Vote Tory

Some of you may have gained the impression over the last few months that I was ridiculing the idea of a Tory revival in Scotland. Headlines like: You’re a Loser, Ruthie…Aye, That’ll Be Right…and Get It Up Ye, Tory Ba***rds…may have inadvertently given rise to suggestions I believed a Conservative comeback was unlikely. I’m sorry if any of you misunderstood my position which I would like to clarify now.

My considered opinion is that it is entirely possible the Tories will form the opposition at Holyrood after May. Still unlikely, verging on a long shot. But nevertheless, plausible (as I obviously thought all along. Do keep up.)

The latest Survation poll in the entirely trustworthy Daily Record puts the Tories on 16 per cent in the top up section only four points behind a drooping Labour. That means the Tories are up three points and Labour down two. So what? It’s within the margin of error. Well, we’re now only five months away from voting and while still many weeks from the frantic final run-in when many people commit, nevertheless patterns of behaviour are now clear. The SNP block is not shifting. The robots are programmed. Even if Nicola were revealed to be a lizard (the Record’s current investigation project) the daleks will head for the polls with an SNP cross marked on each plunger arm. Labour pollsters will be met with Exterminate.

Crucially though, Labour are stuck. To make an impression, if not actually win, you need momentum. Little signs, wee straws, wetted fingers testing the air, a palpable sense that something is happening. Word comes in from unlikely locations of a positive response. Others report bile spat about the Nats. There is a growing warmth towards the leader, etc. My favourite story about this kind of vote divining was late Labour organiser Jimmy Allison in ill-fated Govan 1988. He said he’d ‘been oot there sniffin’ the air. It’s nae good.’ It is a strange phenomenon that could keep a university going for years. It’s a kind of osmosis in which conversations, the news, the tone of presentation, all create a miasma which seeps into your consciousness and feeds the roots of expectation. And my expectation is that Labour will lose heavily. I don’t want them to. I’d rather people who know they’re supposed to strive for liberal values than the Tories who are slowly killing Britain, but there it is. Voters, already sickened by Labour, have learned they really can give them a kicking and the world doesn’t fall in on them. The habits of generations have been abandoned. Many will never go back but I think many are there to be wooed, awaiting a credible call – that will never come. Not for the foreseeable…

The serious players of Scottish Labour are departed – to obscurity, the Lords, or both. The Murphy experience still elicits the dry boak. Kezia’s carefree optimism sums up the predicament. To core voters and the recently defected she is embodiment of Labour’s failure…too young, naïve, ineffectual and somehow disposable. And then there’s the Westminster branch…St Trinian’s after the sixth form broke into the head’s drinks cabinet.

But would any of those incipient Labour votes transfer to Davidson’s Division? Maybe so. Maybe there are just enough centrist Unionists who want Britain to work better and who have lost all faith in Jeremy’s lot. They want to stop the Nats but no longer see any signs from the Labour leadership that they’re capable of it. Where once they could have slipped easily over the Liberals…nowadays, well, would you? Interestingly, while Sturgeon soars away in popularity, Ruth does better, albeit negatively, than does Kezia. That’s not good.

Ruth as leader is the kind of jolly, no nonsense type who would have led a hut rebellion in Tenko. Liz Smith is a head teacher type worth listening to. Murdo?…well, if he stopped playing the role of landowners’ ghillie, he’s an acceptable sort. And if they can make Professor Tomkins take his tablets every morning, he’ll sound somewhat sensible too. No, if it’s the Union that drives you, you’ve little option really. With the state Labour’s in, you wouldn’t trust them to run a bath, let alone a government.

I was wondering why Kezia suddenly came out with a middle class bribe of using taxpayer’s money to boost the housing market when the need is for affordable accommodation. Is the Tory threat the reason? Her whole pitch has been to the Left of the SNP, painting them as Tory austerity stooges. Then she undoes it with a naked Tory-style market offer her own party derided just a few years ago.

To be fair, it must be a kind of bunker hell to know you’re flatlining (at best) and making no impact on your main opponent – only to discover the hounds are at your own heels. This is the double horror of Labour’s dilemma – floundering against the Nats but now truly terrified of a Tory surge.

Make no mistake, in that unlikely event, it isn’t just the end of Kezia – it’s curtains for Labour. We would be drawing a veil over the funeral party and leaving them to bury their own with dignity. But there would be no way back without the kind of total reform and ruthless self-analysis they have so fair failed to carry out since the first earthquake of 2007. God rest them. Or Hell mend them?

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28 thoughts on “Vote Tory

  1. You were doing well until the last line…………….GOD help them, FFS Derek, what is it about sup with the deil, its a long rope they need, or should that be a short rope with a long drop.

  2. Hell mend them.

  3. I honestly believe that Liebour are dead in the water and no one in their party has the intelligence to realise this, someone should put them out of their misery, Kes is worse than hopeless/hapless every time she opens her mouth I really feel sorry for her and I’m a paid up SNP man, it’s like having a battle of wits with an unarmed person


  4. Neatly done Derek.

    There’s no way back for many a reason, but most of all their naked betrayal and hypocrisy.

    To observers and commentators it always comes across like a mental or philosophical exercise when they talk about one party or politician’s woes. They objectify, and dissect, remove personality and examine tactics and trends, policy and delivery. They can see another side to the subject, perhaps even sympathise to an extent. They quote from books on ideology and history they’ve read, high foreheads they’ve had discussions with and fellow commentators from their own world.

    Maybe its their innate distance or cynicism, perhaps its the nature of the profession, I don’t know to be honest. Their problem is that they simply don’t see the world, the parties or the politics at ground level where the rest of us live. They don’t understand why or how we could be so upset with these people, what drives our desire to see them gone from our lives, or having any future say or influence over same. They start making up wild theories of cults and brainwashing, because that has to be it y’know. We’re not acting reasonably or rationally. We’re not seeing good sense or accepting the world as they paint it and have always painted it. Worse, we’re no longer listening to them.

    Well, here’s the deal for what its worth. Being only ordinary folks, we don’t take betrayal well. We don’t like being lied to, manipulated, robbed, made to suffer, maneuvered into making others suffer or otherwise be abused by those we give our trust to. Not in politics and not in meeja land.

    Simple human nature.

    If you abuse people for long enough, if you take advantage of their trust and good will, or if you simply abuse them for your own ends and because you can. Do not be surprised when some day they turn round and put you on your arse.

  5. Dennis Nicholson

    Had a brief spell where I almost felt sorry for them, but even that’s gone now…

  6. I was having a Hogmanay drink with an employee for a local council who was taking me through a myriad of Labour Council corruption; culminating in him having to manage the deputy leader of a bordering Labour Council one morning per week. Apparently it was common practice to employ other Labour Council’s high heed yins in paid employment they didn’t have to turn up to, however the crooks got the jitters with the expenses scandal and decided they better show face. Apparently he turned up, did his menial paperwork dutifully then left for city chambers each week.

    I asked him about whistle blowing. He was reluctant on two counts: his career prospects and the fact that this sort of practice was nothing out of the ordinary. He cannot await the last of the corrupt Labour stalwarts getting voted out/retiring and the council starting to operate professionally.

    This is people’s Labour experience in Scotland. We all have tales. I could never vote Tory as they are vile parasites. But if you’re a staunch unionist what are you meant to do?

    • kevinparafinlamp

      Interesting read, Davie. I suppose I shouldn’t really be surprised by this, but I am, always am.
      Every revelation brings a *gasp*.

      Have you tried submitting this to the Daily Record? (just kidding)

  7. I like this but my head is screaming “when your opposition is making a mistake, let them” let’s stop giving them tips in how to dig themselves out of the steaming compost they’re in

  8. I could never vote Tory, but to be honest, I wouldn’t mind too much if they ended up as the Opposition. Although Ruth hasn’t yet shown quite the same propensity, Annabel Goldie was always quite principled in her leadership and was prepared to support the Government on matters she agreed with.

    Labour on the other hand…………

  9. Remember the Tory voters who gave their vote to Ian Murray in the GE in the forlorn hope of stopping the SNP
    They’ll be taking that vote back now more than likely and it’ll be Tory again

    So if that sort of thing is repeated elsewhere there’s a tiny possibility of a tiny Tory adequate performance
    But no breath holding for that one, no, it’s probably more likely both Blue and Red Tory parties will suffer and the one who loses least is likeliest to shout loudest, which is not easy to say quickly

    I think the most interesting part of the coming campaign will be watching and listening to Willie Rennie attempting to rewrite history in his descriptions of how, without the Lib Dems holding the SNP to account Scotland would have been “Doomed” due to Nicola Sturgeons vile and damaging policies and her overwhelming drive for Democracy which is against everything the Lib Dems believe in “Federalism” he will shout and then vote against it because it’s the wrong kind, never predictable Willie

    Much less interesting I think will be the newer parties on the scene who seem to be demanding votes from the very party without whom their existence would not be, the SNP
    Surely it would make more sense to be targeting what’s left of disenchanted Labour voters than attacking the one party who can do something about Independence the SNP but perhaps they see those votes easier to steal if they claim the mantle of Independence seeking parties

    But it seems to me a tad arrogant and foolish to attack and attempt to dilute the voters who have been sticking with the tried and trusted party who got us this far in the first place and who have proved their worth in Government both in Holyrood and now in Westminster “The SNP aren’t perfect” goes up the cry

    Well Boo Hoo and a short memory for those who think that
    I’m 67 years of age and I have a long memory

    SNPxSNP Get our country back first, argue about right left and centre of wherever you want to be later when there’s time, right now there’s not

      • What is Pathetic? If you don’t agree with the comment, make your own argument.

        It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that some on the left who have given up on Labour give their vote to RISE or the Greens who might well take enough away from Labour to let Ruth’s Tories into official opposition.

        RISE (or the Greens) should be targeting THESE voters, not trying to take votes away from the SNP, which might do just enough damage to allow a Unionist party in through the gap.

    • Absolutely Dr Jim, I can’t understand why these newer parties are asking SNP voters to give their 2nd vote to them when they know fine well how the voting works. They are not content with just that they’re going even further by attacking the very party that they were promoting during the referendum.

  10. (Not) Labour are bust for the very simple reason – they a re NOT Labour.

    So, in answer to your last sentence, Hell mend them. They are the masters of their own demise and have no-one to blame but themselves.

    If the Tories do pip them in to second place here in Scotland I see no way back for them for years to come. The Tories are the natural home for Unionism and that is where the die hard Unionists will go.

    Really what role do (Not) Labour have any more?

    In the UK at present the top 0.1% of the population have an average income of over £1 million; the top 1% have an average of nearly £272,000; the top 10% exceed £79,000. But the other 90% have an average income of less than £13,000.

    Since the late 1970s the share of total income going to the richest 1% has risen from less than 5% to more than 16%.

    (Not) Labour caused and encouraged this level of inequality that the Tories have gleefully exacerbated. They forgot the 90% and now that 90% is forgetting them, in Scotland at least.

    It is nothing more that what they deserve. It’s the price of replacing principle with power at any cost.

    What we are left with are the former “leading lights” of the last (Not) Labour WM government living in the top 1% (or, in the case of Blair, the top 0.1%) and quite happily doing so whilst simultaneously sticking two metaphorical fingers up at the 90%.

    Any one who votes for (Not) Labour now is doing nothing more than condoning that state of affairs.

  11. Personally, I don’t give a toss whether it’s “God rest them”, or “Hell mend them”. I long since ceased to care about the fate of British Labour in Scotland. They represent an entirely redundant political force, having failed abysmally even in the role of opposition.

    I am, however, concerned about a Tory “surge” fuelled by hard-line unionist Labour voters defecting in despair to a party prepared to lure them with the kind of hateful British nationalist rhetoric more usually seen in the comments sections of The Telegraph and The Express. Rhetoric such as has no place in a Scottish election campaign.

    This could get ugly. As I have written elsewhere (,

    “I foresee the “Great British Hypocrisy” of the election campaign being the British parties whining about “divisive” politics and banging on about the need to “get past” the constitutional question while chasing the fanatical ultra-unionist vote with a barrage of tawdry jingoism; rose-tinted nostalgia; strident militarism; union flag-waving; and royal baby dangling. I anticipate a ramping up of irresponsible attacks on Scotland’s institutions and public services. I expect the rhetoric of torrid “blood and soil” British nationalism to be markedly more explicit and extreme even than it was during the first referendum campaign.

    “I see the prospect of a campaign by the British parties which harnesses all the perverted talents for deceit and vituperation that characterised Project Fear and rouses them to ever greater effort in desperate defence of an established order that is threatened by a wave of democratic dissent being channelled through the SNP.”

    • Another aspect of this Britfest is eye-poppingly evident in about ninety percent of television programmes where union flags galore adorn bags, trainers, mugs, cushions, t-shirts, shorts, tea towels, aeroplane tails, ship bows, or just hang around as flags and bunting. Even a blind idiot could win a game of spot the flag. An edict has obviously gone out to use the flag in every programme. And when it hangs(!) behind Cameron I’m sure it must be a paper pastiche as it’s so creaseless and stiff, folded of course with the red cross prominent and the saltire blue relegated to the margins.

    • Very well written Peter, especially your opening paragraphs with which I agree entirely.
      As regards the point Derek is making in relation to voting intentions, I can only say what has been happening locally and that is while the, relatively small, tory vote is holding steady, the labour vote seems to be haemorrhaging, with most of their former voters switching to the S.N.P.
      The main reason for their defection is usually given as, “they stood on the same platform as the tories during the referendum campaign” and as a result of that, they are tainted by their association with a political party which is anathema to most of them.
      Of course, this is just a small sample, and while the gap between unionist parties is narrowing, I just don’t see many, if any, former Labour voters switching to the tories, given the above reason, and certainly on the doorstep, there has been no suggestion of this happening.
      Again personally, although we have a local S.S.P branch, are they still called this?, there has been no mention of them or any other minority party, although we have made contact with the occasional green party voter.
      Since our area is, in part, a former Labour stronghold, it may well be we are not a representative sample of voters intentions, but I just cannot imagine the tories as the official opposition to the S.N.P, although I think the gap between the unionist parties will be closer than in 2011.

  12. A small angry bunch of red-faced unionist Labour supporters defecting to Matron Davidson is pathetic. These people would sell their grannies to be kept under the yoke of the British Empire even if the SNP offered to keep their Granny well and improve their lot too.

    Labour supporter voting Tory, aye? Well just mark your X in the box and deposit your spine in the bucket on the way out.

    The hope, then, is for a Green surge. If they do move onto the predicted 8 seats, that is a platform from which I hope they go on to become the natural opposition in Scotland. An opposition based on an ideology that should keep the SNP honest. An opposition who are driven by people and ecological concerns, not corporations, iron mongers and deceitful bankers.

  13. Labour in Scotland seem to have not an ounce of self-awareness. It’s either because they can’t see where they’ve gone wrong – impossibly, surely, unless they’ve all undergone intensive mind control at a remote laboratory in the Highlands – or they simply can’t allow themselves to admit that they’re wrong because they think that would see them plummet even further in the polls. (I know, I know, but …) I cannot find any other explanation.

    Like others here I have some grudging acceptance of Ruth but you couldn’t pay me to vote for a Tory. She’ll do, though. She seems to have quite a good relationship with Nicola and doesn’t resort to the kind of face-pulling and door-slamming that we see on the other side of the chamber. I don’t wish Kezia any ill at all but she just wasn’t ready for the post of Leader of the Labour accounting office or to lead them to a comeback. It’s nothing to do with her age – look at Mhairi Black for heaven’s sake. Talent by the truckload.

    Meanwhile the LibDems will continue to scamper round the political mountains like the fabled wild haggises, or is it haggi. Haggisi. Them. The Greens managed a 4.4% share of the vote in the last Scottish elections so unless they have a surge of support from disaffected Labour and LibDem voters who can’t bring themselves to vote Tory they won’t make huge headway. The even smaller parties won’t even get 4.4% let alone a good showing.

    A powerful opposition to the brutal government at Westminster rests on the shoulders of the experienced and committed SNP – they’re the fast train to a fairer and stronger Scotland. We have a formidable SNP team fighting for us in the cesspit of the House of Commons, and a government in Scotland led from the front by Nicola who is admired right across these British Isles. Get us to independence, and then we can enjoy a vibrant, multi-party conversation. We’re nearly there.

    • Not so fast Sooz, re grudging acceptance of Ruth Davidson.

      You could say Ruth Davidson is playing it canny or you could say she is just being a politician but week after week at FMQs we have heard where the SNP are going wrong.
      Sometimes it’s from a different angle and sometimes It’s a concerted theme from the Tories, Labour and wee Wullie Rennie but when oh when has Ruth Davidson ever had to justify her own parties policies?
      Who in the media ever asks Ruth , do you think it’s right about the explosion in need for food banks since your party got into power, do you not think its time now for land reform in Scotland , do you have a view on your Chancellor cancelling CC especially now jobs are being lost in the North East?
      Actually what is Ruth’s opinion on those job losses and the impact on the Treasury tax take?
      Ruth Davidson might like to present herself as the ‘ Hutchy ‘ girl next door but no one – no one gets to be the Tory leader ( even if it is in Scotland) out of nowhere without some nifty footwork and a scary amount of ambition.
      However pleasant Ruth Davidson maybe, she is the face of the Conservatives in Scotland and however mannerable she might be, her Party is responsible for trying to dismantle the Welfare state down south, does she support and want this for Scotland, the continued policies re Syria , the renewal of Trident ?
      She might be an MSP but is she for Europe or want out because it’s her Party that is asking us all to vote ?
      Ruth Davidson might be on the shiny flier promoting Ruth Davidson but whatever PR advertising agency might be involved , don’t let them distance Ruth Davidson from her party, they are the Conservatives.

      • Well said PQ. Sooz, like so many SNP/SNPers has lost her perspective. she’d actually RATHER have a Tory opposition than the Greens.

  14. If the tories become the opposition every election thereafter will be a re-run of the referendum – at least that’s the conclusion I came to after perusing Ruthie’s wee leaflet.

  15. Charles Kearney

    In a recent, and rather innocuous, SNP Post on Facebook, I was astonished that whilst a small Percentage of SNP Supporters ‘Liked’ the Article, about 90%, Dozens upon Dozens of posts were from the Extreme Right, Butchers Apron Waving, were from Forelock Tugging, Knee Bending Unionists, roughly split between Labour and Tories, joined in Spittleflecked Ire! It was quite astonishing to see the things some Fellow Scots, and many English, were saying about their own People and their own Land!

    The subject of the Post? A prospective SNP Candidate appealing for a bit of Funding from ‘SNP Supporters!’ No, indeed I can’t figure it out either, other than Fear.

  16. Dave McEwan Hill

    Dan Huil
    Exactly. And I’m glad. But there are one or two wee things that need pointed out continuously. The biggest danger to the SNP vote comes not from the Tories and Labour but from the self indulgent on the left who have forgotten it is the right wing unionists and the red Tory Labour they are supposed to be fighting and who, having piggy backed on a SNP surge at the Referendum, are now attacking the vehicle that brought them into a place in politics.
    I used to wish them no ill. I now wish them no good.
    The Greens, who never do the work on the ground and can’t seem to coordinate their efforts, will not get the result they are hoping for. After May it should be Scotland against the Tories all the way to independence.

    • I’ve never met a Green actually on the campaign trail or doorstepping
      And the new left just seem to be saying SNP “not good”
      Maybe that sounds less offensive than “Baad”

  17. It just remains to bayonet the wounded…

  18. “…it’s curtains for Labour. We would be drawing a veil over the funeral party”

    Not quite Derek; we will have to drive the final stake into Dracula McAveety and his corrupt cronies in 2017…

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