The Scottish Tories have just met in Perth. They meet amidst no real sign of progress according to The Sunday Herald:
"The Tories won only two seats at the last three general elections in Scotland; they flatlined at the 2003 Holyrood poll; and they control one council out of 32 north of the Border."
What should be done? The Herald’s Paul Hutcheon offers a few suggestions:
- A name change: "They should either drop Unionist from their title or mutate into the Scottish Reform party. This would help the Tories dump their dodgy brand name and offer a new product."
- Fiscal independence: "The second solution is to back fiscal autonomy for the Scottish parliament. Increasing its powers would forever alter the perception that they hate home rule." This move to greater devolution was examined on ConservativeHome in December.
- A CDU-CSU style relationship with London’s Tories: "An equally important change is to declare autonomy from the UK party. They should become, in the words of deputy leader Murdo Fraser, a “separate party, separately funded, with separate responsibility for policy”. Such a move would end the jibes of the Scottish Conservatives being Englishmen in disguise." Such a move is, apparently, strongly resisted by some of the Scottish Tories’ big money supporters.
- Deselection of under-performing MSPs. "A final reform is to assess the performance of the 18 Tory MSPs. They do little except tend to their own interests and have failed to make an impact at Holyrood. A handful of de-selections would do wonders for the party." Not a bad idea for Westminster’s bedblockers either…
Related link: Scotland Needs Conservatives by Oberon Houston.