I’ve been thinking more about what a Scottish party of the right might stand for and I would welcome your views.
My gut instinct is that Scots would vote for a party generally placed somewhere between Tory and SNP. The other logical place would be the the right of the Tories (where UKIP is perceived to be). But, given that the Tories are English and English politics is to the right of Scottish politics, then I believe the right place to position it would be to the left of the Tories.
So what might be the key dividing issues?
Between the party and “Tories” I suggest the biggest difference would be that the Scottish party would support the kind of business we have in Scotland. So more focus on smaller, engineering and industrial rather than large London-based financial institutions and banks. I suggest the party would support public health and education, but not necessarily solely through public run organisations. I would like to think the party would also be anti-EU. However, as the Tory left are pro-EU I wonder whether a party to the left of the Tories would be credible as anti-EU, particularly in Scotland which used to be a net recipient.
The anti-EU issue, might suggest a position to the right of the Tories . But that would take us head to head with UKIP, allow the media to sideline us and make life generally quite difficult. The reality might be a range of policies both to right and left of the Tories.
The big divide between the party and UKIP is likely to be on “Scottish self-determination”. So pro-devolution, and pragmatically for the union with England (but only so long as Scotland gets its fair share of the benefits of the union). This “self-determinism” would then make “self-determinism” from the EU more rational, which would allow us to attract more of the mainstream voters and to the left of the Tories.
Which leaves the SNP. The party whose supporters have never failed to leave me disgusted on most forums where they appear and whose behaviour must do immense damage to us in Scotland. A party whose politicians leave an equally sour taste in the mouths as they refuse even to talk to constituents endorsed by their party leadership and whose leaders endorse violence toward their political opponents. So the main difference would that the party would respect the fact people are different and that there is legitimately a range of views on all issues in Scotland and we would try not to follow the SNP and zealously attack any who dared to disagree with us. On policies we would be:
- Pro common sense on energy
- Pro common sense and not zealotry on Scotland’s future
- Pro self-reliance and an end to the nanny state.
- Pro common sense (worth stating again!)
Between us and the Lib Dems – we recognise that you need an economy to earn the money that society needs for all its services.
Between us and the Greens would be that we understand “green” polices to mean gullible policies. (But that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t support the Scottish wilderness)
Between us and labour is the simple fact that the best way to protect worker’s rights is to create the jobs where they have rights.