Tories take a battering from Scotland and Northern Ireland

A former Conservative candidate dumped by his party just weeks before last year’s elections has dubbed the party north of the border as “rotten to the core”.

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A former Conservative candidate who was dumped by his party just weeks before last year’s elections to Holyrood has dubbed the party north of the border as “rotten to the core”.

cameron-davidsonMalcolm Macaskill’s dismissal as the party’s number one candidate on the regional list vote for Glasgow subsequently opened the way for Ruth Davidson to take his place on the list, allowing her to take the reigns as leader of the Scottish Conservative Party.

With reports at the time having suggested that even the party’s then leader, Annabel Goldie, was unaware of the sacking, Macaskill sought a judicial review over the decision.

With the Sunday Herald however, reporting over the weekend that an out of court settlement has been reached, Macaskill, who has since left the party, has used it as an opportunity lambast the way the party operates.

Speaking to the Sunday Herald he explained:

Over the past year, the treatment that I have been subjected to, along with the evidence that I have gathered, has convinced me that the party machine in and around Edinburgh central office is rotten to the core.

“I no longer wish to remain a member of such an inept and morally corrupt organisation.”

Turning his attention to the party’s leader, Ruth Davidson, who replaced him on the list, he argues that early signs “are not promising.” Addressing the apparent contradiction between Davidson declaring that the recently passed Scotland Act represented a “line in the sand” in talk of Scotland’s constitutional future and David Cameron hinting at extra powers for Holyrood, Macaskill continued:

“It remains to be seen how she will fare as leader. Early signs are not promising. The ‘line in the sand’ contradiction from David Cameron was embarrassing and severely undermined her authority.

“I can’t help but feel that the leadership role requires greater experience and that it may have been better suited to any one of the other three candidates.”

 


See also:

Northern Ireland urges politicians to make good on promises of a shared future 12 Jul 2012

ULSTER (still) SAYS NO 13 Jun 2012

Tory MSP: Cameron thinks we’re an “irrelevance” and are “just not on his radar” 18 May 2012

Tories in Scotland: A tale of two parties 20 Mar 2012


 

Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, another Conservative politician has come in for fierce criticism from the first and deputy first ministers.

Last Thursday, Northern Ireland secretary, Owen Paterson, used a speech to the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin to declare that it is “profoundly disappointing that we are still awaiting publication of the Cohesion, Sharing and Integration strategy from the Executive.”

This was despite the fact that just a day before the first and deputy first minister had issued a joint statement on that exact issue.

Paterson went on to announce that his office would be launching a consultation on the future organisational arrangements at Stormont including looking at the idea of establishing what he described as a “more normal system of government and opposition”.

His comments however were met with derision and outcry in equal measure from Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness, with the Belfast Telegraph  arguing:

“So savage was the riposte to his Dublin speech that it puts a question mark over the confidence of the two bigger parties in Mr Paterson as Ulster Secretary.”

Declaring it to be “ironic” that the secretary of state made the speech he did the day after Stormont made a statement on the shared future strategy, McGuinness went on to declare:

“Either Mr Paterson is so detached from politics here that he missed this statement, or he chose simply to ignore it for his own political reasons.”

Turning his attention to the announcement of a possible government/opposition system in Northern Ireland, the deputy first minister dubbed the idea “clumsy and ill-thought-out”, accusing Paterson of “seeking to use the bogus notion of a failure of the Executive to deliver on issues as a cover to try and start a debate on undermining the power-sharing and equality provisions of the Good Friday Agreement”.

In supporting McGuinness’ comments, Peter Robinson responded:

We would all like to see more progress on a number of issues, including reform of the government structures, but Mr Paterson knows full well that headline grabbing will do nothing to bring it about.

“I have long argued for reformed structures but such fundamental changes will require maturity among all involved.”

Turning his fire on the secretary of state, the first minister argued:

“Many within Northern Ireland will consider the secretary of state’s comments as ill-advised when they look at the relative stability of the Northern Ireland Executive and compare it with the on-going open warfare in the Westminster coalition.”

He continued:

“Mr Paterson has a growing track record of making partisan political points in an attempt to bolster his latest party political project in Northern Ireland.

“I need hardly remind him that his recent local political alliances have all ended in failure having been completely rejected by the electorate.

“I trust that in the future, this partisan secretary of state will direct his energies to matters where he can assist Northern Ireland rather than squander his time seeking soundbites.”

With the Northern Ireland Office having declined to respond to the pronouncements, shadow Northern Ireland secretary, Vernon Coaker declared:

“Owen Paterson’s ill-judged comments are inappropriate and unhelpful. While he lectures the Northern Ireland Executive on good governance, his own party and government is riven with splits and stumbling from one crisis to another.

“It may be that in due course the Northern Ireland parties decide that changes should be made to the current arrangements at Stormont. But that debate should be led by them and not prematurely ordered by this out-of-touch secretary of state.

“Owen Paterson needs to get on with his job and let the Northern Ireland Executive get on with theirs.”

 


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21 Responses to “Tories take a battering from Scotland and Northern Ireland”

  1. Trakgalvis

    RT @leftfootfwd: Tories take a battering from Scotland and Northern Ireland, writes @EdJacobs1985: http://t.co/vlY26CLV

  2. leftlinks

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  3. Jeff K. (#OYSlive)

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  4. Shamik Das

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  5. Political Planet

    Tories take a battering from Scotland and Northern Ireland: A former Conservative candidate dumped by his party … http://t.co/eUKcJ6o0

  6. NewsatLeft

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  7. NewsatLeft

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  8. Pulp Ark

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  9. Michael

    Tories take a battering from Scotland and Northern Ireland – http://t.co/Z2lLa1S9

  10. Ed Jacobs

    RT @leftfootfwd: Tories take a battering from Scotland and Northern Ireland http://t.co/lm9IgOuQ

  11. Mark Silver

    RT @leftfootfwd: Tories take a battering from Scotland and Northern Ireland http://t.co/lm9IgOuQ

  12. Trev Burnip

    #Tory quits after 35 yrs saying "“I no longer wish to remain a member of such an inept & morally corrupt organisation.” http://t.co/deD1g4xZ

  13. Linda Burnip

    #Tory quits after 35 yrs saying "“I no longer wish to remain a member of such an inept & morally corrupt organisation.” http://t.co/deD1g4xZ

  14. Alex Braithwaite

    RT @leftfootfwd: Tories take a battering from Scotland and http://t.co/cH1UdT8j

  15. KMJ

    RT @leftfootfwd: Tories take a battering from Scotland and Northern Ireland, writes @EdJacobs1985: http://t.co/eHdqewg4 #News

  16. Lee Myers

    #Tory quits after 35 yrs saying "“I no longer wish to remain a member of such an inept & morally corrupt organisation.” http://t.co/deD1g4xZ

  17. Peter Pink

    Tories take a battering from Scotland and Northern Ireland http://t.co/uaZhEoXI via @zite. >Good!

  18. Marjroy

    i just wish there could be a vote of confidence and get them voted out. however who could you put in their place. i think we all feel they are all as bad as one another. they have all lost touch with normal people/

  19. TristanPriceWilliams

    You really couldn’t make these idiots up.

    This has to be the most incompetent and inept Westminster government ever, and yet they have the nerve to criticise others… It is rare for me to want to agree with Robinson, but I can’t find fault with what he is saying there.

    As for the Tories in Scotland… Ruth Davidson was handed into the job by Cameron who wanted to rather dim yes woman to replace a leader who was infinitely more politically able than he was and who probably saw through all his contradictions. He certainly got that.

  20. Munguin

    Who would have thought that we could have a Westminster executive that was even more inept and cack-handed than that of Gordon Brown? Where GB continually re-launched his government over and over again, this one instead reaffirms its commitment to the shotgun wedding that is the coalition. At least GB had the excuse of being at the fag-end of the Labour government for his lack of any personalities, charisma or talent. This one is barely half way through its first term, and from the off fiascos and U-turns have been the order of the day. So much so that rather than do anything about them the government tries to convince us all that U-turns are good and fiascos are normal.

    To describe Ruth Davidson as “not promising” seems to me to be letting her off lightly. She is, not to put too fine a point on, totally crap. She looks and sounds totally out of her depth, and fails to ever get even close to landing a blow on Alex Salmond, so much so indeed that she might as well not even be there. How the Tories though that she would be a better bet than Annabel Goldie quite escapes me, at least Ms Goldie was personally popular even if her party continued to be toxic in Scotland. Ms Davidson from what I can see just does not have the personality to be personally popular and as a consequence I don’t see how she can even hope to begin to rehabilitate the Tory brand in Scotland. The “line in the sand” thing was quite ridiculous. But it is not just the Tories that are not all singing from the same hymn sheet when it comes to a consistent message. I see that Welsh Labour are pressing for votes for 16 and 17 year olds, which is quite at odds with Scottish Labour leaders desire not to see these people get a vote in the independence referendum in 2014. Would that be because in Scotland they would probably vote “yes” but in Wales they would probably vote “labour”?

  21. Kevin Richards

    More knives are out RT @leftfootfwd: Tories take a battering from Scotland and Northern Ireland http://t.co/K41mn3mb

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