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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Why the SNP are unfit to govern

This may be a slightly old subject but with the upcoming Scottish Parliament elections less than a year away I wanted to say something about the SNP and their handling of the release of the Lockerbie bomber. Now, most Americans thought of Scotland as being a quaint little place full of kilts and haggis until this episode unfolded. Most Americans were aware of the occurrences of that fateful night in 1988 but they had moved and and were satisfied that the perpetrator had been brought to justice. Until the SNP stepped in. Now, I should preface this by saying that I am a proud Scot, probably even more so now that I am an ex-pat. Never in my life have I been ashamed to be a Scot. Never, in my entire time with the supposedly anti-Scottish Tory party did I feel remotely ashamed to be Scottish. Until the SNP stepped in. With their frankly bizarre decision to release Mr Megrahi they achieved what i thought was impossible. I had people hear my accent and ask me why this guy was being released. These were just normal Americans that were distraught, not angry but distraught at seeing this mass murderer go free. And you know what? I had no idea what to say. I just felt ashamed. So there you go. The Party that is supposedly pro Scotland, the Party that is supposedly the defender of the Scottish race achieved what I thought was impossible. They made me ashamed to be Scottish!

Now, what could the reasons be? Compassion? Aye right. This was nothing other than a desperate attempt to be seen as relevant on the world stage. Well I can tell you it backfired spectacularly in the USA. The standing of Scotland and her proud reputation has been damaged and in my opinion it will take several years to be built back up again. So wee Eck and his cohorts have had a shot. We all thought it was time for a change but they have shown that they are unfit to govern and must be kicked out next May.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Back at long last

Well I am finally back blogging after a long break. I have returned to the USA nd am now gainfully employed with two jobs! At least I don't get taxed the hell out of like I would back in Blighty. Anyway back to my usual subject matter, the Scottish Conservatives. I hear that they had one of their Policy Conferences recently. I attended the last one in Dunblane a couple of years back and found it to be a pretty useful experience. A word of caution though. Please, please, please do not come out with some utter piffle like building a Maglev line between Glasgow and Edinburgh. I distinctly remember this from the last Scottish Parliament elections. I mean come on! Does anyone really think it would happen, it would cost an utterly ludicrous amount of money and does anyone think that your average middle/working class punter cares about a Maglev line being built? No, they tend to care about how good their local school is or if their local hospital is clean. Please remember this when coming up with policies. To be fair though I disagreed with some policies last time, such as releasing our manifesto then saying we would not go in to coalition with anyone. I thought that was a tactical mistake but I will hold my hands up and admit that I was wrong. Clearly there are some good people with good ideas, lets just keep things sensible eh?

So, Mike Crow is no longer part of the team. This blogger will not be shedding any tears over that. I was extremely impressed when I heard that he had been recruited to the team but my dealings with him and other colleagues dealing with him seemed to paint a picture of a very abrasive person. With me personally he was unbelievably rude to me at the Perth Conference and I just thought he was an arrogant pig headed person who didn't actually bring much to the Party. Still, I wish him all the best in the future.

On a final note, I hear that Jackson Carlaw, a good friend of mine (I hope he won't mind me saying)has been selected to fight the Eastwood seat at the Scottish Parliament elections. Jackson has known me since I first joined as a member in East Ren and has guided, cajoled and generally been a great help to me in all my political dealings over the past 7 years or so. I would like to wish Jackson all the best and hopefully I will be able to help at some point in the campaign.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What is to be done?

Well, I suppose my first post should really be about the recent General Election, after all it is the biggest political news at this time. Unfortunately I was not involved in any campaigns because I could not get away from the US of A. Does that mean I shouldn't comment or criticize on individual campaigns or the campaign as a whole in Scotland? Probably, but I am going to give my tuppence worth anyway!!

OK, I am going to start with the Coalition. I am worried that the Conservatives are leaning to far to the Centre. Unlike some other opinion I don't fear we will go too far left but lets face it anything is better than Gordon Brown. I wish the new Government all the very best, I will continue to watch from afar and hope the Liberals aren't allowed to come up with too many hair brained schemes. Families in one bed flats eh Mr Clegg?

Anyway down to business. The result in Scotland was bloody awful. No matter how you look at it the result was rubbish. All of our 'winnable' seats went back the way and we are now in a worse position than we were in 2001 or 2005 which is a truly mind boggling place to be. I mean we had the most unpopular Labour Government since 1979 and we go back the way?!? What the hell happened?

Does the blame lie with candidates? Does the blame lie centrally? Probably both to be honest. The shocking lack of diversity in top seat candidates really needs addressed. I remember sitting at a meeting of target seat candidates at the Ayr conference and every one of them was a middle aged white man. Not good. Interestingly one of them said, "I wonder how many of us will be MP's after the next election." Hmmmm big fat zero then my man. I mean, don't get me wrong, they are all good people (well mostly) but every one of them failed. Apart from one.

Now some of the people that read this blog will know that I worked for David Mundell. Some of the people reading this will not like David Mundell. He is our only MP so he must have some idea of what he is doing. A lot has been said since the election about what should happen to the Scottish Tories. Well I think they could do worse than making Mr Mundell Chairman again, or even a new Chief Exec role could be created. He is an excellent campaigner, an excellent organiser and, one of the more important points, he can spot problems and deal with them in a timely fashion. Mr Mundell expects hard work from people but will work hard himself. The chances of getting this through the Party would be pretty slim. Well, he got elected, no one else did and he even increased his majority. I think some of you should be asking yourself why!

The other thing I have heard mooted recently is the idea of a separate Tory Party in Scotland along the lines of the German CDU model. This is utter nonesense. Does anyone really think that cutting the Scottish Tories loose will help them? We have been semi autonomous for a while now and it has hardly borne fruit. No, what I think should happen is the opposite. We should come under direct control from CHQ in London. A controversial idea I agree but I can't help feeling they may have better working practices. Again this is something that would be very difficult to sell to the Party.

So, there you go. Thats my opinion on recent events. Please feel free to comment.

Me in my natural state

Me in my natural state
mmmmm, tasty