Monday, September 05, 2011

The new face of conservativism and the politics of despair

May appear shortly in Scotland (details here). Scotland once voted for the Conservative Party in large numbers and once the party had a majority of Scottish seats. This is no more and since 1997 there have been no more than 1 Conservative Party MP elected from Scotland. So what to do?

One idea being floated is for the Scottish Conservative Party to break from the Conservative Party, forming a new "centre-right" party in Scotland. This raises several issues:

* Why is there a need for a new centre-right party in Scotland? Isn't the current Conservative Party centrist enough? OR is it the case that Conservative Party members north of the English border believe the Conservatives down south have lurched to the right?

* Is this the politics of desperation? PM David Cameron has done much to "de-toxify" the Tory brand. Has this utterly failed in Scotland? It would seem so.

I doubt that this new party will come into being anytime soon. If anything, I suspect it is an attempt by Conservative Party members in Scotland to sound alarm bells in Westminster about a likely forthcoming vote on Scotland's independence in the hope that the party will take a more vocal position on this issue. We shall see whether this gambit has worked in the months ahead....

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