Monday, June 30, 2008

I don't know what it is, Brown, but somehow you piss me off.

The title of this article in the Independent is a more sober, "Gordon Brown thought he could rely on the Scottish vote – now it could bring him down" but I'm sure that Bruce Anderson would have preferred to title it with my version.

His comment below is probably the stand out

When Labour dominated the Scottish executive, there was no equivalent of the prawn cocktail offensive that the Blairites launched to woo the City. Most Holyrood Labour ministers were surly, glottal-stopped, class-hating mediocrities. It was hardly surprising that businessmen who had dealings with them found the process deeply depressing, especially as everyone assumed that they and their ilk would be in power for ever. Now, however, the Nat ministers use the language of free enterprise. There has been a smoked-salmon canapé offensive. This has led a lot of Scots who are natural Tories to conclude that independence might not be too bad after all.
In this he is quite right, Tories in Scotland are generally seeing there is a better way forward than being ruled by a government in London, that has little relevance for a modern Scotland. In this they have been helped by the way Annabelle Goldie has handled Holyrood since the elections in 2007 gave Labour a bloody nose. She has been the only stand out Tory performer the Scottish Government. The problem with the Tories in Scotland is that they have been to hell and back and attracting really good people back into politics is a long and slow process. The beginnings are there but much work is still required. Bruce Anderson has this to say on this subject
Even if the Scottish Tory party were led by Adam Smith, Henry Dundas and Walter Scott, it would have difficulty in overcoming its countrymen's snivelling resentment. But the current leadership is some way below world-historical class. In the 80s and 90s, the Scots Tories produced Messrs Forsyth, Lang, Rifkind and Younger, plus my Lords Mackay and Strathclyde – as well as a score of able though less eminent figures. Today, most of their successors are dire, and proportional representation creates another obstacle to a Tory revival. Under PR, those at the top of the party's list are virtually guaranteed a seat, however badly the Tories do short of extinction, not yet a danger. In the Scottish Parliament, the Tory leaders enjoy status and income without having to fight for it. They have no incentive to resist genteel decline, and there is a further hazard.
I would disagree with him on his last point. I do see a resurgence in the Scottish Tories, no longer do you only whisper you are a Tory. With this resurgence will come competition for position and this will make for better candidates.

One final point from his article is as follows
It is extraordinary that Mr Brown could not persuade Wendy Alexander to stay on at least until the by-election was over. She has been a hopeless minister, a truculent colleague and a useless leader. She might at least have tried to compensate for this by showing some gratitude to the man who made her political career. (No wonder they were drawn to one another. They are similar personalities.)
This is very much in tune with what I thought over the weekend when I heard about Wendy's "resignation". The two of them were of such similar outlooks that you wonder if the one can exist without the other in the Labour hierarchy. Only time will tell.

Bruce Anderson: Gordon Brown thought he could rely on the Scottish vote – now it could bring him down - Bruce Anderson, Commentators - The Independent

1 comment:

Noddy said...

There is one problem for the Toffs, sorry, Scottish Tories. Repeat after me the full party name..... I'm sure it mentions their adherence to the Union somewhere.