Scottish Conservative & Unionist? What’s in a name?

Scottish Conservative & Unionist? What’s in a name?

by Neil Stratton
article from Saturday 30, May, 2020

CONCERNED that during this lockdown its readers, their children and their children’s children might be suffering academic deprivation, Think Scotland has come up with its very own essay question.

Proposition: The current iteration of the Scottish Conservative & Unionist party is neither very Conservative nor very Unionist and in failing to live up to the latter attribute is doing a serious disservice to the first. Scotland needs a Conservative and Unionist opposition – not SNP Lite. 



ThinkScotland looks forward to reading your essays and will publish those worthy, in its unbiased opinion, of starred firsts.

I, for example, have argued in a series of articles on  and  that fishing is one area where Scotland has received a much better deal from being a member of the United Kingdom than the United Kingdom has received from the European Union. Furthermore, Scotland stands to gain substantially from Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland leaving the European Union together.  It is Scotland’s membership of the Union that will deliver this gain, it is a Conservative government that is delivering this gain. It is a Conservative & Unionist party that should be trumpeting this. 

Is it?

In contrast, it is the avowed ambition of the Scottish National Party, which claims to be ‘Stronger for Scotland’, to re-join the European Union and to throw away all the gains secured for our fishing industry. Surely the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party should be asking who really is stronger for Scotland?

Is it?

Yet, beyond a few vapid sound bites, what has the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party had to say on the matter? Hardly anything and certainly nothing that actually translates fine words into boxloads of fish on the quayside. 

Is it cheering on the UK government as it resists the demands of the EU negotiating teams for continued access to UK waters? 

Is it constantly reminding the people of Scotland that it is the Union and a Conservative government that is working to secure these increased opportunities for Scottish fishermen?

If it is, I must be more deaf than I thought. 

The SNP has left an open goal and yet the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party still cannot score. Isn’t it time to sack the manager and sign some new players?

Fishing is, however, just one of the industries where Scotland has benefited from being a member of the United Kingdom. There are many others and ThinkScotland is sure its readers will be able to draw on examples from these in their essays.

Over to you.

Neil Stratton is Chairman of the Scottish Borders Conservative & Unionist Association.

Essays between 800-1500 words can be submitted to The Editor via

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