Prime minister celebrates right-wing unionism at party conference
THE CONSERVATIVES are “the only party of the union” and will focus on its unionism during the Scottish election, Prime Minister David Cameron claimed today [Friday 4 March] in Edinburgh.
The Conservative and Unionist party, traditionally British nationalist, is keen to emphasise its dedication to the union at a time when Labour and the LibDems seek to win back pro-independence voters lost to the SNP.
While Cameron celebrated his party’s UK re-election, the Scottish Tories received its worst share of the vote last year since 1865.
“We always said we were the party of the union, but now it’s clear we’re the only party of the union.” Prime Minister David Cameron
Cameron said: “We always said we were the party of the union, but now it’s clear we’re the only party of the union. For the SNP, it’s still independence or nothing despite us settling the matter for a generation.
“And now we’ve got Labour – and the Lib Dems – saying their politicians can campaign either way if a second referendum should ever take place, effectively abandoning their support for the union.
“For Scotland, this is huge. It leaves just one party – the Conservatives and one person – Ruth to speak up for the two million people who voted No in that referendum.”
The Labour-Tory ‘better together’ alliance that opposed independence has since broken down, with each party blaming the other for the rise of the SNP and the prospect of a second independence referendum.
Labour claim that the Tory campaign strategy of equating unionism with the Tories will make the union more unpopular.
The Scottish National Party criticised Cameron’s visit.
SNP Business Convenor Derek Mackay said: “David Cameron should exercise caution in lecturing Scotland – perhaps by getting his own house in order first by reversing the failing Tory agenda of further punitive cuts and damaging austerity.
“Based on his record, it’s little wonder that the Tory Prime Minister’s approval ratings are at rock bottom and his party are still reeling from their worst electoral defeat in Scotland for 150 years – under David Cameron and Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Tories are a party going nowhere.”
Liberal Democrat Tavish Scott was similarly scathing: “By any objective measure, the tactics that the Conservatives have pursued since the referendum have not been calculated to keep Scotland part of the UK.
He added some tongue in cheek advice on rebranding the Tories: “I have checked on the Electoral Commission website. ‘Millionaires First’, ‘Hopelessly Split on Europe (HSE)’ and ‘Cuts R Us’ are all available as alternative party names. I look forward to seeing which of these the Tories prefer.”
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