By a Newsnet reporter

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has been criticised after suggesting that Scotland’s budget will be cut if Scots reject independence in the 2014 referendum.

In a series of slip-ups at their sparsely attended party conference in Troon at the weekend, the Tory leader in Scotland revealed that plans to cut Scotland’s funding if the anti-independence parties get their desired ‘No’ vote and maintain the constitutional status quo.

Ms Davidson, who has hinted at slashing funding of £1,500 from everyone in Scotland, suggested that the mechanism used to determine Scotland’s block grant would be revised and said: “Barnett was only supposed to be temporary … The ground has shifted since devolution.”

SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson responded to Ms Davidson’s comments by saying that the Tories keep neglecting to treat the people of Scotland with the ‘respect’ they promised.

Pointing to recent Treasury figures that confirmed Scotland was currently contributing more to the UK than it received in return, the Cunninghame North MSP said:

“Ruth Davidson urgently needs to clarify her remarks.  The Tory position appears to be – vote No to independence, and then we will cut Scotland’s budget.  This will only galvanise support for independence.

“Taking all spending and all revenue into account, figures for the latest year shows that Scotland is in a stronger financial position than the UK as a whole to the tune of £510 for every man, woman and child.

“The Tory Party refuses to learn from their mistakes and the people of Scotland will continue to reject their agenda of spending cuts at the ballot box.”

This startling admission comes not long after Ms Davidson’s conference speech, which managed to fill only two thirds of the conference hall, was described as ‘falling a bit flat’ just when the Tories in Scotland are looking for a way to revive interest here in Scotland in thwarting what they see as the ‘separatist’ agenda of the SNP.

Ms Davidson is also the driving force behind the Scottish Tory – led initiative ‘Friends of the Union’, which is an attempt to unite members of the three Unionist parties in a bid to stave off any possibility of the SNP achieving their independence goal.  This proposed ‘coalition’ has been welcomed by the SNP as a rich source of more support for Scottish independence.

Mr Gibson, commenting on the launch of Ms Davidson’s campaign said:

“The more the anti-independence campaign in Scotland is seen to be Tory-led, the stronger support for independence … The people of Scotland know far better than to be duped by a party that has continually failed this country, and been comprehensively rejected.”



2012-03-27 15:00

The tories don’t seem to like Scotland.

Shame, really.

We used to like them, and they were once the premier party in Scotland.

That was before they turned into the spiteful, greedy, vindictive, selfish, lying, cheating, westminster controlled party of the rich. Dinner anyone?
Thee Forsaken One
2012-03-27 15:22

That’s because they used to be Progressives, then the London Tories told them they had to start toeing the line and their downfall was inevitable from that point onwards — the old Progressives knew it too.
edinburgh quine
2012-03-27 18:27

As a child I remember the Progressives in Edinburgh. They were the ones who held out against the internal combustion engine and kept the central part of the city in reasonable shape. Unlike poor auld Glasgow that has that horrendous motorway cutting through it’s middle.

2012-03-27 15:23

The Conservatives were never the premier party in Scotland. The party which did so well in the 1950s was called the Unionist Party, and back then there was a much stronger sectarian element to voting, particularly among less educated people.
The Conservative philosophy – even of the tame, one-nation sort – has never found much favour in Scotland. Another Unionist myth, that one.
2012-03-27 16:47

I bow to your greater knowledge weegie38! I just remember the “conservtives” being the main party when I was very wee. 🙂
2012-03-27 17:03

Also the threat that if you didn’t vote Tory you’d loose you job and for estate workers that meant you and your family out on the street.

2012-03-27 15:16

Vote No,lose money and they continue to plunder our assets. Don’t think so.

Vote YES.
Thee Forsaken One
2012-03-27 15:19

The Nasty Party strikes again. Is there anything they won’t cut? (Excluding Trident and cash for policy.)

Although perhaps she meant that it would change to us getting back what we put in…? *watches hundreds of Pigs in blue rosettes fly across the sky and take up the majority of seats in the Scottish Parliament*
2012-03-27 15:34

I see a lot of this “towing the line” all over the place, its TOEING the line!!
Mind you, it seems we’re towing the Titanic right now and the props are out of the water .. time to cut loose!
Thee Forsaken One
2012-03-27 15:48

I always imagined it as pulling on the lines hauling the monolithic central party structure so ‘towing’ always seems more appropriate to me.
2012-03-27 17:02

‘incredulous’ instead of ‘incredible’ seems to everywhere at the moment.

‘toeing the line’ is of course correct.

I always preferred this origin:

The most likely origins of the term go back to the usage of the wooden ships in the Royal Navy. Barefooted seamen had to stand at attention for inspection and had to line up on deck along the seams of the wooden planks, hence to “toe the line”

From Wiki.

Dundonian West
2012-03-27 15:36

A RESOUNDING SILENCE from our Secretary of State for Scotland,Moore, 
who is supposed to Stand UP FOR SCOTLAND.
Doesn’t he have SOMETHING to say about this Tory leader?
Perhaps it’s not in the LibDems political(Westm  inster/Coalition)inter  ests to criticise this outrageous utterance from Davidson.
Do I smell principles burning again?

Labour Lamont—has she said anything?
Thee Forsaken One
2012-03-27 15:50

Quoting Dundonian West:

Labour Lamont—has she said anything?

She only speaks on Thursdays *(inappropriate comment removed – NNS Mod Team) at the Parliament Chamber.

2012-03-27 22:36

I believe she’s on a tour of the nation’s hospitals counting blankets.

2012-03-27 15:54

Vote ‘no’ and we’ll cut your budget? And this is intended to rally support for the union? The mind boggles. Keep it up Ruthie!
2012-03-27 16:06

Friends of the Union – enemies of Scotland.

I wonder why Ruth even bothers staying in Scotland. She seems to despise the place. It’s just this hideous drain on England’s resources, with all these uppity locals who have all these ideas above their station. I mean imagine, Scots controlling their own finances and being fiscally responsible? That’s just ridiculous. That’s just Salmond being pompous. Let’s tell Scots to vote no and then punish them financially by making them live on an even further reduced hand-out.

Why on earth don’t the Tories support the idea of fiscal responsibility? You’d think it would be in their nature to see it as a sensible way forward.
2012-03-27 17:27

Ruth’s Conference speech was hollow and totally uninspiring, not helped by the relatively small audience.

I watched the speech and noticed a considerable number of people who either didn’t clap at the requisite points or engaged in polite, rather than enthusiastic clapping.

The fact is there is NO viable argument for keeping Scotland in the union.

Stronger Together????

Take a drive round Easterhouse, Ferguslee park, Niddrie or any other of the far too many poor districts of Scotland’s towns and cities.

And this following 40 years of Oil and Gas.

Today Gary Kemp was being interviewed on the spot where David Bowie was photgraphed for his Ziggy Star Album and Gary said, of course, 40 years ago London was a dark and run down place compared to what it is now (I’m paraphrasing but that was the gist).

Point is, what could have happened in those 40 years to transform London?

Oh yes, OIL and GAS.

Siôn Jones
2012-03-27 19:00

The Tories need Scottish oil to pay for tax cuts for their friends and donors, who are mostly based in the SE or Home Counties.

2012-03-27 18:33

I have posted before that we are in a win lose vote in 2014. Vote yes to independence and we win, vote no and as Ruth whatever has noted we will be punished beyond all measure. I think most of us of a right mind know that is what is going to happen if we stay in the broken UK. I have suspected for a long time that a no vote will be seen as a mandate for , sorry to say it, the English right wing of the Conservative Party aided by the Fibdems and Liebour to slash and burn Scotland. There will be no additional powers, no debate about change. What will happen will be a slow stripping away of our budget or pocket money and the removal of more things like defence from Scotland. Just wait and see, we had better vote for independence or I’m afraid that like the clearances a lot of us will be leaving.
Siôn Jones
2012-03-27 18:59

I think you will only see one question – independence? – but Alex Salmond will be able to say that he would have liked to include a devo+ or whatever you want to call it, but the English overlords would not allow it. That will persuade most of those wanting devo+ to vote YES to independence.

Siôn Jones
2012-03-27 18:56

Well now we know what they have planned for Scotland following a NO vote. The Unionist colours well and truly nailed to the UK Mast. If ever there was need for a killer argument for independence, this is it. “Vote NO and become poorer!” -it’s official!

None of the reasons given so far for retaining the union have rung true, and are easily refuted, but this announcement has the ring of truth about it, and will resonate throughout Scotland for the next 2 1/2 years.
It’s looking more and more as though the Tories are deliberately sabotaging the unionist argument. Why?
2012-03-27 19:48

If Ruth was at all bright, she surely wouldn’t have made such a remark. In essence she has stated that we will be punished for getting ‘above ourselves’ by daring to think we could run our country independently. Does she not realise that this will make people vote yes rather than no? Of course, what she said has to get out there to the masses first so they are aware of what will happen if they vote no. Spread this lovely little tale as widely as possible.
2012-03-27 20:30

I noticed a few disapproving looks from the audience when Ruthie spoke at their conference BUT you can see that every Thursday if you see the expressions on the other Tory MSPs behind her.

I didn’t hear all her remarks but I didn’t think she was that stupid to say that they were going to reduce Scotland’s pocket money.

Geez! What a choice – control your own destiny and be more prosperous or let Westminsterbsta  y in control and embrace poverty.
2012-03-27 20:57

The old “Progressives” and the “Unionists” were essentially one and the same.Progressive hats on for the local elections and Unionist ones for Westminster. The former generally did well for our towns and cities but went into terminal decline after they were submerged into the Conservative and Unionist Party.
2012-03-27 21:19

Having seen the list of dinner guests entertained by call me Dave (coz I look so cool without my tie and with my shirt sleeves rolled up), coupled with the budget for the rich it is obvious that the Tories look after their own. The sad thing though is that Labour have gained the lead in voting intentions, that shows just how poor the choice is in England for voters.
In the news today also about the relaxation of planning laws to accomodate the 4 million rise in population in England, no wonder they want to keep us, overcrowded, fuel hungry, water deficient as things are now!!
John Lyons
2012-03-28 14:56

Does anyone have a transcript of the speech?

There isn’t a direct quote of what Davidson said in reference to punishing Scotland or cutting our money.

The quote “Barnett was only supposed to be temporary … The ground has shifted since devolution” might not necessarily mean that. In fact, she is rigt and the author of said formula has also criticised it saying it was meantto be temporary, so she’s not exactly said Vote no so we can punish you.

Unless anyone can show me in black and white, this is propaganda. Which is a shame as we do not need to resort to this sort of thing to make the Unionits look silly. There’s plenty of ammunition out there that is real.

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