Getting Carried Away

CiRS_09WwAIt5FuAlex Massie makes a brave defence of the Tory revival thesis proclaiming not just the popularity of Thatcher and the Poll Tax in Scotland but much more. In doing so he inadvertently charts the long-term decline of the party and their ideology. Where now are the giants of the 80s like Michael Forsyth and Malcolm Rifkind? Forsyth is  ensconced (like all good entrepreneurial meritocrats should be) in the House of Lords, while Rifkind has retired a bit early after a good few years coping with the vigours of a Kensington constituency. The reality is these senior figures and their party were driven from Scotland as the rejection of their values and social and constitutional policy was understood.

In fact as Conservative historian Lewis Bastion writes:

“Scotland’s history as stony ground for the Tories does not start in 1997, or 1987, or even in 1959. It is essentially the default state of politics north of the border. From the Great Reform Act of 1832 until the present day, with the exception of the confused period of party politics in the inter-war period, the Conservatives have only won majorities in Scotland twice in general elections: 1900 and 1955. Neither time was it by a comfortable margin – two seats in 1900; one seat in 1955.”

Massie is right to say that at Holyrood: “half a million people endorsed Conservative candidates. The Tory vote doubled. In percentage terms – by way of comparison – this was a significantly greater increase than that enjoyed by the SNP between the 2007 and 2011 Holyrood elections. That SNP success in 2011 was remarkable and stunning and a real thing and so it seems reasonable to grant that the increase in the Tory vote in 2016 is also a remarkable, stunning, and real thing.”

CiUuBvkWEAERnBqAll very true, although one group are in government and the other never will be. I would be hesitant to say that the rehabilitation process is as developed as Massie suggests.

What also seems without doubt is that this was a protest vote. This was the backlash of everyone who hates the SNP, who didn’t want the referendum, who hates the whole national conversation and who just wants it all to stop and go away.

Massie writes: “No-one I have spoken to in Tory circles is getting carried away. “ Tell that to Charles Moore.

As Jamie Maxwell has noted the turnout in highly motivated well-heeled constituencies who feel under threat was significant and should not be underestimated. What is being challenged is not the phenomenon – it’s the viability of it to be carried forward into a workable political platform. It may be that just railing against a second referendum is enough, but I doubt it.

If people want a referendum it will happen, if they don’t it won’t. In this context just wailing about it for five years will be difficult to sustain.

CiKdEt1XAAEWMboThe triumphalism is almost unbearable and in the hyperventilation the judgement of the far right commentariat is seriously clouded. Iain Martin has written that:

“A second independence referendum is off the agenda for the foreseeable future, no matter what happens in the EU referendum. ..Her only hope would be be to patch something squalid together with the dreadful Patrick Harvie of the Greens, which would be a constitutional outrage and make the SNP a laughing stock.”

Really? Why would two pro-indy parties with a majority working together be a constitutional outrage? Only in the hermetically sealed world of right-wing paranoia would this be outrageous. It’s straight from the notion that independence will somehow be thrust on us, unexpectedly. It’s part of the claims that the voters have been ‘tricked’ or hypnotised, it’s part of the inability to come to terms with what’s happening.

Actually the case for Yes is strengthened by having a plurality of pro-indy voices. This idea that this election was about a referendum is a myth perpetuated by people operating in their own policy void. This was a revolt of the shires and a coming together of the hurting Unionist tribe.

There’s no doubt that everyone was shocked by the Tory gains at Holyrood but wider questions remain. Here’s ten:

  1. To what extent will it be possible to sustain or protect those advances in the light of further exposure? They are pro-fracking, pro-new nuclear, defenders of the benefits changes that have created the boom in foodbanks and the sanctions benefit culture. While no-one really cared about them before they will now have to stand up and defend these values and policies in public each week.
  2. Commentator Gerry Hassan has suggested that the Conservatives have gone to ‘new terrain’, but nobody knows what that is? What is it?
  3. How do Scottish Conservatives distinguish themselves from Osborne economics or the language and policy of Iain Duncan Smith or the impact of Amber Rudd’s thinking? If they don’t – how do they suggest they will reverse the electoral fortunes that have left them reduced to a single MP? There’s been a lot of talk about the ‘new Conservatives’ but what is it? Even poor Iain Martin accepted that: “Ruth Davidson will have to build a bigger policy operation to apply pressure and hold Sturgeon to account.” That’s a bit of an understatement.
  4. How does Ruth Davidson move on from the phenomenon of Ruth Davidson?
  5. There’s been a lot of talk about ‘trajectory’. What’s the demographic of these unionist ultras? How does this look in ten or twenty years?
  6. How will advocating British nationalism rather than Scottish nationalism change the terms of the debate on to ground the unionists prefer? It won’t.
  7. Adam Tomkins
  8. What will be the fallout from the civil war currently raging in the Conservative Party over Europe? The Scottish Conservatives can not be immune from scrutiny by virtue of being Scottish.
  9. How will the Conservative media officers cope now that the era of the ‘free pass because you are irrelevant’ is over? In other words it is one challenge to message to your core vote and appeal to the wider No community, but it is quite different to make a narrative about Conservatism to the wider public.
  10. Who are the new intake of MSPs and how will they come across?

Comments (45)

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  1. david kelly says:

    Thrillingly, I think question 7) above is actually an answer, not a question.That Adam Tomkins is the answer to anything connected to Scottish politics makes this Indendentista smile, well ROLF actually.

    1. Jack Collatin says:

      We should give the good Professor his full title, WATP Adam Tomkins.
      This Tory Rampant hype is beyond parody.
      I look forward to the changes. Ruth will be waving papers in the air on the FM’s left side now, instead of the right.
      We’ll miss Wullie banging on about Police Scotland, though, but, mind.
      Plus ca change.

    2. Angus Skye says:

      No 7 is too long. Could it just not be substituted with “Prat”?

  2. Mic11 says:

    People voted for Ruth Davidson and her jolly persona not the Tories. This needs to be exposed every opportunity by SNP and the Greens. The high turnout in wealthier ‘no voting’ areas suggests that this vote has reached it’s peak and can go no higher. Conversely with proper organisation, talking, listening and supporting those in less wealthy areas to see the case for independence and to get them out to vote.

    1. Gashty McGonnard says:

      “for her jolly persona”

      Sadly true, I fear. There’s nothing like a strained rictus going south at the edges to thaw the stolid hearts of middle Scotland.

  3. Andrew Morton says:

    7 Adam Tomkins

    Guffaw!

  4. bill fraser says:

    What a stupid statement to make.We should be used to rubbish like this from a biased media,but it gets so annoying.

      1. Bryan Weir says:

        I think he meant the Telegraph headline.

  5. Clive Scott says:

    Good article. In my experience the better off and well to do for the most part don’t think much beyond their own family circumstances. They are doing quite nicely thank you with a nice house in a nice area, two or three holidays a year, a couple of newish cars in the driveway, kids doing well at private school or a decent university. Aspiration for their children is to get a job in London so they can brag about how well they have done to “get out as there is nothing for them in Scotland”. Perversely they can brag about how well their investment banker son or daughter is doing in that utterly corrupt business whilst blaming the deficit and debt on benefit cheats and immigrants.

    If you dare to suggest otherwise you are branded “political” which is a very bad thing, and social invitations dry up amazingly quickly. This group is a tribe but the beauty of a bell curve means it will always be a minority tribe so can always be outvoted by the majority of the electorate. However this requires the majority to get off their collective backside and vote. Huge swathes of the have nots and left behinds did not bother to turn out and vote for their future and the future of their country. Although the result in parliamentary terms gives the Tories negligible influence, the tribe, to use Nicola’s astute term “overreach”, think they are making progress, being blind to the their vote share at 22% comparing very badly to the worst days of Thatcher at 31% in 1979. If that is progress we really must have more of it.

    1. Connor McEwen says:

      So says Clive Dunn “don’t panic, Mainwaring Cameron”, “get it well up em”.
      I agree Tank Commander Ruthie, and her well moneterised speech writers from Toryland will be found out

  6. Bert Logan says:

    The southern MSM hegemony consider everything in Scotland to have changed. The Scottish Tories only read this, so they are convinced.

    At the moment, Labour want their ball back, but didn’t see that Scotland is not playing rugby and not football.

  7. Bryan Weir says:

    The flag waving and raucous chortling of the Tories in the southern MSM hegemony about this isolated success is in stark contrast to their silence after their abject failure in Scotland in last year’s Westminster election. Such detailed analysis of the result last year was conspicuous by its absence.

  8. Mike says:

    All I witnessed was the Red Tory Blairites moving back over to their pre 1987 voting habits as a result of Labour in Scotland trying to pretend convincingly its moved back over to the left and Labour in London putting Jeremy Corbyn in charge.

    Whats left of Labour in Scotland is in limbo with no ideological ground to sit on. We now have a very distinct line drawn in Parliament between Social democracy pro Independence and Neo Conservative pro unionism.
    In order for whats left of Labour to oppose the SNP they will have to remove all pretence of socialism and vote with the Tories. The Tories of course in directly opposing the SNP strengthen the SNPs social democratic credentials.
    The Greens? Well what can the Greens do other than follow their principles which more or less align with the SNPs. This is a dangerous time for them. They cannot be seen siding with the Neo Con pro union anti environmental no to referendum cabal.
    And the Lib Dems? Bwahahahahahahahaha. RIP.

    Going to be an interesting 5 years. The EU referendum will just be our starter for 10.

  9. Richard MacKinnon says:

    The reason the Scottish Tories are getting carried away is because they have every right to. A number of things have occurred at the same time that plays into their hands. One is that they beat Labour for second place to become the opposition to the Scottish government. Tied into this turn around is that they can now legitimately claim to be the true defenders of the union. Another is that because of the fall out amongst The Leave supporters the Scottish Tories led brilliantly by Ruth Davidson are quietly confident they will win the vote to Remain on 23 June. The knock on benefit of them winning the UK/EU referendum is that they will, in the very near future be able to claim that the unions, both UK and EU are now safe thanks to their unwavering belief in both institutions. All these circumstances combined will allow The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party to be a lot more assertive in their defence of the union and of course conversely, dismissive of any further talk of a second referendum. They can barely contain themselves with the realisation over the last week since the Scottish election that Scotland’s referendum of 2014 has actually strengthened the union.
    I think nationalists will find it more difficult to arrive at the same conclusion. But I think given enough time they will.

    1. Mike says:

      Richard

      1. Having the toxic Tories as your opposition in Scotland is a good thing look what happened to Red Tory Labour.

      2. Having the Toxic Tories as the “True defenders of the Union” is a good thing for the pro Indy campaign in Scotland. The Union is now exclusively defined as Neo Conservative.

      3. We want the remain vote to win in Scotland Richard but lose in England. That’s a potential trigger for another Indyref.

      4. The 2014 Indy ref was a catalyst which has seen support for the union hemorrhage during the entire campaign period and as an aftermath to the point where its is now parity with the momentum toward Independence.

      You’re living in a world of self delusion sunshine.

    2. Jack Collatin says:

      Whatever gets you through the night, Richard.

  10. JIm says:

    Dream on, Richard.

    1. Richard MacKinnon says:

      Jim, this is not a dream. This is the reality as I see it that I am trying to explain. I look at material circumstances, compare, contrast and consider them. Then I try and lay them out in an order that hopefully make sense. That can hold up to scrutiny. I have tried to apply this logic to the events of the last few weeks and I have arrived at a point where I can see the Tories argument. They realise what nationalists thought before our referendum which was a Yes vote would deliver independence for Scotland. Now with the wind in their sails they are about to explain to nationalists that the opposite applies.
      I wish I had the same strength in self belief that you have Jim, that you can dismiss those you dont agree with so decissively. Then again, maybe a bit of introspection is not a bad thing.

      1. Mike says:

        No Richard all you’ve achieved is to provide a perfect example of what self deceit looks like.

        FACT. Ruth Davidson has less support in Scotland than Maggie Thatcher ever had. She now has to answer directly to the people of Scotland for every policy and piece of legislation forced on Scotland from her Toxic Neo Con party in Westminster. How do you think that will fare?
        Ruth is on to a hiding for nothing unless she openly and convincingly objects to and opposes her party in Westminster.
        Labour and the Lib Dems in Scotland couldn’t and look what happened to them.

        1. Richard MacKinnon says:

          Mike JIm and Jack,
          Last try. The point I am trying to make has nothing to do with how few seats or how little support the Tories have in Holyrood and Scotland. My point is that the Tories have every reason to say ‘the union is safe’. What they understand (that some nationalists seemingly dont understand, yet) is that the referendum of 18.09.2014 was decisive. Just as a Yes vote would have delivered independence the No vote has delivered the continuation of the union. I cannot explain it in any simpler terms. If you guys cant see the logic of that then what else can I say, except that given time I think you will.
          There is one unknown element that could have a bearing on the issue, that is the UK/EU referendum result of 23 June. Should the majority be to Leave (and Scotland votes to Remain) then Scottish nationalism still has a hope of a second referendum. But that outcome is looking more unlikely by the day. If, as I expect, the vote is to Remain then immediately that is confirmed Ruth Davidson and David Mundell will take the greatest of pleasure and every opportunity available to them to spell out the reality of Scotland’s constitutional position. Maybe then you will understand my point.

          1. Mike says:

            Nobody understands Scotlands constitutional position more than the Yes campaigners. We campaign for Independence because we understand the constitutional position better than anybody.
            We also understand how toxic the Tories are in Scotland. We also understand that the present regime is even more toxic than the Thatcher regime was.
            The Neo Cons under Ruth Davidson understands how toxic the tory legacy is in Scotland which is why they campaigned not as Conservatives but Unionists.
            Great. Because the Yes campaign would love nothing better than to associate unionism with Neo Conservative Toryism. By making them indistinguishable we will gain our majority of support mandate for another referendum.
            We wont need a Brexit as a trigger we can wait for the Tories to be Tories.
            You seem to be in absolute denial about the fact that having the Neo Con Tories in direct opposition is a good thing for the Scottish Government and the very good thing for the Yes campaign.

  11. John says:

    This is going to be a very definitive five years in the Scottish Parliament , we now have a pretty straight line drawn between Unionists and Nationalists , which is good . We will totally see where each side is coming from . Nicola Sturgeon will be questioned primarily by Ruth Davidson each week at FMQ , Ruth will be a lot more able than poor , hapless , Kezia Dugdale . I am expecting great things from Ruth Davidson , she fought her campaign on holding the SNP to account and a very definite no to a second independence referendum . I am also looking forward to Ruth Davidson standing very clearly behind her party on , Tax , Welfare , Trident , Defence , Land Ownership etc.. , I want her to vigorously defend everything that Westminster decides for us . She will also get plenty of Media coverage so her views and policies will be there for all to see . Interesting times lie ahead .

    1. Mike says:

      Exactly! Davidson has nowhere to hide. She ran her campaign on being a strong opposition to the Scottish Government who is a strong opposition to the UK Government and all their ideals.
      Ruth can no longer pretend she aint a Neo Conservative.

      Every FMQs will be a nail in the coffin of pro unionism as its associated more and more with Neo Conservatism and Toxic Toryism.

      1. John says:

        Agreed !

      2. John Mooney says:

        Precisely Mike,”The Games Afoot” bring it on Ruthie as another loser once stated and look what happened that time! Cheers :o)

  12. Monty says:

    Two games going on at holyrood. 70% MSPs for nationalists mps, 5o% Scottish nationalist, 22% British nationalists both otherwise with a slight variance on New Labour economic policy. The other 30% presenting largely non nationalist, progressive policies with at the centre of them a 1p tax rise.

    Shame the SNP have decided to go with popularism and nationalism. This election was a real chance to get a majority at holyrood for progressive policies and investment in education. Ideal time for the SNP to jump on the 1p tax rise bandwagon. Their vote would have gone down a bit but they would still have been the largest party and could have led a progressive group of around 75% of MSPs against a rump of 25% focused on nationalism and no tax rises. The SNP put party before country

    1. Donnie Switch says:

      Yes, it is weird that the SNP have gone with nationalism, isn’t it. Imagine that.

    2. Onwards says:

      It’s not putting Scotland first to make it the most highly taxed part of Britain. Especially without full powers to help reduce avoidance.

      There would likely be a short term revenue boost for public services, but the price would be paid in future years as investment and growth fall in relation to England and Wales.

      I think the SNP tax position was a good compromise.

  13. Darby O'Gill says:

    So, Ruth Davidson is a Conservative. How interesting. I thought she was an Independent. The election literature I received didn’t mention the words ‘Conservative’, ‘Unionist’, Tory or the name ‘David Cameron’. Perhaps even she realises that the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Movement are regarded by many in Scotland with same toxicity as their initials suggest.

  14. Dougie Blackwood says:

    Not much to say about all this stuff. The Tories in Scotland are an irrelevance. While we see the cruel and xenophobic policies imposed from Westminster they will act as recruiting sergeants for the Nationalists.

  15. John B Dick says:

    The Conservative party line is that they are now ‘the official opposition’ in Scotland. (Alastair Redman, Buteman: – Letters 6th May).

    An ‘Official opposition’ is an integral part of the Westminster System https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westminster_system which provides the main opposition party with rights and privileges in funding, parliamentary resources, consultation and ceremonial participation.

    Walter Bagehot in his 1865 English Constitution regarded ‘Her Majesty’s Opposition’ as an essential part of the constitution and George Tierney, Whig leader of the opposition 1818-1821 is credited with saying that ‘the duty of an Opposition was very simple – it was to oppose everything and propose nothing.’

    This is the 19thC origin of the ritual confrontations of alternating elites sitting opposite each other two swords length’s apart in a room designed for the antiphonal singing of cantori and decani. It is mimicked in the public school and Oxbridge debating gamesmanship which misled Benito Mussolini into believing that Britain was a ‘frightened flabby old woman’ and that its elite would not fight for King and Country.

    Donald Dewar assured me 60 years ago that the Labour Party’s plan was that such puerile party games would be discouraged by the design of a PR Home Rule parliament seated in a manner which would foster a more consensual approach.

    It is concerning that Scottish Conservatives have been misled into thinking that they are the official opposition in a Westminster System parliament but that explains why they have taken over Labour’s overarching policy, derided by Cybernats as ‘SNP = Baad’ Maybe they are ignorant of how the structure of the Scottish Parliament and its Committees is designed to work, and of the other 34(?) differences from the Westminster System. Even worse, they may be uncritically parroting a PR line constructed in London.

  16. Drew Campbell says:

    Would, I wonder, the “Great Scottish Tory Revival” ((c) Daily Mail, 1986) have been quite so virulent had the revelations had come out last week that Plod is investigating their election expenses and withholding of key documents from the Electoral Commission?

    Just a thought.

  17. Thrawn says:

    1: Simple..they argue they are for Low taxes; Balanced books; Low energy prices + fighting for 10,000’s of energy jobs; For helping those who deserve aid but not creating perverse incentives for others not to work…etc etc. Now you can argue that none of the actual Scottish Tory policies will actually deliver those aims (I will disagree and am happy to have that argument another time) but you cannot argue that any of those aims are in themselves unpopular…and defending those values every week shouldn’t be too difficult especially as an opposition party in Scotland there is nothing to prove them wrong

    2: I wouldn’t it say its necessarily new terrain…but starting to convince centrist middle class ex blairite labour voters to (re)turn to them is certainly interesting. Also the big swings in rural scotland (19.3% in Angus!!) from the SNP to Conservative perhaps reflect that the SNP vote in those areas was softer than thought and linked to a distaste for Labour rather than a love of nationalism.

    3: In a way the Scottish Tories don’t need to distinguish themselves from Osborne and Westminster as they are in opposition in Scotland. It will be the relative perfomance of the Scottish economy to England that will matter more than the absolute as with 10 years of govt and new powers it will be SNP who will take responsability for any negative difference (just as they will be extremely eager to take all the credit for any positive difference)

    4: Why does she need to?…is Sturgeon moving on from the phenomenon of Sturgeon?…not by the fact her face was plastered everywhere during the campaign. And Davidson has the advantage of being new and fresh…plus a fantastic back story

    5: Demographics is over-rated – if everyone voted the same as they did when they were in their 20’s we would have perpetual socialist governments.

    6: I’ve no idea what your point is here…but fighting elections based on low taxes in opposition to party raising taxes (or at least not lowereing them) etc etc PLUS being Unionist is fertile ground

    7: Michelle Thomson; Natalie McGarry; Phil Boswell

    8: Given Ruth Davidson has been crystal clear about the Scottish Tory position on EU membership…given that the last election was held against the already pretty bitter backdrop of UK tory splits and didn’t seem to harm us much…and given the most likely scenario is a win for Remain…this is a pretty weak argument

    9: See point 1 for a pretty appealing retail offer and as for media well they love a narrative more than facts and “scrappy underdog bloodying the nose of lumbering SNP beast” is still pretty compelling.

    10: We’ll see but its not like the SNP ranks are bursting with new blood given the fact that most of thier MSP’s are returned constituency ones. Plus Ruth Davidson has enough charisma to go round

  18. Rab Haw says:

    Mr MacKinnon, may I suggest you clean or replace your rose coloured spectacles.

  19. Rab Haw says:

    THRAWN, you do realise the constituency vote was as follows:- SNP 59 seats, Tory party 7 and Labour party 3. Ms Davidsons Charisma is down to attending the Atilla the Hun School of manners and good breeding.

  20. Anton says:

    I do worry about posts like this. We’ll never achieve independence as long as we continue to demonise those who support the Union, and prefer knee-jerk to evidence. For example:

    “This was a protest vote. This was the backlash of everyone who hates the SNP, who didn’t want the referendum, who hates the whole national conversation and who just wants it all to stop and go away.” Oh really? Is there any evidence for that? Sounds to me like a straightforward example of cognitive dissonance (specifically the belief disconfirmation paradigm – look it up).

    “There’s no doubt that everyone was shocked by the Tory gains at Holyrood.” Apart, presumably, from the half a million Scots who voted Tory and were presumably delighted. What’s actually meant here is that “everyone I know” was shocked, which is by no means the same as “everyone”. Cognitive dissonance again (this time the availability heuristic).

    Our campaign for independence should be inclusive rather than abusive.

    1. glucosamine says:

      Good luck with that “inclusivity”.

      Your Culture War, fought along the constitutional divide, between socio- economic groups, hs already started.

      Enjoy!

  21. tubeofmunchies says:

    “Our campaign for independence should be inclusive rather than abusive.”

    Good Luck with That.

    Your Culture War, fought along the dividing line of the ‘constitutional question’, between soci0-economic groups – or ‘Class’ as some might have it – has already begun.

    Enjoy.

  22. Redgauntlet says:

    You won’t beat neo-liberalism without a Revolution..more bloody or less bloody..it is a total fantasy to believe that the SNP are interested in social justice…walk about the leafy suburbs of Glasgow and then do the same in the deprived areas of Glasgow and check it..

    …they don’t care.

    Neo-liberalism is drenched in blood. It started as a violent and bloody coup against the democratically elected government of Allende’s Chile in 73. It was planned and programmed by the CIA. And then the Chicago boys moved in to turn Chile into a right wing lab for neo liberal economics…

    The blood of thousands of innocent Chilenos is on the hands of those dogs who bark on about “free markets”….it is a free market at the end of a barrel of a gun….the free market of torturers, assassins and hired killers…it began in blood and it can only end in blood…that’s an observation, not a call to arms…

    And Patricio Guzman, gave testimony with his extraordinary film about the coup…absolutely sensational piece of film-making…

  23. Redgauntlet says:

    Con Roberto, siempre, and against the free marketeer c@unts who tried to kill him…

    “¿Entonces qué es una escritura de calidad? Pues lo que siempre ha sido: saber meter la cabeza en lo oscuro, saber saltar al vacío, saber que la literatura básicamente es un oficio peligroso. Correr por el borde del precipicio: a un lado el abismo sin fondo y al otro lado las caras que uno quiere, las sonrientes caras que uno quiere, y los libros, y los amigos, y la comida. Y aceptar esa evidencia aunque a veces nos pese más que la losa que cubre los restos de todos los escritores muertos. La literatura, como diría una folclórica andaluza, es un peligro…”

    1. Redgauntlet says:

      And I wish the wishy-washy, literary Scottish scene would come out of their gold plated lyrical cages – friggin Scottish lyricism is still the main literary form in Scotland, it’s unbelievable, it’s like the 20th century never even happened; poetry died at Auschwitz, except in Scotland – and listen to Don Roberto:

      “So what is quality writing? What it has always been: to ken how to stick yer heid in the dark, to ken how to jump into the void, to know basically that literature is a dangerous trade. To run along the edge of the precipice: and at one side the bottomless abyss, and at the other, the faces we love, and the books, and the friends and the dinners. And to accept that truth though at times it weighs upon us more than the gravestone which covers the remains of all dead writers. Literature….is a dangerous thing….”

  24. Redgauntlet says:

    And the enormous melancholy of Roberto….

    “Todo lo que he escrito es una carta de amor o de despedida a mi propia generación, los que nacimos en la década del cincuenta y los que escogimos en un momento dado el ejercicio de la milicia, en este caso sería más correcto decir la militancia, y entregamos lo poco que teníamos, lo mucho que teníamos, que era nuestra juventud, a una causa que creímos la más generosa de las causas del mundo y que en cierta forma lo era, pero que en la realidad no lo era….”

    “Everything I have ever written is a love letter or a goodbye letter to my own generation, those of us who were born in the 50’s and who chose, at a certain moment, the road of militancy…and who gave up the very little we had, which was our youth, to a cause which we believed was the most generous cause of the whole word, and in a certain way it was, but in actual fact, it wasn’t…”

    Scotland is a backwater. Nothing can happen in a country frozen in timer outside of history….

  25. wee e says:

    The Tories didn’t win a majority in 1955. Labour did.

    If you’re gonna say that the Tories were a majority in Scotland in 1955 then, by the same token, the Scottish Greens are actually the SNP, and the SNP just won a Holyrood majority of 65. Even more definitely, the LibDems must literally be Tories and the Tories must have won a majority in the 2010 UK GE.

    In 1955, there were a couple of rival unionist parties in Scotland – and they were Liberal Party splinter groups. Whigs, technically. Some of them by the 1950s accepted the Tory whip — but that still makes them less close to the Tories than the LibDems were 2010-15.

    The Tories only “won” in 1955 if you lump together these rival parties, plus some unionist independents, and then pretend anachronistially that they were really all along the same single UK party: the party that amalgamated with their rumps (so to speak) a decade later, and renamed itself for that purpose “Conservative & Unionist”.

    someoe has elided allof this in the Scottish wikipedia entries and also changed historic scottish election pages to show a “Conservatives” who never stood in that election as coming out on top: that doesn’t make it real.

  26. JohnEdgar says:

    Ruth Davidson cannot move on. She can only maintain the ridiculous antics of the Tory buffoon in female garb.
    Her policies are non existent. She only mutters the policies which emanate from Cameron and Co. When they change or are modified, Ruth has to quickly change tack. And so it will continue. The wheels will cone off the buffalo when the Tory infighting over EU gets nasty. Where do the Tories at Holyrood stand on that. Probably waiting for the text from No 10.

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