There are two thoughts that spring to mind with the election of Ruth Davidson as the new Scottish Tory leader. The first thought was jeez political leaders are getting younger. I think that Davidson is now the first party leader anywhere in the UK younger than me.
The second thought though was that this wasn’t so much as Turkey’s voting for Christmas but Dodo’s voting for extinction. The Scottish Conservative’s have voted to carry on the same path that has kept them in the political wilderness in Scottish terms. I’d like to know what thought process made people vote for a candidate who believes that the status quo has served her party well. Make no mistake, Murdo Fraser’s policy to cut strings with Conservative Central Office would have been good for Scottish Democracy. To re-position any new party to the centre-right in Scottish terms would firstly have been a step away from the legacy of Thatcher – bloggers and commentators consistently underestimate how much Thatcher poisoned the wells of right wing politics in the Scottish political landscape.
Removing the desire, the impulse to follow the influence of her acolytes would have returned the new party to (in Scottish terms) a position on the centre right. This would make them more attractive to centre right voters. It would also pose a question to Scottish Labour, should they try to hold on to their current centre/centre-right position or should they try to re-position themselves on the centre left – attacking the SNP from a left wing position. However this assumes that those voting have thought about all of this, and assumes that these people support and hold office with the Tories have Scotland’s best interests at heart.
History has told us otherwise. These are the people who believe that unemployment is a price worth paying for low interest rates. These are the people who believe that if it isn’t hurting, then it isn’t working. It is those attitudes that still prevail in the Scottish Conservative party and it is those attitudes that will condemn them to more beatings at the polls.