Thursday, May 7, 2009

SNP in government- a breath of fresh air?

The immediate reaction on reading the first sentence here from Annabel Goldie, leader of the Scottish Conservatives is...huh????!!!
However one may disagree with the agenda of Alex Salmond - and on many issues the Conservatives do - minority government over the last 2 years has blown a gust of fresh air into Scottish politics. When I first suggested that Scotland could benefit from a period of new politics, where each issue was debated and decided based upon its own merits, and where each Party had a voice and influence, I was laughed out of court. But I knew that minority government, in a parliament of minority parties, would make it possible for all parties to take advantage and speak up for their supporters.

Remarkably, only one of the three major opposition parties has taken advantage of this new dynamic. The Scottish Conservative achievements are there for all to see; 1,000 more police, more help for our elderly, a new national drugs strategy, the abolition or cut in local taxes for our smallest businesses, a town centre regeneration fund to boost our high Streets. A combined package of £234,000,000 for the benefit of Scotland. Constructive politics on devolved issues - but steadfast opposition when the SNP have tried to hijack the agenda for their separatist goals.

So, those Conservative achievements again:

1. 1,000 more police.
2. More help for the elderly.
3. A new national (and what nation may be that be?) drugs strategy.
4. Abolition/cut in small businesses' local taxes
5. A town centre regeneration fund.

Never mind the disputed figures (point 1), *forcing* the SNP to bring in these popular (or populist?) measures has benefited the former in the polls rather than the Conservatives- people see an alleged rise in the number of police or assistance for the OAPs, do they credit the government which brought it in, or the opposition party which *forced* them to do it? The opinion polls give the answer to that one.

Which the brings you back to a question I asked a while ago:
What exactly now is the point of Scottish Conservatism?


sm753 said...

"What exactly now is the point of Scottish Conservatism? "

Dunno, and I'm a member...

What I think / hope they are up to is that they have worked out that all their remotely winnable Westminster target seats would be won from Labour.

By building up a record of working constructively with the Nats at Holyrood, they thus hope to collect a few votes from Nats and Libs who want to kick Labour out.

Having won at Westminster, they would then hope that the fabled "shy Scottish Tories" who have all been in hiding while the party was seen as long-term losers will return, and its voting share recover from the high teens to the mid- or even high-20s, with all the consequent benefits for future elections.

But that's just a personal guess based on zero official communication.

O'Neill said...

Well, if you don't know;)

To an outsider, there does appear to be a large gap, communication and idealogy-wise between the leadership and the troops on the ground and if that is the strategy you'd have expected to see at least some indication of it working via the opinion polls.