Scottish Tory leader: Lib Dems have “ceased to function as a viable party in Scotland”

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has savaged her coalition partners, saying the Liberal Democrats have “ceased to function as a viable party in Scotland”.

E-mail-sign-up Donate



If yesterday’s joint event in Basildon by David Cameron and Nick Clegg was designed to relaunch the coalition in the wake of last week’s appalling local election results, the memo outlining the plan to Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson seemingly got lost in the post.

Danny-Alexander-black-and-whiteDavidson declared the Liberal Democrats, the Tories’ coalition partners in Westminster, had:

“Ceased to function as a viable party in Scotland.”

Against a backdrop of results last week that saw the Lib Dems north of the border lose 80 councillors, reduced to a total now of just 71 right across Scotland, Davidson’s comments were designed as an attempt to woo Lib Dems to join the Tories.

She argued:

“Having last year been reduced to a rump of just five MSPs and having now lost more than half of their councillors, being firmly relegated to fourth position in Scottish politics, the Liberal Democrats have to all intents and purposes ceased to function as a viable party in Scotland.

“My message to moderate, non-socialist Liberal Democrats is that there is a home for you with the Scottish Conservatives.

“By moving your support to the Scottish Conservatives we can together take forward our shared belief in freedom, local decision making, devolving more power from the Scottish Parliament to Scotland’s communities and defending Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom.”


See also:

Fees hike dragged Scottish Lib Dems into “political gutter” says former leader 19 Sep 2011

Is a vote for the Scottish Lib Dems a vote for independence? 3 May 2011

Scottish Lib Dem leader “not particularly comfortable” with ConDem coalition 18 Apr 2011

Are Scottish Liberal Democrats rodents deserting a sinking ship? 5 Apr 2011

Lib Dems face Scottish poll meltdown 14 Mar 2011

Clegg’s Scottish discomfort 17 Jan 2011

“Vote with your conscience” on VAT, Scots Lib Dems urged 12 Jul 2010


Her remarks, however, were met with laughter from the Lib Dems, who noted the Tories themselves have just one Scottish MP in Westminster.

A Lib Dem spokesman responded:

“We all had a good chuckle at this.

“We don’t really know if Ruth Davidson really believes this nonsense, but with only thirty more councillors and just a tenth of the MPs we have got in Scotland she would do better looking at the state of her own party.

“There is a need for strong liberal voices in Scottish politics and the Tories are certainly not that.”

And for the SNP, MSP Chic Brodie observed:

Why on earth would Lib Dem voters now want to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire?

“Former Lib Dem voters know that it was the propping up of the Tories at Westminster which is to blame for the party’s dismal showing in the council elections.

“It is bizarre as it is ridiculous that Lib Dems would now want to defect or lend their vote to the party which their wayward leadership has so foolishly jumped into bed with.”

Meanwhile, over at the Herald today, political columnist Ian Bell has advice of his own for the Lib Dems, namely that it is time to leave the government altogether.

In his column, he concludes:

“If Clegg wants to salvage his party he must walk, and walk now. It’s not for me to save the Liberal Democrats from themselves: after the last couple of years, I’d supply the whisky and load the revolver. Dispassionately, though, there is clear evidence that if Westminster’s vaunted third force does not extricate itself from the morass, the heirs to Liberal tradition will be sucked under.

“Mr Clegg could, if wise – but let’s not push our luck – make a virtue of dissolving the Coalition. There are plenty of Tory choices he could, or should, find intolerable. He could make something or other an issue of principle, look doleful, and invite Ed Miliband round for coffee. The ensuing election would be miserable for the LibDems, but it would at least present a route back to self-respect.

“Judging by the leaks ahead of today’s Queen’s Speech, there are no signs of such a thing happening. Instead, Mr Clegg’s faction wish only to “differentiate” themselves, just a bit, from their symbionts. So it falls to LibDem activists, such as remain, to ask a simple question. Why is their party being destroyed for the sake of a Coalition that has failed, even on its own terms?

“Could it be that the only person still saying: “I’m with Nick” is named Clegg?”


Sign-up to our weekly email • Donate to Left Foot Forward

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.

24 Responses to “Scottish Tory leader: Lib Dems have “ceased to function as a viable party in Scotland””

  1. Owain Gardner

    Scottish Tory leader: Lib Dems have “ceased to function as a viable party in Scotland”: by @EdJacobs1985

  2. Mark @tweet4votes

    Scottish Tory leader: Lib Dems have “ceased to function as a viable party in Scotland”: by @EdJacobs1985

  3. Russ

    Scottish Tory leader: Lib Dems have “ceased to function as a viable party in Scotland”: by @EdJacobs1985

  4. Robert Bowers

    Scottish Tory leader: Lib Dems have “ceased to function as a viable party in Scotland”: by @EdJacobs1985

  5. leftlinks

    Left Foot Forward – Scottish Tory leader: Lib Dems have “ceased to function as a viable party in…

  6. Stuart Saunders

    RT @leftfootfwd: Scottish Tory leader: Lib Dems have “ceased to function as a viable party in Scotland”

  7. Foxy52

    RT @leftfootfwd: Scottish Tory leader: Lib Dems have “ceased to function as a viable party in Scotland”

  8. Ed Jacobs

    RT @leftfootfwd: Scottish Tory leader: Lib Dems have “ceased to function as a viable party in Scotland”

  9. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: Scottish Tory leader: Lib Dems have “ceased to function as a viable party in Scotland”

  10. Mr. Sensible

    Bet that will go well…

  11. Anonymous

    And eventually the Tories will decide to cut Scotland ‘free’. Free to be enslaved by state debt even more that the rest of the UK.

    Or the English could decide to walk away from the Union, leaving the Scots, Welsh and Irish with the debts.

  12. Anonymous

    Funny, you’re working very hard to kick the Scots out.
    And I see, that’s the plan is it, illegal debt dumping. Typical.

    By the “English”, you of course mean your Feral 1%.

  13. Anonymous

    Isn’t that what the Scots are planning?

    Pro rata share of the debts, but a Barnett formula share of tax revenues?

    Or are they planning on dumping all the debt. Wouldn’t surprise me if the repudiated the debt.

    Leaving the union to dodge debt, leaving the country to dodge debts.

  14. Anonymous

    Funny man. It’s no surprise that you’d accuse other people of planning your kind of scams. Scam, scam, scam, it’s what you know.

    And yes, yes, how DARE someone outside your Feral 1% caste aspire to a descent job, yes, yes. CHINESE WAGES AND YOU’LL LIKE IT, SCUM.

  15. Anonymous

    More debt, more debt. The 5% of the UK working for the state want 50% of the UK income. Lets spend it now, and screw the kids.

    Debt forgiveness for the children of the third world suffering because of their corrupt leaders.

    Debt forgiveness for the children of the UK? Stuff that says Newsbot, I want it now. It’s my entitlement.

    PS If I don’t get it I huff and puff and become a tax exile. Pretty much sums up all the Parties attitude.

    So come on, how much does the UK government ‘owe’ in pensions? Ah yes the dirty secret.

  16. Anonymous

    Oh yes, that’s right, they want to be able to feed their kids, and have a house. EVIL CREATURES OF SATAN.

    And according to you the pension debt is ZERO+parliaments, because they’re for the 99% and must be cancelled except for the politicans. Caste privileges must be maintained!

    And of course you don’t get it – thanks for admitting once again explicitly you’re a tax evader.

  17. Publicspeaking4kids

    Scottish Tory leader: Lib Dems have “ceased to function as a viable party in …

  18. Anonymous

    I thought the lib dems were already tories

  19. Patrick

    “Feral”, “caste”, “your kind”, “scam”, “scum” -is that language of the ‘moderate left’?

  20. ros clyde

    Sorry Blagger, but it’s not within the remit of an Etonite Tory, any other hue of Tory, or even a Tory from the Labour Party (like Blair, Mandy, Miliband or Balls) to cut Scotland free. That falls within the category we call democracy:- where “the people” decide by referenda.

    On debts etc’, you really should do a little research like say, check Westminster’s own figures and stats, it’ll furnish you with the information that the Government of Scotland have been bringing home a budget surplus to the tune of billions every year for the last 5yrs whilst over the same period Westminster (British Govt) have been in a deficit, leaking over 40 times as much money as Scotland’s made.

    Everybody else’ll all be in debt and London and the south won’t if the people of Scotland and whoever else don’t allow them to continue mismanaging their input into London’s coffers. Westminster spewed the exact same nonsense out to Australia, India, New Zealand, Canada and the United States along with a whole host of other nations who have since done better governing themselves than they ever did by allowing London to take away their wealth and hand them back some pocket-money.

    Ever heard of a book (or pamphlet) called “Common Sense”? It swept through the states of North America like wildfire round about 1774, by 1776 the United states of America had well and truly prised London’s greedy fingers out of their pockets by sending them home with a bloody nose and declaring independence. This was borne out of over taxation – “Austerity measures”. Same in Ireland, same in India, Australia, same everywhere. “Greed”, London had it all, but the rich won’t stop being greedy so they inevitably lose what they ever had.

  21. ros clyde

    They are, we call them the Libservatives in Scotland, but they’ll all be gone soon enough. They won’t make it into the next decade. I can see UKIP overtaking them in England at the next election and I can envisage them propping up another Conservative Govt the way the Libs have Labour for decades.

  22. Anonymous

    I’m talking to people in their own language, of course.

  23. Look Left – Miliband’s speech, the Queen’s Speech and Vidal Sassoon | Left Foot Forward

    […] a factory down south, up north the children were squabbling as Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson declared the Lib Dems had “ceased to function as a viable party in […]

  24. Charles Patrick O'Brien

    This is what I posted on the Express page,as at least they let me post my opinion.
    Well since we cant get an impartial media on the subject we will need every person we can get.I see that impartial reporting has long disappeared,I think the term is “Lost integrity” and no amount of pointing it out will see much honesty return to reporting.
    Why is there so much fear attached to independence?
    Are some of the media folk scared of losing some money or prestige (that needs integrity).
    Would the new horizons that could get opened I would have thought that some reasonably intelligent people would see that they can be the history,and enjoy all that will come.Still just my dreams if I live till I’m 96 I might see another referendum! or could enjoy the new world and experience the excitement this Scotland can be the “New State of Excitement” then I’ll take my pills and go to bed early.

Leave a Reply