Wednesday, 24 February 2010

What Are the Conservatives Offering for My Vote?

I've never voted Tory but this area, for many years, was represented in Westminster by a Tory.  In the 1990s all changed and it is now an SNP stronghold.  Part of the change was due to the attitude of the tory MP who, when I moved here, behaved like a county laird instead of a representative of the people.  Then John Swinney, with his open and amiable personality, came on the scene and local folk realised what they had been missing.

Now, John Swinney has never taken his electorate for granted even when he changed from MP to MSP and Pete Wishart became the MP for the area.  Many will continue to vote tory in the forthcoming general election.  It's in their blood.  An amusing tale exemplifies that.  Not so long ago locally we had a problem about trees.  A neighbour complained to me about how the trees around her home would be affected by the problem and I suggested she contact John Swinney or Pete Wishart.  Quite outraged she said, "I couldn't possibly do that - they're SNP!" Stifling a laugh I tried to persuade her, giving the assurance that they were very human and available to all, but it was a wasted effort.  How similar to many, dyed in the wool Labour voters.

I digress. The purpose of this post is to determine what David Cameron's conservative party can offer to the country and myself as a voter.  Much as I detest the labour party and the way they have destroyed my pension, deleted the 10p tax bracket, dumbed down education to the lowest common denominator and destroyed an economy which was one of the healthiest in the western world when they came to power, I can't see Mr Cameron's party, on present indicators, changing much.

Certainly I would feel more confident with the Tories handling the economy but offering cheap bank shares is not going to benefit pensioners. They don't seem to understand you can't spend what you don't have and they don't seem able to comprehend how little it is that a lot of us don't have to spend.

Education is a devolved issue so whoever is in Westminster does not affect it here except in the allocation of money.  If I lived in England I would expect the tories to make strong changes in the way schools are managed and that can only be for the good of our young people.  Also I would like to hear what Mr Cameron says about schools returning to traditional curriculums where basic skills are taught and learnt. The system worked. My generation is proof of that and we rebuilt Britain after WW2, in spite of this country being in vast financial debt to the US.

As yet I've heard nothing from the Tories about rescinding some of the vast amount of legislation that labour have introduced and which affects my civil liberties, although Chris Grayling has protested at the latest labour proposals. These are neither fair or honest and would give great scope for victimization and vilification and the victim would have little redress. The Tories need to assure us they will roll back all nasty, unfair, vindictive and restrictive laws made by labour, which benefit small minority groups and penalise the vast majority of the citizens of this country.

The police are no longer considered trusty community servants but government officials who wish to fine us out of existence.  Will the tories attempt to improve the image of our police service?  So far they have not made their intentions (if any) known.  David Cameron could make a start by getting rid of the ACPO, a private company, and bring the police back under government control as a force for the people and not a partly controlled private army.

David Cameron, for all his bluff and bluster some months ago, will be unable to make changes to the UK's membership of the EU although I would like to see him give us the referendum he promised.  Of course it would have no formal legality, but the results would interest a fair percentage of the population and a strong No vote to the EU would give the UK government a large moral mandate with which to negotiate.  In this country, no government is bound by the actions of a previous administration if they do not wish to be.   But he won't offer this because he wants to be in the EU club, regardless of what he says publicly.

Last, yet by no means least, is our military. Forget about all the 'we value our military' and 'how wonderful they are'.  Let's face the reality of our armed forces.  They have been starved for years by successive governments, in salaries, equipment and respect.  Labour introduced the Strategic Defence Review when they came to power in 1997, made lots of suggestions, then conveniently disposed of it to the back of a drawer.  Since then we have fought two major wars and yet it's only now that another Review is coming to fruition.  I see very little interest for defence matters from any side of the Commons and that not only annoys me but also shows what little regard our present politicians have for our safety and security. Liam Fox's performance on Newsnight on Monday was as poor as Bob Ainsworth's.

If one looks back over the last sixty years of defence procurement, at the numbers of cancellations of advanced British military equipment, cancelled for 'cost reasons' and then the military left to work with second hand obsolete American 'cast-offs' which end up costing more!  In one case the Americans cancelled the production line of the replacement!  Neither the Tories or Labour are covered in any glory here and don't forget the Chinooks.

David Cameron would keep Trident.  Why he wants to keep something which costs us billions and yet we're unable to use because the US controls it (and us), I'll never understand.  A status symbol only and in what circumstance would it be used?  Its time is passed.  Even the Top Brass consider it an embarrassment.

His party has been quite silent on climate change since the exposure of corrupted data and if reports are correct, scamming 'scientists'.  Does he really believe we can change the climate?  We can't even change the weather; if it was possible the military would have done it years ago!  So Dave, do we go on throwing money at this will o' the wisp or do we learn from the lesson of King Canute?

To summarise, if I lived in England I would possibly vote tory because there is no alternative.  It would be a tactical vote because there are only two choices for those south of the border and David Cameron appears to be publicly more personable than Gordon Brown.  I know, that's a very weak reason, but then the leaders involved are both lacking in policies of any depth.

Scotland is the only country in Europe which has oil and yet we pay the highest charges for fuel.  We produce more electricity than we can use so we export it to England.  Yet here is Scotland we pay, in some cases, nearly 50% more than English consumers using our export.  I don't mind sharing our wealth with the rest of the UK as long as we are part of it, but surely anomalies like this should be addressed if they want Scottish votes.

All things considered the conservatives can offer me little or nothing. They've had 13 years to reorganise, regenerate, modernise, call it what you will.  Many in my peer group say he's spent far too much time cuddling up to minority groups when he should have been discussing, with everyone, his plans for a cohesive society.

David Cameron was thought to be the saviour of the conservative party when first elected.  Now, even the blue rinse ladies are calling him weak and ineffective.  As one of my readers said recently, "Trouble with the tories is that they are like a minestrone soup, smells all right, but when you get into it it's just flavoured water with a few pieces of floating veg."  An appropriate description which would also suit the labour party, (not sure about the smell though!)

So is the only reason for voting Conservative to get rid of Labour?  Surely there is more to it than that, even if it is a good start!


David Farrer said...

Great minds think alike!

Owen Meredith said...

You're not alone. I've spoken to 100s of people who have dumped Labour or other parties, but have yet to embrace the Conservatives.

Labour have lost the election. The Conservatives have not YET won it!

I think they do have a lot to offer. Be it on funding higher eduction places, restoring the pensions link to earnings, changing tax from pay as you earn to pay-as-you-burn... and many other things.

They have 6 weeks till the election is called to crystallise that message into a few easy-to-understand and catchy policies.

Events dear boy, events said...

A good post, but Cameron is no fool although he keeps making mistakes. It's in the English marginals that the election will be won. And there Ashcroft's money is doing the trick and there in nothing Labour can do about it.

Cameron's problem is that will come to power with a lack of, or any, public goodwill, unlike Blair in 1997. Also he doesn't have a united party behind him.

Both will cause him difficulties when he is in office.

Sorry to say this but in the election winning game, Scotland is not a priority for the Tories

subrosa said...

Auch Howard, I know that they have no influence in Scotland and I tried not to make that colour my post too much and be as impartial as I could be.

You're right though. I watch your posts daily and see the situation in England. But you know that of course.

subrosa said...

Goodness David, you've beaten me to it and more eloquently.

I've had this post 'on the go' for a few days trying to be fair but it was difficult. Day by day the tories show they're not prepared to meet problems head on - they're so weak it's incredible.

subrosa said...

Owen, there is a very strong possibility that labour will win in May and the fault lies completely with the tories.

I think we agree.

subrosa said...

Bugger you should know by now I don't accept links unless they are relevant to the post in some way or are explained and it could be regarded as spam. You gave no explanation so I can't ask readers to use the link.

sm753 said...

"Scotland is the only country in Europe which has oil"


" and yet we pay the highest charges for fuel."


" We produce more electricity than we can use so we export it to England."

Who's "we"? The generation companies do this for *profit*.

" Yet here is Scotland we pay, in some cases, nearly 50% more than English consumers using our export."


It must be marvellous to base your politics on a serious of fallacies and lies.

How do you manage it?

Ever considered looking up some facts?

subrosa said...

sm753, go and some some serious research and stop using your unionist credentials to discredit Scotland.

Anonymous said...

Good post SR: I think if I were English I would probably vote Liberal. I like Clegg and in most things I've been impressed with Cable and there was one very impressive Liberal woman on QT not long ago, but I've fotrgotten her name. Not enough to make a government perhaps, but I see no one atg all on the Labour benches, and only Ken Clarke and wee Willie Hague on teh Tory benches ... so the Liberals win.

I just thank heaven that I was born this side of that border, so I don't have to make that choice.

Tcheuchter said...

A fine post Ma'am but a long one & I am too weary tonight to explain where I humbly disagree.

Please, though; "lowest common denominator" as evry fule no, LCD is a high number; what you & innumerable others really mean is HCF (highest common factor) - a low number.

I'll come back tomorrow. Meanwhile, knowing your heart's in the right place I'll wish you good night.

subrosa said...

All things considered Tris I feel a vote for the libdems in England would be wasted as this election is between the tories and labour as is usual. I don't think the libdems are nearly close enough to those two in the polls to gain on them.

subrosa said...

You may well be right Teuchter, but I was taught the LCD was the least common multiple. It can be used in a negative or positive figuration.

Anyway we'll have to agree to differ on it.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Well, I had planned to vote SNP again, but They really do not stand a chance. The Conservatives do much better here in East Lothian.

I will do what is necessary to get rid of Labour, although I think the local party want to get rid of Anne Moffat, themselves. I am not reduced to voting Tory, a party which has no backbone, no belief and no will other than to be in power.

The vote for change is in my case the Lib Dems. This election is too important to muck about, and in East Lothian, there is a real chance of an upset. I shall just have to live with my conscience afterward and try and beg forgiveness from Nicola.

subrosa said...

WW there are no problems here really. It's SNP all the way and I'll vote with them. The only contest is the tories. Labour don't even put up a candidate and the libdems are so far behind it would be a wasted vote.

But if I lived in England it would obviously be a different matter. Same with you in the central belt - very interesting goings on there.

banned said...

I would normally vote Tory but Cameron in trying to be all things to all people, trying to outBlair Blair, offers me nothing. In particular he renaged on the EU referendum which is central to the repeal of most of Labours terrible legislation. Only one party still promises one, UKIP.

subrosa said...

If I was in an area where there would be any chance of a UKIP success, I would too banned.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

There's only one issue for Scotland and that's its independence.

Every other vote cast for a Unionist party is undermining strategy for the sake of a snipe, or at best, a minor tactic that ultimately benefits the Union.

It's a fantastic opportunity who's time has come; and can only be defeated by lack of backbone or the angst of dependency junkies.

Anonymous said...

Yes. You may be right SR about the Liberals, although they look like maybe being the kingmakers, so the more votes they get the stronger that position.

But my position is that I would never "not vote"; I will never vote Labour as long as Brown et co has anything to do with them; I doubt if I could vote for the Tories unless they actually came out and said what they stand for and that it was radically different from Labour.

I'd maybe vote for a Tory party along the lines that Dean the Tory talks about, but I don't think it exists in reality.

I think that in England, my only choice would be the Liberals, or English Independence Party

Tcheuchter said...


I agree with most of your post; I too fail to see how Cameron's faux Conservatives will change much (or even anything).

I must take issue with you on the matter of the police. It is because they are so much under the control of & in cahoots with the government (read Labour government) that they are now seen as a danger to our liberty. They must be brought back under local control, not government control.

Voting Conservative in order to get rid of labour is, to my mind, not an option. One should vote according to one's principles, and as you and others have pointed out there is so little difference between Lab & Con (indeed both are cons) that one might as well vote for either.

I understand you have SNP leanings, but the SNP is pro EU, just like the LibLabCon coalition. You also say that if you lived in an area where you thought UKIP had a chance of success they would get your vote. I would say that if people like you voted for UKIP they would have a chance of success, so I urge you to follow that thought.

I have met our UKIP ppc, Philip Anderson, and find him likeable and believe him to be an honest man. He will definitely get my vote at the GE. Unfortunately up here UKIP is, I think, seen as an English party. It is not.

On the matter of Lowest Common Denominator (or Multiple as you would have it) and HCF, I refer you to ; enter some numbers in the boxes & you'll see what I'm on about (oh dear, was that a hanging preposition?) .

Sorry to have wittered on.

subrosa said...

Certainly Dean's tory party no longer exists although I think it did at one time, but that was a long time ago Tris.

I feel a vote for the libdems or EIP would be a wasted vote sadly.

subrosa said...

I wouldn't argue with you about the police Tcheuchter because I mean under public control.

I support the SNP's policy of independence but I disagree with some others and in particular their policy on the EU and climate change.

As far as I'm aware there is no UKIP candidate standing in this area. No UKIP candidate has ever canvassed here either. Then again, the only party that does door to door is the SNP.

No of course that's not a hanging preposition. I'm sure you understand my use of LCD was a figure of speech.

Tcheuchter said...


On the UKIP Scotland website there doesn't seem to be a ppc for your area. Have you thought of standing yourself? I think your sound common sense so often displayed on your blog would be greatly appreciated in public life.

There now, blush madam.

subrosa said...

Blushing I am Tcheuchter and laughing too. Thank you for the compliment though. My days of political activity are over, I've done my bit and still do in a relatively miniscule way, but I could not support a party which doesn't support the cause of Scottish independence.

I'm not so sure about UKIP being of interest here and don't sense any real concern with belonging to the EU (unfortunately).

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