Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Scots' Labour's Lost

Calton is really sorry for Scottish Labour supporters. Their politicians are trying manfully (in the case of Ian Murray) and womanfully (in the case of Kezia Dugdale) to cope with it but the truth is, they have been sold down the river by their party leader, Jeremy Corbyn. Even before his latest announcement on Scottish independence, Calton has heard from lifelong, stauch Labour supporters who are planning on voting Conservative. Now, those who don't want a second independence referendum may as well tear up the tactical voting sheet and vote Tory. Even in former Labour strongholds like Fife. It doesn't matter how many caveats Corbyn added to his statement or how Murray or Dugdale try to spin it, the bottom line is that Corbyn is willing to talk to Sturgeon about a second referendum. Given that his chances of getting into Number 10 are slim to none without Scottish Labour MPs, Calton thinks that Corbyn has just thrown the election. And Scottish Labour will be looking for a divorce from the English party on June 9th.

Monday, 29 May 2017

A long week for the SNP

A week is a long time in politics, as they say, and this week has certainly been a long one for the SNP. It started with their leader getting a monstering by a nurse on TV. Cue the attack dog, Joanna Cherry QC, spreading false rumours that said nurse was married to a Tory councillor (and therefore, by implication, not allowed to question her political leaders?). Cherry had to tweet an apology when the facts became clear. Then came Manchester. The First Minister quite rightly talked about "solidarity". Unfortunately the message did not reach all of her supporters, one of whom has now been questioned by police over sickening anti-English racist tweets related to the Manchester bombing. Then we had the unedifying spectacle of an SNP supporter (who has been photographed in the past with both Salmond and Sturgeon) filming herself driving around Cowie abusing Conservative canvassers. Finally, as if things couldn't get any worse, we have a Libdem candidate being harrassed by an SNP activist on the day of her husband's funeral.

In a recent session of First Minister's Questions, Sturgeon, rather obliquely, tried to state that she was not responsible for abuse dished out by her supporters. Wrong Nicola - you are responsible. You are the leader of the Scottish National Party. Where you lead, others will follow and every time you use the word "Tory" as a term of abuse, your supporters will take that as a green light to go even further and abuse and intimidate Tories on the street, on twitter or wherever. By demonising Westminster, you unleash the forces of anti-English sentiment which, sadly, are never far from the surface in Scotland. By refusing to condemn the likes of foul-mouthed Pete Wishart (who calls Tories "w**ks") you legitimise abuse of your political opponents. Standing up at FMQs and saying that abuse is "unacceptable" is absolutely no use if you refuse to take action. Your integrity is at stake here and, as far as Calton is concerned, is found wanting, especially when you give your backing to the likes of Wishart and Cherry in their attempts to get re-elected to Westminster.

It is not the Scottish Conservatives who are the nasty party - for that, we need look no further than the SNP, who are busy redefining their acronym as Scotland's Nasty Party.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Humble Pie

Three years ago Calton wrote a post in which he lambasted Ruth Davidson as an "out-of-touch Tory" over her proposals to re-introduce prescription charges in Scotland. How times have changed. Not only are the Tories now the 2nd largest party in Holyrood and the official opposition but their leader has also changed her mind over prescription charging. Well if Ruth has the guts to do a U-turn then Calton needs to summon up the guts to swallow some humble pie. *gulp*

When Davidson was elected leader of the Scottish Conservatives Calton was not convinced they had made the right choice. How wrong he was. She has transformed the Tories into a credible opposition at Holyrood and, indeed, a government in waiting. For some time now Calton has seen Ruth as our next First Minister and he is now not the only one. Sturgeon is on the skids, replaying the same old arguments that lost Salmond the independence referendum in 2014. If she lasts as long as the next Holyrood election (and that is not a given), Davidson is well placed to boot her out of Bute House at that point. It can't come soon enough for Calton.