Tories’ “irrational fear” of Scotland and Wales

Ed Miliband accused the Tories of being "pessimistic". With elections due in Scotland and Wales, the Conservatives have marched to the new Labour leader's tune.

In his speech to Labour’s conference last week, Ed Miliband said to Mr Cameron directly, “you were the optimist once but now all you offer is a miserable, pessimistic view of what Britain can achieve.” With elections next year in Scotland and Wales, the Conservatives have marched to the new Labour leader’s tune with derogatory remarks about Scotland’s voters and politicians.

Speaking to delegates on the final day of the Tory conference, their leader in Scotland, Annabel Goldie, launched a tirade against Labour and the SNP. Opening her speech, she remarked:

“Do you know, when you type ‘Miliband’ into the computer – what do you think the first thing is that spellcheck comes up with? Militant. Back to the Seventies indeed! And who will ever forget them?

“You may think you’ve got it bad at Westminster with Red Ed. But spare a thought for us in Scotland. Red Ed has found a new chum in Alex Salmond who praised the new, Old-Labour leader and welcomed him to the ‘sensible ground’ of politics. Sensible?

“Aye, right. And next year I’ll be Miss World.

“So I don’t just have unreconstructed Labour to contend with in Scotland, I have Red Ed’s tartan-troosered friend, Red Eck.”

Her attack came just a day after one of the party’s candidates in next year’s elections to Holyrood, Ivor Tiefenbrun declared:

“The way Labour work is that they have demonised Thatcher as if she was an evil force.

“It’s only because Scots are so thick that this was swallowed.”

Ironically, as Goldie launched her attack on Scotland’s two largest parties, the Conservative’s sole MP in Scotland, David Mundell concluded that many Scots have an “irrational fear” of the Conservatives. Given the ‘positive’ contributions made by Goldie and Tiefenbrun, perhaps the irrational fear is, in fact, of Scotland.

Equally ‘helpful’ to the debate on the future of the country, Welsh Secretary, Cheryl Gillan told the conference:

“We simply cannot afford to let Wales continue as a Labour fiefdom – a fiefdom of the party that brought us the deepest recession for generations, which created economic turmoil and landed our country with crippling debt.”

Little was said though to build on her remarks in July to the Welsh Affairs Select Committee, when she candidly admitted:

“There is an acceptance across government that there could be a disproportionate effect on Wales and therefore in budget discussions we are looking at the impact on the Welsh budget.”

Optimistic? Perhaps best for readers to decide.

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