not us. Quite the reverse.
 

 
#
Hing em high
2012-03-26 01:09

It is one of those unfathomable enigmas. Why the Tories on one hand claim to support the concept of people standing on thier own two and not being a burden to the State should with the other hand deny Scotland that idea of standing on its own two feet!

Anybody have an answere to that conundrum?
 
 
#
breastplate
2012-03-26 01:34

Hypocrisy seems to be a very handy tool for the unionists
 
 
#
Adrian B
2012-03-26 03:21

They HATE Alex Salmond. They HATE the SNP. They HATE how popular he his, but are blind to the fact that this all consuming hate has consumed them.

While AS and the SNP are in Majority Government (Should not have been possible), making good fiscal desisions in running the country and gaining consensus for budgets and policy

The one thing that really winds them up. the one thing that feeds this poison is that Scotlands books balance!

That makes the Union look weak. They again renamed themselves as the Conservative and Unionist party. At the time they did this I am sure someone in the party thought this a great wheeze. It would help to caputure older voters and set a difference between themselves and the SNP.

Unfortunetly for them they are now stuck in this time warp that is from last century.
 
 
#
Barontorc
2012-03-27 01:03

Going by the attendance at Troon they have certainly achieved their aim. The average age must have been well near septuagenarian and that includes the young firebrands like Ruth.

The SNP had at least five times that attendance in Glasgow with an age range from 16 to 90 and our young Scots ain’t daft enough to swallow the crap that we accepted in good faith only to be gloriously shafted by UK.com.
 

 
#
hiorta
2012-03-26 08:43

“Anybody have an answer to that conundrum

Another puzzle begging an answer is:
‘If Independence is so bad, why then would England want it?
England wants not only their own Indepenence, but ours and Welsh Independence for itself, too.’

Very strange logic.
 
 
#
proudscot
2012-03-26 15:17

Quoting hiorta:

“Anybody have an answer to that conundrum

Another puzzle begging an answer is:
‘If Independence is so bad, why then would England want it?
England wants not only their own Indepenence, but ours and Welsh Independence for itself, too.’

Very strange logic.



The English, like the Romans before them, have always valued independence so highly, that they have collected it (or tried to, in the case of France) from every nation or tribe they have encountered throughout their history. As a result, their proud boast was a fact, that “the sun never sets on the British Empire”, as it stretched right round the entire globe.

Personally I find it shameful that post 1707 we, the Scots, became enthusiastic cannon fodder and administrators in that empire, and especially in promulgating the obscene slave trade.

 
 
#
Barontorc
2012-03-27 01:10

Ca canny laddie! How many slave traders would you or I relate to?

These are the bequest families of wealth that spawned the Union and will perpetuate it.

Are they Scots? Probably, but their light is going out, unless they jump on the independence bandwagon that’s thankfully powering along.

Cracks will show and are showing and if these people want to be real Scots they are more than welcome to bring in the future and see it prosper.
 

 
#
breastplate
2012-03-26 01:16

Someone outwith the snp who can’t be accused of bias, trumpeting independence in the media is good, someone from the other camp is even better. I love the minimalism of the mileage at no extra effort
 
 
#
K Mackay
2012-03-26 01:50

If they can’t even keep their own councillors supporting the union how do they expect to convince the rest of Scotland? Especially when most of us can’t stand the Tories anyway.

Our chances are looking better by the day. Can’t get complacent though, just got to keep winning folk over, one by one.

Saor Alba
 
 
#
ButeHouse
2012-03-26 02:10

Peter de Vink is very well known in Scotland, let alone Edinburgh and his opinions will be listened to with interest.

I wish him well as an Independent candidate and hope that however his campaign turns out, he thinks about joining the SNP sooner rather than later, he would be most welcome.

VOTE YES
 
 
#
snowthistle
2012-03-26 09:03

I wonder if the SDA have spoken to him, or him to them? Would seem like a natural home for him.
 
 
#
Barontorc
2012-03-27 01:12

All are welcome!
 
 
#
James
2012-03-27 20:33

Contact has already been established.
 
 
#
Talorgan
2012-03-27 23:23

Excellent!
 

 
#
richardcain2
2012-03-26 06:04

Quote:

“always hankering back to the past. Why not look to the future?”




Now that wouldn’t be very, well, conservative, would it? Let’s face it, Mr. de Vink, you were in the wrong party all along.

This does however highlight a significant gap in the market, for a right-of-centre pro-independence party.

The longer that the SNP carry on trying to be all things to all (wo)men, the higher the odds of them shooting themselves in the foot. We need a broad coallition in order to get as many people as possible onboard.

 
 
#
clootie
2012-03-26 10:35

Independence first requires a broad church. When this is achieved we will have parties of different shades focused on the interests of the people of Scotland.

At the moment we have the Westminster unionist parties directing their Scottish branch leadership to claim that they speak for all members in support of the union.

I believe that an independent Scotland several years after gaining that control will have a very wide spread of political parties. These parties will have clear water between them and will reflect the mix that truly represents the makeup of our country. However the very existence of the SNP proves that such people can work together for the benefit of the people of Scotland.
 
 
#
Barontorc
2012-03-27 01:13

Agreed Clootie!
 

 
#
Saltire Groppenslosh
2012-03-26 07:07

The start of the “domino effect”, perhaps. But certainly a great advertisement for voting for independence.

And a verdict on Ruth and the Conservatives :-

Mr de Vink said: “Here’s the party that stands for independence of views, freedom of speech, freedom of action, and yet we are so intolerant when it comes to this. They look complete plonkers. They look so inept. Ruth Davidson, she is so out of her depth it’s just a laugh.”
 
 
#
UpSpake
2012-03-26 07:44

The Scottish Democratic Alliance, a party of the centre was set up in 2009 for just such an implosion of old politics. Being a business friendly party and run like a business itself as opposed to a political party, for instance, there will never be a whip, might appeal to individuals like Mr. de Vink as there are already many like minded people as members already ?.
 
 
#
Briggs
2012-03-26 08:28

‘They said I have to be a unionist to be a Conservative, which I think is barking mad’


I think that phrase says it all.
 
 
#
1314
2012-03-26 11:52

Exactly – I’ve just posted that quote on Labourhame, with the enquiry –

Is it a precondition of being in the Labour Party that you must be against independence?
 

 
#
Exile
2012-03-26 08:46

“Michael Forsyth, the Conservative Scottish Secretary who masterminded the party’s catastrophe…”

I just love that bit: “…who masterminded the party’s catastrophe…” Sounds like he did it deliberately (with halfhearted apologies to Lord …..*).

* Comment edited by NNS Mod Team
 
 
#
Barontorc
2012-03-27 01:15

Let’s make him a Freeman of Scotland, for all his efforts!
 

 
#
Angus
2012-03-26 09:38

The Labservatives are all toxic, and the corruption that is coming to light with the Torys couldnt have happened at a better time, during their ‘Scottish’ conferance.
 
 
#
border reiver
2012-03-26 09:55

Ruth Davidson is officially opening the local Conservative club in Hawick tonight as it has just had a revamp. Overheard a conversation with a club member who read a poster advertising the event, he said to his mate Ruth Davidson “Whos She” his mate replied Shes our parties Scottish Leader, F that he said I am not going anywhere near the bloody place when she’s there. So much for inspiring her own members
 
 
#
martin morrison
2012-03-26 10:13

Oh, this is fun. The unionists are beginning to find that there is no clear definition of what it actually means and they are all arguing amongst themselves. Odd, really. We separatists seem quite, well, united, while the unionists seem to be separating.
 
 
#
Mako
2012-03-26 11:51

I think it is time Murdo had another crack at setting up an Independent Conservative party. A complete wihitewash for the Tories in the council elections may help him do just that.

What are the chances of Ruthie being ousted if the Tories do fail in a spectacular fashion in Mays electiosn?
 
 
#
Mako
2012-03-26 12:10

I have sent a wee message to Murdo Fraser asking if he intends to have another go at an independent centre-right party.
 
 
#
Azg
2012-03-26 22:35

Well, he might as well do. After all, Ruth Whatshername is really only there so that Cameron can claim not to be completely Ruthless.

I would not vote Tory, but even I have to notice that if they had a Scottish party paying attention to Scottish matters and NOT only in what what ways they can be exploited to suit Westminster, they might be doing themselves a favour.
 

 
#
Jim Johnston
2012-03-26 12:12

I see in this mornings Daily Express anti-Independence, bash the SNP article, that an Independent Scotland would have £100 billion of dedt.
It really makes me wonder how Westminster can afford to carry Scotland when they have a £ trillion debt already, plus all the bankers bonuses, Trident and dreams of Empire to worry about as well. Best bet for Westminster must be to get rid of their problem millstone called Scotland I should think, and go it alone in the rUK. I wonder why that solution has not crossed their minds ????

Never mind, Scotland will make it easy for them in autumn 2014 and vote YES to Independence. That should cheer the Unionists up a bit on such a black day.
 
 
#
admiral
2012-03-26 13:21

Quoting Jim Johnston:

I see in this mornings Daily Express anti-Independence, bash the SNP article, that an Independent Scotland would have £100 billion of dedt.
It really makes me wonder how Westminster can afford to carry Scotland when they have a £ trillion debt already, plus all the bankers bonuses, Trident and dreams of Empire to worry about as well. Best bet for Westminster must be to get rid of their problem millstone called Scotland I should think, and go it alone in the rUK. I wonder why that solution has not crossed their minds ????

Never mind, Scotland will make it easy for them in autumn 2014 and vote YES to Independence. That should cheer the Unionists up a bit on such a black day.



The scaremongering stories are coming thick and fast in the MSM. Before I took on a share of debt, I would ask for a full accounting of where all the money was spent.

Military hardwear, including nuclear subs and aircraftless aircraft carriers, illegal foreign wars with all the concommitant military hardware? No – not paying. Royal Navy ships almost exclusively based outside Scottish waters? No – not paying. Foreign embassies who already charge for Scottish use and are otherwise indifferent to Scotland and its needs? – No – not paying. Crossrail, Olympics, Channel Tunnel, motorways and other infrastructure projects that don’t benefit Scotland? No – not paying for that, either. Civil service jobs and related infrastructure (mostly in the South East) and London weighting allowances? No – not paying. Supporting cushy, well-paid jobs in the City with massive tax breaks, when the profits are generated elsewhere in the economy? No – not paying for that, either. PFI hospitals and schools in the rUK? No – not paying. Military contracts – mostly to companies outside Scotland? No – nothing to do with me.

 
 
#
jurist
2012-03-26 13:43

All this scaremongering about taking a share of the UK National Debt assumes that it will be apportioned on some % of population basis. That, of course, would be crazy. Job one would be an age analysis of the debt – when was it incurred? Second job would be to set that against the timing and magnitude of fiscal surpluses Scotland has contributed to HM Treasury, since the oil came on stream.

I would have thought Scotland’s share would range from 0 to c30Bn. It would make sense for Scotland to insist on an international team (perhaps Canada, Australia & New Zealand) carry out that analysis.
 
 
#
call me dave
2012-03-26 15:35

But . . .but surely . .but they’re part of the union benefit that makes us stronger together and weaker apart!

and . . . Oh wait!!

Scotland would be better off..maybe your right.
 

 
#
Mako
2012-03-26 12:44

Independence Poll on the Hootsman
scotsman.com/…/…

Poll is asking if the date should be brought forward from 2014.
 
 
#
Dundonian West
2012-03-26 13:08

O/T.Glasgow,Edinbur  gh etc contributing a LOT to UK.
Is this a piece of good news that the normally compliant Scottish unionist press do not want us to know?
British Broadcastin Corporation ‘Reporting Scotland’ tonight?
Or am I missing something.
It’s in the Scotsman so must be true.

scotsman.com/…/…
Thanks to Scotsman.
Another bit of info when knocking on doors etc.
 
 
#
Islegard
2012-03-26 13:34

Bear in mind when talking of £100 billion debt the UK is adding at least that in the space of this financial year to £5.5 trillion debt in the shape of the deficit which is almost wholly Englands deficit.

Also Scotland has been in surplus or minimal deficit for the last few years. The debt we will take on only exists because we were in a union with a partner who has been going mad spending on credit. There would be bearly any deficit or debt to Scotland if we hadn’t been stuck with our spending mad partner. Actually the opposite if we had been able to build an oil fund like Norway we would be in surplus by hundreds of billions.
 
 
#
Dundonian West
2012-03-26 13:45

Islegard.”The debt we will take on only exists because we were in a union with a partner who has been going mad spending on credit.”
Chancellors Brown and Darling spring to mind,and according to a Sunday newspaper,Darli  ng,one of “Labour’s big guns” will be spearheading the anti-independence campaign in Scotland.
The UK is in one heck of a Labour/world black hole financial defecit,and Darling is going to lecture us on the best way forward!
Beggars belief. The effrontery.

Lamont,at least comes to the referendum debate without any political catastrophic ‘baggage’.
 
 
#
Islegard
2012-03-26 13:53

I think people should be reminded at every opportunity when Darling speaks for the union of this Dun.
 
 
#
Dundonian West
2012-03-26 14:10

Exactly,”Every opportunity”.
 

 
#
proudscot
2012-03-26 15:33

Dundonian West, you’re correct when you say Lamont doesn’t come with any catastrophic political baggage. However, I would suggest that she, like Davidson and Rennie, are just catastrophic … and that’s without any baggage!
 
 
#
Barontorc
2012-03-27 01:32

“Look at the King, the King, the King – the King is in the all-together now!” Sung by Danny Kaye (with an E) circa 1950’s.

There’s no clothes to see – it’s all a myth – same as the UK economy!
 

 
#
art1001
2012-03-26 15:32

I am sure someone mentioned once (could have been Neil Aslen) that with 15 years of whisky in bond and a duty value of £3-4 Billion a year Scotland already has assets or around 40% of that sum – even without the oil.

As good as the hardest of hard currencies that asset I think. No wonder they do not want to lose us.
 
 
#
Barontorc
2012-03-27 01:34

But these are mostly now already London based companies – how do you extricate them back to Scotland? All of their taxes go straight to Mr Chancellor.
 

 
#
UpSpake
2012-03-26 17:48

art1001. Consider this :- Westminster has been borrowing heavily, well into the future against the asset value of oil and whisky known in bond and as reserves to be exploited beneath the seas.
No small wonder at budget time Westminster sanctioned accelerating the extraction from both the North Sea and boosting activity west of Shetland.
2014 Scotland votes to end the Union what the heck do Westminster do then ?. We take the collateral away and they are scuppered. Collapse of Sterling dragging Scotland tied to Sterling as Salmond wants – scary prospect. That’s why I am very deeply concerned about the SNP’s policy here. Another not clearly thought out ?.
 
 
#
art1001
2012-03-26 20:02

Good point. The trouble is if they have mortgaged our assets how would we find out? I think the SNP should be stating quite clearly that :

1. any sale of Crown Estate estate property from now on in will not be honoured by an incoming independent Scottish Government. That should be enough to scare off potential buyers in any UK fire sale. Should keep Kings Park safe too.

2. No mortgage agreements on North Sea assets or Whisky bond by the collapsing Westminster Regime will be honoured.

If Sterling is going to collapse then it might as well be now before the vote and not afterwards. Delay will only make the crash worse.

If they want to play hard ball then we should too. If I was them they should do a deal – just yield independence to us in return for a soft landing on UK debt and sterling.

Sooner or later the Westminster Regime (I do not consider the corrupt institution and ruling clique/establishment worthy of the name Government) must realise that the big 300 year party is over and the world is starting to snigger in embarrassment at them.
 
 
#
Barontorc
2012-03-27 01:38

Spot-on Art1001 – if we’re going to be friends than paint your side of our communal fence and take your turn with the stairs.
 

 
#
Teri
2012-03-26 19:56

I think deselecting a councillor for inviting AS to face his critics and give and argument for independence, is a rather petty and childish way of behaving. However, it does give us an insight into present Scottish Tory thinking. If you dare speak to the enemy then you are the enemy. It would fit them better to face reality and start formulating a positive case for the union, if they feel independence is unacceptable. I wonder where the few of them will go after 2014,
 
 
#
Hing em high
2012-03-26 21:46

Well formulating a positive case for the Union is a non starter. It would be like looking for a needle in a haystack but in this case there isn’t even a needle!
 

 
#
Ben Power
2012-03-26 21:50

Smart man, he saw the writing on the wall.
Scots residents really do have to vote yes to independence. There is no real choice if they want to have a reasonable life up here in Scotland.
A no vote would have such horrendous acts of retribution and revenge inflicted on Scots to crush them so that “independence will never be an issue again for 100 years not a generation.” (paraphrasing from Herald article)

If anyone does not believe that our southern rulers would not do that, a refresher course in British colonialism and history would show that they really will inflict pain and suffering just because independence was attempted.
 
 
#
Welsh Sion
2012-03-26 23:24

“At its simplest, this debate is about who we are, and who we want to be.

It’s about nationality, identity and belonging.” RD, at the launching of CFOTHU, 23.03.12.

Too right, Ruthie. So many of your compatriots identify with being Scottish on all scores, and I tick all the Welsh boxes…

Thanks for the own goals.
 

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