Sunday, June 18, 2006

Tory Scum!

If we have a lot of work to do in the North of England then we have a great deal more to do in Scotland. I am of course talking about changing people’s perceptions of the Conservative Party. David Cameron has done a lot in this regard but sadly that effect has not been felt in Scotland.

As my profile points out I currently live in Clydebank (somewhere that is anything but prime Conservative territory). However it was not until I attended the Dumbarton West by-election last Thursday that I realised the extent to which we are still reviled by many. I was standing outside one of the polling stations, about 30 minutes before the polls closed, chatting with three other Conservatives and a member of the SNP when a woman approached with her daughter. It was evident that she had spoken with the SNP campaigner earlier in the day and assured him that they had her vote; she then looked directly at me and said “don’t worry, I won’t be voting for scum like that”. Her voice was filled with venom and her expression one of hatred.

She I fear is representative of many people across Scotland. Accordingly we face an incredible challenge, but it is one we must face with stout resolve and a willingness to listen to peoples concerns.


Gregor said...

Forgive my ignorance, but what exactly barring a few extra months of the poll tax did the Tories do to Scotland to illicit such hatred, either real or imaginary? Are there any articles or commentaries on the issue?

Tory in the Wilderness said...

Hi Gregor,

To a large extent the animosity toward the Conservative Party in Scotland stems from the perception of what the party did to industry up here (ship building in Clydebank for example). People hold the Tories responsible for mass unemployment, for the breakdown of communities and many other things. Quite simply we are blamed for all that is wrong in working class areas across Scotland. Accordingly we are hated.

As for articles you can read on the subject I am afraid I am unable to direct you to anything. That is not to say that such articles are not available, rather my understanding of the problem stems from first-hand experience.

Louise said...


There is a perception that the Conservative Party is the ENGLISH party and therefore not one that is on the side of the Scottish people. I think also, more than in England, the perception of the Tories as the nasty party is still very prevalent. A perception not help by the almost constant in-fighting and idiotic actions such as Mary Scanlon's letters.

Individual Conservatives, particularly those perceived to be working-class, can build up enormous personal support - Phil Gallie being a case in point.

The fact that the Conservatives have for years failed to tackle the West of Scotland also marginalises them. The reception is never as bad as you would think. I've leafleted the wilds of Balornock (in the Springburn constituency) and always found a good reception - if not many votes.

Tory in the Wilderness said...

I completely agree Louise, especially regarding your last point about our failure to tackle the West of Scotland.

Chris Palmer said...

The thing is though, those types that have venom and hatred like you describe would never vote for us anyway. They are already a lost cause. Opposition partys like to say that everyone hates the Tories - but people don't hate us (only the core Labour, SNP, Limp Dims do.)

Most people would be prepared to give us their vote if we offered them something substantial - for example in the past, the right to own your council house or tax cuts.

The way I have looked at it in Scotland, is that the Conservative party just aren't offering the electorate something to vote for. Give them something, and they will vote.

Alex said...