Scottish Conservatives need a leader to take the fight to Sturgeon – not make swipes at colleagues

Scottish Conservatives need a leader to take the fight to Sturgeon – not make swipes at colleagues

by Allan Smith
article from Wednesday 8, July, 2020

I TAKE NO PLEASURE whatsoever in writing this article. I have been an approved Conservative candidate since 2011 and a committed campaigner with the party for many years prior to that,

I did not support Jackson Carlaw in this year’s leadership election; however I congratulated him on his victory and was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and support his leadership going forward.

This last weekend was a hugely depressing and worrying one for anyone who is pro–UK in Scotland. 

Despite all the clear an obvious failings in the manner in which Nicola Sturgeon and her government have managed the Covid-19 crisis, not only does she appear to have the support of more than 50 per cent of the country according to a Panelbase poll. Support for independence sits at a record high of 54 per cent according to research done by the same pollsters.

Alarm bells should be ringing in Northumberland Street!

Far from that being the case however, we have a leader who appears to still be basking in the glory of his leadership election victory last February. Make no mistake, Nicola Sturgeon has presented Mr Carlaw with several open goals during this crisis. Not only has he failed to find the net. It could be argued he’s playing for a different team after his comments over the weekend.

Jacob Rees-Mogg’s comments about Nicola Sturgeon where he compared her politics to those of Donald Trump and accused her of “wanting to build a wall” are precisely the sort that we should be hearing from the Scottish Conservative and Unionist leader.

Far from that being the case, the response from Mr Carlaw was to describe Rees-Mogg’s comments as “unhelpful”. 

This, after a weekend that saw Saltire-waving racists manning the border in hazmat suits ordering motorists driving in to Scotland to “f***-off back home” 

These buffoons are Sturgeon’s disciples. Many of those there proudly display social media posts pictured grinning with the First Minister. It should come as little surprise then that the distancing of Sturgeon from her admirers had to be drawn out of her. Mr Carlaw eventually condemned these disgusting scenes on Saturday evening. It’s telling however that the Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf  beat him to it.

We have heard little in the way of criticism from him about the daily SNP party political broadcast from the First Minister and her carefully selected band of “experts” being allowed to continue without the opportunity for opposition politicians to question her.

On a weekend where one of  Nicola Sturgeon’s medical experts was forced to apologise for a tweet in which she explained to her American followers that the unionist majority in Scotland were “anti-Scottish”; we have yet to hear anything from the leader of our party on the matter.

In one instance a member of his MSP intake actually thanked her for removing the tweet and apologising! 

There is so much that Mr Carlaw could be saying to the First Minister regarding her handling of this crisis or her failures in Government in general.

I doubt very much there is anyone reading this on any side of the political debate who sincerely believes he’s managed to do anything of significance during his time in charge, other than to divide the party. Again, I take no pleasure in saying that but you simply need to go on to Conservative Twitter to see the views of rank and file Scottish Conservative supporters.

Something needs to drastically change. 

No more cosying up to the First Minister. No more criticism of fellow Conservative politicians who are quite rightly critical of her on forceful terms like she uses against us.

We need a leader of our party who is willing and able to take the fight to Sturgeon and her separatists.

Not just for our party’s sake but for Scotland’s future.

Unfortunately at present, we’re coasting towards electoral oblivion at next year’s Scottish elections. And should that disaster occur then worse will come. Of that we can be certain.

Allan Smith is a life-long Scottish Conservative activist living in Edinburgh.

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