Saturday, June 5, 2010

Can Richard Cook revive the Scottish Conservatives? (Part Four)

Policy development

To close my analysis of Richard Cook's bid to become Deputy Chairman of the Scottish Conservatives, I endorse his views on improving the methodologies utilised to collate ideas for policy across the Conservative party in Scotland.

My biggest worry is that will the MSP group at Holyrood and David Cameron's team in London really listen? Will they really take the policy forum that Richard wants to bring back to life seriously? Its certinaly a good idea, because we do need an active policy forum after all. Many of the good ideas that will win votes come from the grassroots and therefore the grassroots must be listened to.

George Kynoch has been an absolute pleasure to listen to at the various Conservative party events that I have attended in the last few months. But, without disrespect, in his letter of appeal for votes to retain the position of Deputy Chairman, he states that he has got Scottish members and David Cameron's team in London's relationship repaired professionally and financially. That is a positive step, but some Conservatives in Scotland now ask the question that could provoke a potential disagreement amongst members: Should the Scottish Conservative party break away from the party south of the border and be an independent Scottish centre-right party?

I don't know what Mr Kynoch makes of this but this is a prospect that the party faces in the very near future. Some believe that this is inevitable if the party is to win back seats and voters in Scotland. I think this is the best solution if we are to get our vote back up. There still would be a professional relationship between the party in Scotland the party south of the border, but policy would be different. That is the only way that the Conservative party here should evolve if the future of the United Kingdom is to be secure. The dynamic of the Union has changed considerably over the last ten years. There are still people in the party who just don't get that. They must accept this now, otherwise Alex Salmond will have things his way.

Also, one other unattractive feature of the personality of the party in Scotland must go immediately - self-pity. Kynoch, in his letter, also states that although the campaign at the previous General Election was one of the most well supported in years, the party could not compete against the blantant lies and tactical voting of our opponents.

Of course its wrong for any of our opponents to lie (take note left-wing parties (Labour, Lib Dem and SNP). Of course its cheap to utilise tactical voting to keep another opponent out (which is why I see Alternative Vote as a good thing in a way so that you can rank candidates rather than vote for one only, but I still don't support AV just because of that). Of course Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP take the voters of Scotland for granted and deceive them. But, our Scottish Conservative party are letting them get away with it, election after election! That must stop! George Kynoch is right to highlight those points, but the big wrong he has done is that he has coated himself and the party with self-pity. Not good enough. You don't win elections that way.

On the other hand, Richard Cook has outlined his vision for a radical change in the Scottish Conservative party. As David Cameron once said, "change to win".

We have to change to win. That is why I voted for Richard Cook this week and that is why I urge every Scottish Conservative party member to cast their vote for Richard Cook.

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