CommonSpace sums up the first day of the Scottish Tory conference in Glasgow
THE SCOTTISH TORIES are on a high with the party celebrating its best Holyrood results ever and ts best electoral results in Scotland since 1997.
As the party gathers to announce policy it will also seek to reaffirm its position as the official opposition to the SNP government and the most effective stand bearer of unionism in Scotland.
With a day that saw both the leader of the Scottish party and the prime minister speak to their party, we break down the points you may have missed from the first day of the party’s conference.
- Harry Potter proves the Act of Union is worth it
Many may have scorned the prime minister when she mentioned the hit fictional series by writer J K Rowling. But as far as Theresa May is concerned the Harry Potter franchise is a classic case of the innovation that comes from Scotland being inside the UK.
In a speech made today (Friday 3 March) in Glasgow, she listed a range of inventions and famous feats that showed collaboration between Scotland and England.
How else could “an author from Gloucestershire” write a novel “in a cafe in Edinburgh” which would go on to sell 500 million copies? The Union, that’s how.
- Dress to Impress
At party conferences, people like to show off their love of party and country.
What better way than this excellent sartorial expression of Britishness. Since the UK voted to leave the European Union last summer, UK Tories and their Scottish allies have been keen to emphasis the bright future that awaits with trade and the economy outside EU interference.
It wouldn’t be a Tory conference without a suit to show how much you really love Britain.
- When punks meet Tories
Outside the conference, a series of protests have been planned with one starting today and a second much larger gathering meeting tomorrow.
Disability activists and anti-austerity activists held signs outside the SECC exhibition centre in Glasgow to remind the Scottish Conservatives of the austerity being forced on to families around the country.
Organisers estimate crowds in the high hundreds tomorrow starting at 10.30am.
Also protesting the Tory conference were members of anti-detention and migrant support campaign groups We Will Rise, the Unity Centre and LGBT Unity who gathered to oppose Tory policy and actions on detention and sex education.
- Be like Norway
Among the range of literature and posters around the conference is the central message of a future that will be brighter once Britain leaves the EU.
Fishermen in Scotland have long been thought to be drivers of Euroscepticism as the EU’s quotas on fishing around the waters of member states mean that they are unable to fish to the volume they would like. The Scottish Tories have claimed that leaving the EU will free Scottish fishing and give it the same prominence like in countries such as Norway which refuses to abide by EU fishing rules.
The Scottish Government and pro-European advocates state that the reason for Scottish fishermen suffering is because of poorly negotiated deals by successive UK Government and not the EU.
- Scottish Tories to stop independence vote at any cost
The conference ended with a session dedicated to discussing how to deal with a second independence referendum. The delegates reaffirmed their commitment to defend the union and to reject any referendum bill proposed at Holyrood if it is brought forward.
Professor Adam Tomkins MSP, shadow secretary for communities, said: “People are looking for a voice of unity after ten years of disunity they are looking for a change and in Ruth Davidson they can see a leader who can stand for the majority. The majority who are not interested in bartering over the arguments of the past. Or a future that will never come.”
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