Conservatives and Unionists presently dozing in Northern Ireland and Scotland, in particular, need to wake up and give themselves a serious shake because there is one a hell of a battle ahead.They've pulled the quilt over the head and kept on snoozing with the inevitable results:
Support for the Tories has fallen significantly in Scotland as the party suffers a backlash in the wake of David Cameron’s cuts agenda, a new poll reveals today.Completely predictable. But rather than whinging about "toxic" brands and Ms Goldie, why aren't the Conservatives in Scotland using every possible opportunity in the media to explain the rationale behind the "Cameron cuts agenda"? Why aren't they taking the battle to Labour (the party with the ultimate responsibility for the UK's perilous economic position) and the SNP, who've been misleading the electorate with their promises of jam today and jam forever more? Instead, embarrassed silence interspersed with none too edifying bouts of navel-gazing.
The results are bad news for the Conservatives, already struggling after a disastrous showing in Scotland at the General Election, in which they failed to add to their one Scottish seat despite a large swing to the party across most of the rest of Britain.
The news will further increase pressure on Annabel Goldie, the Scottish Conservative leader, who has faced criticism over her leadership amid claims that the brand is "toxic" north of the border.
Polling organisation TNS-BMRB questioned more than 1000 people about who they would vote for in May’s election and found support for the Tories had fallen in the first-past-the-post constituency vote, from 13% to 10%, since a corresponding survey weeks after the General Election. There was a smaller drop in the regional list vote, from 12% to 11%.
"Senior sources" representing their comrades across the North Channel have occasionally awakened from their slumber, but generally only to fire away the same old boring "off-the-record but please make sure it's reported" missives to the same old bored hacks about:
a)The UUP b)Their own leadership c) Each other
If they ever get round to employing the same effort and media-savvyness into actually defending and promoting their own party, then the whinge merchants at the Telegraph, in particular, won't know what's hit them. Ironically, they are becoming almost Ulster nationalist in outlook with their obsession about what's going on in our wee corner of the nation, whilst simultaneously avoiding the bigger and infinitely more important UK picture which is now developing. Why wasn't there a Northern Irish Conservative response to this pathetic piece of whimpering for example? Too busy still checking for those Oranges under the Bed?
In both cases it's got to be said that the short-term future doesn't look at all rosy. But if they're going down, then they both should stop acting so detached and at least put up some kind of a fight. The way both parties are going at the minute, they're going to introspect themselves into non-existance.
Coincidence or not, Ian Parsley has a letter tonight (accompanied by the obligatory Little Ulster zombies in the comments zone) in the Tele attacking the article in question.
Dilettante takes a much more optimistic view of the Scottish Conservatives future in a well-written piece here.