The Tories are still toxic

As was so boringly predictable, the narrative that our no-really-we’re-not-biased media are promoting since the results of Thursday’s election became clear is that the Tories have been detoxified in Scotland. It’s a strange definition of detoxified, there is still more of a chance that Murdo Fraser might discover he’s a Celtic fan and a republican than there is of the Scottish Tories having any realistic expectation that they could ever form a government at Holyrood. In terms of the percentage of votes it received, at 22% the party isn’t even back to where it was in the UK General Election of 1992 when it had already been battered by the voters for imposing Thatcherism on a reluctant nation and turning a deaf ear to demands for devolution. They managed to get 25% of the vote in that election.

Still, it’s churlish not to concede that the Tories made gains under Tank Girl, but then Churlish is my middle name. Scotland has still not welcomed the Tories back into our hearts, by an overwhelming majority Scots have still not forgiven them and we’ve not forgotten what they’re like. They might have won more seats, they might have garnered some votes from the better off and the diehard unionists, they might have benefited from Unionist tactical voting, but the Tories are still toxic in Scotland. When the best you can possibly do is to manage to secure just 22% of the vote, you’re still a minor party. You’re still to be held at arm’s length like a foul smelling privatised sock.

The Tories fought the Holyrood election on a platform of pretending that they’re not Tories at all, that the dastardly deeds of Iain Duncan Smith and George Osborne and the sneer of Davie Cameron were nothing to do with them, but they’re going to have to spend the next five years in the Scottish parliament defending their Westminster colleagues.

Having successfully rebranded themselves as the Ruth Davidson No More Referendums Except EU Ones Ruth Davidson Holding the SNP to Account by Being Ruth Davidson We Don’t Like to Admit We’re Tories Ruth Davidson Party, Vote Ruth Davidson, the buffalo girl’s merry band of tub thumpers for the Union are about to discover that being held to account cuts both ways. They’re going to be held to account for everything their pals at Westminster do. They’re going to be asked if they support the way in which their colleague Jeremy Hunt is rampaging through the English NHS, they’re going to have to defend their party’s assault on the disabled, they’re going to have answer for Osborne’s refusal to go after corporate tax evaders with the same zeal that his government assails benefits claimants. The Tories are still toxic.

They’re going to have to do all this without having sufficient clout in the Scottish Parliament to get any traction for their agenda of privatisations, resisting land reform, punishing the poor while rewarding the rich, and displaying their traditional spectacular ignorance of and direspect for Scottish culture and linguistic history.

I was a bit down about the result of the election on Friday, but having had a few days to consider it I’m a whole lot happier now. Parties which support independence were returned with a greater share of the vote, even if the SNP lost its overall majority. And now Unionism is revealed in all its ugly conservative gory. And no, that’s not a typo. The main party supporting the Union in Scotland stands for austerity, for slashing public services, for handing over what remains to private companies, for glorifying the military and indulging in convenient foreign wars, and they’ve got a nasty xenophobic strain in them an imperial mile wide. The dog whistle racism that characterised the Conservative campaign for the mayor of London came from number 10, and their campaign in Scotland was every bit as cynical and every bit as servile to the goals of our Etonian masters. With the Tories as the main voice of the Union in Scotland, Unionism is now going to be unable to escape the ugly taint of reaction, of subordinating Scotland to goals that few here share. There’s no longer a vital Labour party to put a progressive gloss on the corpse of Westminster.

It has been argued that a second independence referendum is now off the table for the foreseeable future. That’s probably true, unless something dramatic happens like the UK voting to leave the EU next month but Scotland voting to stay, there probably won’t be another independence referendum for a while. However I’m not going to lose sleep over that, and neither should you. There’s only one thing that I want more than another independence referendum, and that’s that we win the next independence referendum. What the election has shown us is that in terms of persuading a secure majority of the people of Scotland of the independence cause, we’re not quite there yet. We still have work to do. Rushing into a second independence referendum and then losing it would really knock the prospect of independence off the table for the foreseeable future.

Instead of arguing with the Labour party for the soul of Scotland, the independence movement now needs to focus its fire on the Tories. They’re going to be a much easier target. It’s now going to be easier to persuade people that the choice facing Scotland is between an independent nation that values public services, a national health service, and prioritises skilled and secure jobs, or a Union that’s in thrall to the doctrines of austerity, privatisation, and low paying insecure jobs. A Tory Scotland is not the kind of Scotland most of us want to live in, but that’s what the Union offers.

Over the coming months and years, Ruth Davidson is going to have to put some substance to her photo calls. She says she’s going to hold the SNP to account, but few are going to be impressed if holding them to account means putting forward policies that are only going to benefit the better off and the privileged, that are only going to entrench the social divisions that already scar this land. The only practical difference her victory is going to make is that she’ll be called on first to ask questions at Furst Meenister’s Questions, and she’s going to be the first to have her arse handed to her on a plate as she attempts to defend the policies of her pals down south.

The Tories are still toxic, and all the photo-opportunities in the world aren’t going to change that. We still have to persuade a secure majority of Scots that independence is the way ahead, Ruthie’s gains have made that task much easier.

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62 comments on “The Tories are still toxic

  1. PQsCPRTeam says:

    My fear is Paul, she’ll shout and bawl and try to bring it to a new low so most folk switch off.
    Instead of hearing reasoned debate, it will be pointy finger time aided and abetted by her chums in the press.
    Remember, this is the same media who said ooh Johann Lamont had a good week against NS or Kez – robust is I think Brian Taylor’s watchword.
    Yesterday a woman in Edinburgh interviewed on the TV described Ruth Davidson as feisty. I would describe her as aggressive still I suppose that is a description more than I can say about Murdo Fraser.
    I mean what does Murdo Fraser actually do ?

    • weegingerdug says:

      I’m told that Murdo sits on Twitter saying WATP when Rangers win at the fitba. Other than that, nae idea.

    • David Agnew says:

      Well if your fear is that Davidson will sing a song stupid like Scottish labour did, then yeah that could happen. But then – it worked out really well for Labour didn’t it? That is, if your plan was to make yourself a laughing stock no one listens to.

      So Paul is correct, she’ll have to defend her parties record in the UK. If she pulls her shouty mcshouty face act and gets a free pass from the Scottish press like labour did. She’ll wind up making herself unelectable and at the same time fatally wound her precious union.

      If the Scottish media does hold her to account – then the tank will cry out “No hiding place”

      Either way – the tories stepped out from the shadows and into the fire that destroyed Scottish labour.

      • tartanfever says:

        The other thing to add to this discussion about the press is that over the last couple of decades, they tend to favour Labour. Now are we really going to see the Daily Record or the Scottish Sun start to favour the Tories over the SNP ?

        The same with the Herald. What about STV and the BBC, are they really going to nurture the tories as much as they had Labour ?

        There is a history of supporting Labour because they have been in a position of power (until recently) in Scotland for a decades. Numbers supporting Labour are dwindling, but the tories are still toxic – that is a charge you cannot place at the Labour Party.

        Newspaper sales are dwindling. Are these companies going to risk even lower sales by sticking to reporting on a irrelevant party Labour, or supporting the toxic Tories ?

  2. […] Wee Ginger Dug The Tories are still toxic […]

  3. Guga says:

    The Tories are definitely still toxic, and the Scottish Branch Manager of the Tories, Ruth the Tank, is still required to obey the instructions of the Wastemonster Tories as to her “policies” and her attitude towards the Scottish people.

    Ruth the Tank will still have to do exactly what she is told by Porky Camoron and his ilk, which includes continuing to act as colonists towards the “natives” north of the Border, and will expect the “natives” to continue to tug their forelocks to their “betters” in England; preferably while they are on their knees.

    A Tory is a Tory, regardless of whether they are of the red, blue or jaundiced variety, and they will continue to act for their rich business chums and big corporations. They will do nothing to assist the poor, the elderly or the infirm in Scotland For this reason, it is beyond my comprehension why 22% of the Scottish people actually voted for the blue Tories, and a similar number for the red Tories.

    I still want independence as soon as possible, as I am not getting any younger. I want my country to be free and proud before I pop my clogs.

    • diabloandco says:

      Me too!

      I imagine it is going to be a tad difficult to sell Trident 2, 8quid per prescription and huge debts for graduates – I look forward to the bold Ruth Davidson party attempting that .- not to mention illegal wars and the poor young soldiers who come back from places where they should never have been in bits and boxes.

      • Deely says:

        Or make the decision to be lured to the private security companies because of the MOD cutbacks, under the illusion that should they be blown up, their families will be ‘gifted’ with compensation – companies registered off shore and companies which are American…there is not always a ‘pot of gold’ at the end of life….for more info, have a read of ‘War Plc’…

    • Brian Fleming says:

      To adapt a Finnish saying about Russians: “A Tory’s still a Tory, even if fried in butter.”

  4. shemorvena says:

    I shared your gloom on Friday until I heard that our MSP was returned on the regional vote. Am now heartened that there is no rock for the Toxic Tories to hide under and no Labour shield for them to hide behind in Holyrood now. Let the battle commence!

  5. I anticipate that some of the Labour MSP’s will now cross the floor and join the SNP I cannot imagine that they would want to back Kezia going forward.
    Dugdale didn’t lay a glove on the Tories and Davidson during the whole campaign.

    BAE frigates U turn was an obvious target but, no, SNP BAD was the Better Together mantra.

    Yet again the Tories used Kezia as a condom to shaft the SNP, and they fell for it.
    In terms of intellectual and political nous, there isn’t the thickness of a fag paper between the Two, both are immature lightweights.

    But Ruth has a raft of hoary old Tory veterans working her strings, whereas, Kezia has been abandoned by the Browns Darlings, MacConnells, and Alexanders of the ‘Labour Movement’.

    They’re all off making millions working for the Tory Bankers and Merchants.

    NS must be ruthless.
    Highlight every Tory cut, every attack on our public services and institutions.

    I noted the line up of Tory List hopefuls, and their cheering, hugging, and backslapping elation as they learned that they had clambered aboard the five year gravy train without actually having to present themselves to the electorate.

    There seems to be a helluva lot of chinless Dim but Nice Tory Boys.

    This should be fun.

    PS. Patrick Harvie. Step up to the plate.

    • diabloandco says:

      if some labour members cross the floor , I would like the SNP to be extremely choosy as to whom they accept.

      • Diabloandco,
        I don’t envisage JaBa the But, Kelly, or Neil the Bricklayer jumping ship.
        But there are others, whom I’ll refrain from naming, for fear of reprisals,who may
        be swithering.

        I offer my services to host a Scottish Independence Labour Party inauguration meeting.
        The time has surely come for a schism.
        What’s the alternative? 15 or more probably 20 years in the shadows of England Labour in Opposition, two wasted decades, in an English parliament where Scotland and Scottish interests will become more and more a marginalised, reduced to colony status?
        Look out for Henry McLeish resurfacing.

        • Lisa Smith says:

          “Ja Ba the Butt”…made me lol – thanks!
          Agree with all you say btw…..unless all in SLab are brain dead, the divisions within the party are surely only going to erupt into those with some sense switching to Independence…..and those with zero sense clinging to BT.

          • Or as I like to call her, Lisa, ‘The Last Of The Dumber Whine’.
            The nonsense that this particular individual has trotted out, particularly in relation to Faslane and Trident over the past decade, has been spectacularly inaccurate and misleading. She has carved a remarkably lucrative little niche out of doing nothing at all for decades now. Superbugs in Leven hospital, and ‘protecting’ the jobs of Faslane workers seems to be her pitch.

            ‘Tony L ‘ below, observes that some Labour MSP’s may move to the Greens, as they are considered ‘basically left wing’, although he concedes that the old left centre right wing labels may now be outdated, rather than suffer the ‘stigma’ and run the gauntlet of accusations of ‘hypocrisy’ by joining the SNP.

            It may be argued that Scottish Labour is indeed Blair’s New Labour, which by any stretch cannot be described as ‘left wing’, and never was.
            Brown Darling McConnell Lamont (she of the ‘something for nothing’ rant) were never Left leaning Socialists; they were , and indeed are , neo conservative Blairites.
            PFI, Arms Length Council Contracts, pro Trident, are hardly the building blocks of a National Socialist People’s Republic.
            At heart New Labour is a Brit Unionist Right of Centre organisation.
            Most would not countenance Scottish Self Determination in any shape or form. I see the Beeb are peddling Home Rule today. I don’t think so.
            There is no such state as ‘semi -autonomous’.

            You can’t be a little bit pregnant.

            We are either free of English rule or not.

            And this is the dilemma facing many Labour supporters. Do they continue to live the lie that New Labour will triumph South of the Border, and that Scotland will morph into a Home Rule Free State, but still subject to Westminster control? Not going to happen in the next 10/15 years, if that.

            Or, bite the bullet, form the Scottish Independence Labour Group, and if not join, affiliate itself with the overarching aim of all Pro Independence parties, an ultimately Free Scotland.
            There is nothing ‘left wing’ about modern New Labour.

            Not for nought are they dubbed ‘the Red Tories’.
            Ruth Davidson is the cartoon Tory joke she always was.
            Now we will witness her elitist buffoonery live every week in glorious colour.

        • Tony L says:

          Is it not more likely some would move to the Greens. Couple of reasons, Greens are basically ‘left wing’ if these labels are still valid, so there would be no real ‘stigma’ in the move. Which bring me to the second reason which is the massive hypocrisy of going over to the ‘enemy’ after all that Lab has said and done to the SNP.

          • Tony L, see my comment to Lisa above.
            Jackson Carlaw was on ‘Hang On a Minute, Just To Be Clear’ Brewer’s,Sunday Dose of Unionism today, blithely suggesting that he’d be ok if David Cameron vetoed another Referendum. The Tories don’t need a majority. They have the wealth and power concentrated in the SE of England, and control broadcasting and the Dead Tree Scrolls Press. So Carlaw gets away with this shit, and fuck the democratic will.
            It augurs well.
            I believe there are moves afoot to outlaw any future vote on Scottish self determination. Just let them try.

            This is the ‘toxic’ Tory brand, which despite Marr’s Brewer’s, and Neil’s best efforts this fine Sunday is still asmall poisonous minority of elitists, who firmly believe that they are the natural rulers of Britannica..(it fell to Fraser Nelson reviewing the London ‘papers to announce that the Tories were no longer ‘toxic’ Up Here. Yes they are, Uncle Tom.)
            There is little ‘left wing’ in New Labour , Tony.

    • muttley79 says:

      I think we do not need to worry about Nicola Sturgeon’s ability to deal with the Tories, and be ruthless towards them!

  6. says:

    Reblogged this on Bampots Utd.

  7. Lizzie56 says:

    I don’t think anyone would suggest that the Torys were anything other than nasty and their policies are made to be divisive. When I realised the Torys were 2nd and with a lower % of the vote I thought good. It’s an amazing chance for the SNP and in particular Nichola Sturgeon to demonstrate, much more than she has been able to do before, the hiddious policies we have to struggle with. It’s a great opportunity and not a threat of any type. As far as independence goes, our people are struggling and we need it as quickly as possible. We seem to be, again, scared to take the step to referendum, which is a great pity. The Scottish parliament, for the second time, have an overall majority of Indy supporting msp,s elected, we have 56 Indy supporting out of 59 MPs in Westminster, I won’t believe that any improvement on these amazing achievements is needed or indeed possible, it’s not likely to get any better and this should be realised. Within the next couple of months Stewart Hosie will be starting, a much needed and waited for, campaign to convert the no voters to yes. Indy polls are siting at approx 48% to the yes side. How difficult would it be in this climate of already massive support to a yes vote and the suffering of the Scottish people under a Westminster government to convince a further 10% to vote yes. I don’t think we will ever be in a better situation than we are now. We should start an aggressive convention no to yes campaign and after the council elections go forward with a new Indy referendum. Now is the time. We should be bold and brave. Last time we nearly won with much less odds.

    • I find it extremely reassuring that only 20% of Scots are self centred Tory Unionists, Lizzie.
      Ruth Davidson is about to be hauled over the coals for five unrelenting Holyrood years.
      I still say Willie Rennie is a giggling fool.
      We are expected to forget the Lib Dem sell out that allowed Ruth’s Party to rob the poor, to give to the rich.

    • muttley79 says:

      I won’t believe that any improvement on these amazing achievements is needed or indeed possible, it’s not likely to get any better and this should be realised.

      You seem to be dismissing the importance of local government elections next year. The No campaign used their majority support in many councils across Scotland to make it as hard as possible for the Yes campaign from 2011-2014..

    • Thomas Valentine says:

      The Tories have been sitting on the sidelines while Labour took a kicking.
      Now Labour is on the deck.
      So what should say to the news of the Tories now stepping up as opposition.
      One word.

  8. brianmchugheng says:

    At FMQ’s previously, Labour would start with a topic that the press had been EssEnnPee Baad’ding all week… then the Tory’s and Lib’s would join trying to put the boot in on the same topic/issue. If Labour now follow the Tory’s, the Tory’s will be seen as setting the agenda. I think the swich around of these two party’s puts both of them in a precarious position.

    We will see I guess.

  9. Margaret says:

    It’s All About Me

    For flag and for country I’ll fight to the death
    I’ll be singing the anthem as I take my last breath
    For I’m a blue tory you know me as Ruth
    I use weasel words and don’t aye tell the truth

    In Parliament I’ll show them who is the boss
    My finger I’ll point and I know I’ll be cross
    The First Minister I’m going to nail to the floor
    I know I’ll be good and my star it will soar

    Now Kez I played her like a game
    I’m Ruthless Ruth, I have no shame
    A referendum there will not be
    Just mark my words and you will see

    I call him Dave he’s a friend don’t you know
    I tell him what’s what and where he can go
    The greasy pole’s not easy but I have not fallen off
    I’ll soon be down in London with my nose stuck in a trough

    I now will have 6 questions on a Thursday afternoon
    I know I am so clever they’ll be howling at the moon
    The press, at least in England, think that I’m a dream
    I had a good election, I’m the cat who got the cream

    • diabloandco says:

      Margaret , may I have your permission to cut and paste to the risible article in the Guardian?

    • Robert Graham says:

      as ever to the point with a touch of dry humor and irony that will fly over the shouty one because of her inability to listen , because no one gets to speak while she is in the room , usually the best method is to let people like her carry on and shout herself to a standstill .
      Again thanks for the post we all need a touch of laughter now and again .

  10. J Galt says:

    You are right not to be disheartened Paul, it’s now a straight out fight versus the Unionists.

    They’ve broke cover and are now in the open. Their situation is now so desperate they no longer can hide in “normal” parties like Labour and the Lib Dems. THEY have their backs to the wall not us.

    The tendency towards cosy complacency and managerialism which an outright majority may have encouraged should hopefully now be halted and replaced with fighting spirit.

    Any decent Labour people should now form their own Independence supporting SLP.

    “They” of course will portray this as “whistling in the dark”, however we are not in a dark place, they are.

    Relish the fight ahead.

  11. Craig P says:

    Some Tories are talking about how it is time to ‘move on’ from referendum talk but I would bet a substantial sum that the very first thing Ruth mentions at the first FMQs is independence…

    • Robert Graham says:

      agreed , a one trick pony with more than a few pretty unappealing and unpalatable policies to base her i am not a Tory pre election disguise on , let’s see how she tries to defend Cameron & Co , because her tank won’t be allowed in the chamber , hard to see her plan B once she has exhausted the referendum rant , Over to you ruth we are all listening go for it . entertain us and give your adorning Media some tasty little childish point scoring morsels that will be first on BBC Scotlands News show because thats what it is a show .

  12. Macart says:

    Nailed it Paul.🙂

    I reckon what we are seeing here, is the culmination of the Tories actions in Scotland since 2012. In defence of the state, they used and abandoned a willing Labour ally in Scotland through the referendum process. They drove the anti Scottish/anti Scottish Government (let’s face it, nakedly bigoted) agenda in the 2015 GE manipulating Ed Miliband and Labour London’s ignorance and the English electorate through their ‘Scotland bad’ narrative to achieve a result. They made capital of Labour in Scotland’s weakness of talent, their tribalism and growing toxicity to rob them of a section of their hard core unionist vote. All this while Buffalo girl used at least three Labour leaders as a buffer from serious scrutiny of central government legislation. It was left to Labour in Scotland to defend the indefensible, take all the flak and ultimately and rightly, suffer for that defence.

    In short, and this was a surprise to no one but Labour, they betrayed and out maneuvered their erstwhile ally at every single turn.

    Who knew?

    Let’s be ABSOLUTELY CLEAR, Labour were completely willing partners in denigrating Scotland, enabling punitive legislation, crippling the electorate who created them and gave them purpose. They divided, ran us down and belittled us on a daily basis for their own party political benefit.

    Even before 2007. Successive Labour governments (wearing a ‘conservative lite’ hat) deregulated the financial sector and ran the UKs economy into the ground through a mixture of corporately compromised government, naked greed and cataclysmic ineptitude. The answer of our own Labour representatives in Scotland was simply to bow to the lead of Westminster PLP and accept the pat on the head and crumbs from their master’s table. Good dog! Now roll over.

    Some of those hapless mutts made a good career for themselves out of rolling over, so waste not one single bit of pity on Labour in Scotland. Two words that should never, but NEVER be seen together LABOUR LORD.

    The tories played them like a fiddle, using their mindless tribalism, naked opportunism and greed against them. Never underestimate just how dumb hatred and greed can make you.

    Now? Now the devil has removed its mask and is standing exposed right in front of us. Do we take a backward step, or do we plant him on his arse and send him packing?

    • Davy says:

      I hope Nicola and the rest of the SNP MSPs tear the Tories a new earsehole at every opportunity, no more hiding behind labour for Ruthie , let’s see how she likes a straight fight.

    • Brian Fleming says:

      Macart, I can’t see how you can give the Tories ‘credit’ for manipulating their way to victory in 2015, given it was LibDem voters switching to Labour in numerous key constituencies in England that gave the Tories their majority.

      • Brian Fleming says:

        PS Voting in a seriously dysfunctional electoral system can produce some gey queer results.

      • Macart says:

        On the voting, you’re bang on the money, that is how the numbers play out. But we’re talking directly in terms of how the tories manipulated perception of Labour leadership. How they’ve worked against their ‘allies’ throughout the past four year period. The Lib Dems didn’t control the media narrative during the GE, the Conservatives did and the damage to Miliband’s credibility over the ‘Scottish issue’ was a big part of their strategy at the time.

  13. Davy says:

    Want to bet the Tories will be hiring the best speech writer’s they can for “rank girl’s” official opposition questions in the next question time.

    So far on the Andrew Marr show, nought about Scotland and about 10 minutes to end of show.

    I think we do not exist again.

  14. katherine hamilton says:

    Good morning the wee dug.
    Like you I was mightily pissed off on Friday. Now I’m a happy bunny.
    We’ve got the bastards in our sights now. No eedjit Labour to hide behind anymore.

    C’moan Scotland. This what we’ve been waiting for for years. Let’s crucify them.

  15. Onwards says:

    Looking ahead, if a majority of Scots are convinced for the need for independence, especially on a centre left agenda, it’s getting harder to win an outright majority due to tactical unionist voting in rural and wealthier seats.

    If the 2021 election is going to be focused around independence then perhaps a different voting strategy is needed for the list seats in urban areas. Perhaps if we had a genuine independence focused list-only ‘SNP friendly’ party then SNP supporters would be open to voting tactically.
    With some big name candidates. Alex Salmond maybe in a new Independence party or Scottish Democracy party?

    A party that wasn’t using independence as a fig leaf for the far left could have a chance of doing well and compensating for seats lost in other areas.

    I was totally against tactical voting in this election, but perhaps it now has to be seriously considered in the future.

  16. tintochiel says:

    You have summarised Panzer Girl’s situation perfectly, Paul. She now has a giant target on her back, with the legend “Me Muckle Great Tory”,and her Labour human shields are too thin on the ground to help her. Surely even some of them will cringe at being also-rans in Ruth’s Great Unionist Battalion (sorry, platoon).

    NS, I’m sure, can’t wait to dismantle her, week in, week out. It’s a nasty prospect for the Tank-Straddler but you should be very careful what you wish for.

    And don’t forget, she won’t get away with her scweam, scweam, scweaming in the Scottish Parliament: we have much higher standards of behaviour than that public school scrum in Londinium.

  17. Dan Huil says:

    The new SNP government should start right away by bringing in serious land reform. Let the rich britnat bastards squirm.

    • Phil McCavity says:

      The SNP needs to get Andy Wightman onside.

      • muttley79 says:

        The SNP needs to get Andy Wightman onside.

        Absolutely, this is a golden chance for far reaching land reform. Let the Tories defend and go ballistic over the likes of Paul Dacre, and the Duke of Buccleugh.

      • Jim O'Rourke says:

        To be fair, Andy Wightman and the Greens need to get the SNP onside more than the other way round. There is not the slightest chance of any party other than the SNP enabling the kind of radical land reform and taxation agenda we need.

      • Del says:

        Was about to say the same. Quite a few people in Edinburgh would have voted green simply to give him a fighting chance on the Lothians list. You can vote for the party (SNPx2) or for someone you trust (SNP, Green).
        The SNP would be fools if they don’t build bridges with green, and at the same time take advantage of Wightman’s erudite knowledge and passion.

  18. FergusMac says:

    Not “dog whistle politics”, but “flute politics”. It’s an old Tory/Unionist ploy. Thatcher visited Larkhall, Churchill spoke to a crowded Ibrox just after the War, and his syphilitic father, Lord Randolph, played the Orange card for all it was worth in breaking away from Gladstone to form the Liberal Unionists, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Conservative Party. Murdo Fraser refers to the Rangers (in liquidation) tribute act that still ensures Ibrox is up to its knees in Fenian blood, as “the Queen’s Eleven”.

    It takes me back to the Fifties and early Sixties, when voting was quite openly sectarian in many places in Scotland. It is the Tories, along with those of a similar persuasion in the dying Labour Party/Bitter Together (Ian “bayonet the wounded” Davidson, for example) who are quite happy to stir up Scotland’s shame.

    They played that card against Irish independence, and they are playing it against Scottish independence. They are beyond despicable – always were and always will be.

  19. SLab was a beard for the Tories in Scotland: not any more! Now Holyrood is an open clash between Scottish social democracy on the one side and Londonite tories on the other.

  20. Macart says:

    Been round the sites and people are still banging on about votes wasted or not wasted. IMV, if you voted your conscience, if you were engaged at all after the past four years of campaigns, referendums and elections, then you didn’t waste your vote. In the teeth of what we’ve been through, the biggest danger was always going to be electoral fatigue.

    Right now I’m seeing a lot of folk I admire still arguing maths when they should be grateful people cared enough to make an effort at all.

    The right folk are in government, the Greens now have an opportunity to serve and the way is cleared to attack the true face of austerity ideology in Scotland. That’s A GOOD THING RIGHT?

    If this nonsense keeps up, I may feel the need for a holiday coming on. Someone give me a shout when we decide, first and foremost, to take the Tories and their northern spokeswonks on.

    • Dan Huil says:

      Probably on the first FMQs of the new parliament. Britnat Ruthie and the britnat media can’t help but focus the minds of the opposition.

    • Douglas Beckett says:

      Well said Macart. The result was very good for us and we should look forward to setting out the stall and getting on with it. Nicola is!

      Scotland stuck with its government and changed its opposition. So what, it was only Unionists looking for another option and it really got them nowhere. The official opposition just went from 37 to 31, result!

  21. Jim O'Rourke says:

    Great piece. Paul and other commentators are doing a good job of highlighting the very real positives that come from this election. The road to independence was never going to be an easy one, but it is very much still there. Having the Tories leading he opposition is a bonus in itself. Rather than the Tories holding the SNP government to account as ShoutyTank Girl claimed during the campaign, they are now going to have to be constructive rather than simply resolutely negative. Davidson’s aggression won’t cut it any more. Best of all she and her team will have to either defend the policy basket and actions of their Westminster bosses on a daily basis under public scrutiny.
    However, best of all in Paul’s piece here is talking about the real divisions in Scotland. These divisions aren’t the ridiculous and much hyped result of the last independence referendum or the SNP for some odd reason still being committed to independence now. They are the direct result of the disastrous economic and social policies of the Westminster establishment; and no one in Scotland best represents the true face of that establishment than the Tories.
    We will, inevitably, continue to hear the criticism that the SNP are now the establishment party in Scotland, but only from those who haven’t really thought through the meaning of being the establishment party in the current circumstances. Three in a row does not happen by accident and the gulf between the SNP and the other parties is wide. It means that the SNP have acquired a status that takes them beyond any label of being a one issue or protest party and that they have earned a significant reputation for competence, good government and trustworthiness at least with a greater number of people than any other party by a country mile.
    The future’s bright. It’s going to be interesting.

  22. davidbsb says:

    And while on the land reform agenda. Surely we can ban second homes in rural Scotland? Its a disgrace that local kids cannot afford to buy homes in our most beautiful landscapes because incomers drive up the prices.

    And I do sincerely hope when we have Indyref2, that the key to getting a vote is an S tax code.

  23. Robert Graham says:

    well i hope the new SNP administration offers the hand of friendship to the Tory party , the first thing would be to gift them all their manifesto pledges , with the proviso , these only being enacted in their MSPs areas by post code , Actions sometimes lead to unintended consequences .

  24. smiling vulture says:

    Have a strong feeling,Scottish Labour will side with Torys against SNP every chance they get

  25. broadbield says:

    Well said everyone, not as bad as feared having thought about it. There are some SNP policies I don’t like and I hope they’ll be ditched and more leftish policies introduced. As always the aim is Independence and we’ll only get that through the SNP.

    I wonder if there isn’t more we, the “fans with typewriters”, can do to hold the Tories to account? Email them? go on Twitter? Letters to the Press? (ha, ha) Is there something proactive we can do other than speaking to ourselves?

  26. PQsCPRTeam says:

    Broadbield I’ve been thinking that myself. The YES side need some kind of central point to actually start pushing for the kind of Scotland we want. Whether that be petitions or fundraisers etc .
    I saw on Twitter someone commenting on the studio ( Yes Bar) where the ‘ Full Scottish Breakfast broadcast from. Well imagine if we had a fundraiser ( or two) which raised enough for a wee studio where they, Jack Foster, Derek Bateman Lesley Riddoch etc could use regularly ? Or as davidbsb said earlier about the tax code, a coordinated petition to bring pressure on institutions like the Electoral Commision who promised us a ‘gold standard ‘ Referendum yet left many of us questioning their standards
    Mm wonder if we know an eloquent speaker /writer to start the ball rolling ?

  27. Thomas Valentine says:

    How is it possible for someone to vote for the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party and still think they are a good or decent person?
    I mean I always thought of the Labour Party in the context of the voters and what they wanted. The people who came to be Labour politicians I’ve come to despise as self serving and deceitful. But the voters as decent and sincere. I just don’t agree with their choice. The LibDems as well as much as I know.
    But the Tories here just nakedly represent the foul pit of humanity. Venal greedy bigoted (I see the contradiction)- basically failing on every level that basic morals taught in childhood should make them see. If it was a purely business party telling us the hard economic truths that would be fine and valid. No they don’t represent that and are happy to throw those concerns out when a chance to benefit a few rich pals comes along responsibility goes out the window. Pay for an over sized military to keep delusions of racial supremacy over the “lesser races” fine, maternity wards nah.
    The Scottish version is even worse since it delves deeper into the sewer for the racist vote and sectarian bigots.
    A person who tells me he votes Tory might as well tell me “I hate you and want rob you of everthing then piss on you on your knees in the gutter”.
    Yeah they’re still TOXIC.

    • Luigi says:

      “How is it possible for someone to vote for the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party and still think they are a good or decent person?”

      Implausible deniability.🙂

  28. Steve Asaneilean says:

    I think Thursday’s result has unmuddied the waters.

    It’s now clear fight between those who have the interest of Scotland and all her citizens against those who champion the rich and the privileged.

    Nicola should not waste her chance at every FMQS for showing up the Tories for being what they have always been – party of the rich, for the rich, by the rich.

    I heard someone on the radio this morning – Gerry Hassan maybe – claiming that the toxic legacy of Thatcherism had, with this result, been consigned to history. Sorry Mr H but I beg to differ.

    In fact what this election actually showed was that toxicity has spread to include (Not) Labour and the LieDems.

    Indeed it will be interesting to see which way these parties fall in the coming years – supporting Ruthin or opposing.

    By the words and deeds shall ye know them.

    What happened on Thursday may have delayed independence in the short term – but may also have made it more likely in the long term.

    I can’t wait to see what happens.

    • Ruth Davidson is responsible for taking £3 billion out of the Scottish economy by cutting public services, sacking essential public service workers, and impoverishing the disabled and poor. It is her bedroom tax. It is she who is spending £164 billion on WMD, and it is she who is privatising the NHS,selling off public assets, and hiving off Scottish taxes to pay for HS”, London Crossrail, London Sewage, the Third Runway at Heathrow, and so on.
      She is a ‘toxic’ Blue Tory. Scotland will always come a poor second, strike that, will always be of no relevance whatsoever to the Ruths, the Jacksons, the WATP Murdos, of the Tory World.
      Every week at FMQ, this bunch of elitist tossers must be brought to book for the SE cuts and failings..
      They are a Brit party; Scotland does not appear on their Britannic horizon.

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