Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Tory Troubles

It the Scottish Tories thought their troubles were over once they recovered from the shock announcement that Jimmy Buchan was stepping down as their candidate for the Scottish Parliament election, they were sadly mistaken.  Their election campaign has taken a few more knocks in the past few days but I doubt if the majority of the Scottish electorate will be shaken or even gently stirred by the latest events. 

Bill Aitken (pictured above) was ousted from his position as Convenor of the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee because of ill-advised comments he gave, by telephone, to a journalist.  Mr Aitken is stepping down as an MSP in May.  An undignified end to a 12 year career but an unacceptable incident which could not go unpunished.

More Tory troubles. The above photograph shows David Cameron expounding the wonders of Tory policies to Davena Rankin (Tory candidate) and Annabel Goldie during the Glasgow East by-election campaign.

Ms Rankin, who has stood for the Tories in council, Holyrood and Westminster elections, is said to have decided to leave the party in protest at child benefit cuts.  Where's she off to?  Join Labour of course.  A loss to the Tories but Iain Gray is thrilled by her defection.

“I am delighted to welcome Davena Rankin to the Labour party. Davena joined Labour because she knows we are the party that stands up for ordinary working people now facing the onslaught of Tory cuts.
“People in Scotland are furious at David Cameron’s government. Even people in the past who backed them are appalled at their slash and burn approach to child benefits, tax credits for working parents and local services.
“Every time David Cameron says ‘We’re in this together’ the more people stare in disbelief.”

How anyone can change from Tory to Labour astonishes me although I suspect there is more than a little self interest in her change of heart.



William said...

Davena Rankin is a union rep so I never understood why she chose to stand for the Conservatives in the first place. One of her union colleagues is a former SSP candidate and a prosecution witness in the Sheridan trial. I wonder how they get on.

Jim said...

Having received Ms. Rankin's apology for an election pamphlet last year I found myself more troubled by the lack of talent than the issues she thought might be important to Glasgow.

It also surprised me that she was a Tory union rep, but that wasn't the least baffling bit of her campaign by any stretch.

JRB said...

What is happening to the main opposition parties in Scottish politics?

With an election impending, you would expect each party to be united and pulling together to win the election.

But no, the Conservative and Labour parties seem to be slowly coming apart at the seams.
Neither Grey nor Goldie command total confidence amongst their respective ranks, the murmurs of criticism can be clearly heard, and leadership elections cannot be far away.
Equally a number of high profile party members are resigning; standing down; not seeking re-election; spending more time with the family; or whatever.

What – or should I ask – who will be next to fall by the wayside?

Clarinda said...

Ms Rankin appears to have had quite a broad experience of going from job to job with (to my eye)
little planned strategy. Her conversion to Labour may be yet another 'taster' experience - not exactly a convincing CV inclusion of commitment, loyalty or reliablity? I'm all for changing your mind based on sound principle but suspicious if the changes appear constant, aimless and self-serving.

Many of us, including myself, have been critical of the SNP appearing to be a little slow to exploit 'Opposition' self-inflicted wounds etc. - but Mr Salmond knows the measure of his opponents and can allow them to knot their own length of rope without additional help. Keeping his powder dry until closer to the election may work if the recent panic and shambles displayed with increasing competence by other parties results in the public - and dare I suggest some in the MSM - are more able to see distinct differences in political party calibre. Mr Salmond has said that the SNP are a party of "incremental progress" perhaps rightly refusing to interrupt his enemies while they continue to make their own mistakes.

Doug Daniel said...

I don't think there's anything strange about changing your allegiance from one centre-right unionist party to another centre-right unionist party. There is a precedent after all - Quentin Davies and Shaun Woodward to name but two in recent years.

I think the only party swapping that would raise my eyebrow would be between the SNP and Tories (either direction) or SNP to Labour. Well, perhaps Greens or SSP to Tories as well.

subrosa said...

They don't go well together do they William? I mean union reps and the tory party.

subrosa said...

Fortunately I didn't have the pleasure of seeing one of those Jim although I vaguely remember her on a couple of TV programmes.

subrosa said...

It does seem strange John, especially the standing down of Mt Buchan. He's campaigned up your way for a while then suddenly work gets in the way. Something not quite right there because he had a good chance by all accounts.

subrosa said...

She's decided she'll never get a seat with the tories Clarinda, so she's going to try labour. Cynical? Indeed.

He's clever the manner in which Eck stays outwith direct comment of opposition members unfortunate errors.

pa_broon74 said...

It is heartening to know Iain Gray has been able to draw a line between what his Labour party helped do to our economy while in power and the tory party's reaction to it after they left.

Does he not realise we have the same look on our faces when cameron claims 'we're all in it together' as when he claims Labour still stands up for the 'ordinary working people'?

The man is a goat.

As to this Rankin woman, she just wants the perks of being in Holyrood and see's a better chance of it happening with labour than the tories.

PS: Can any one else not help but think "TRAGEDY" when looking at Cameron's hand gestures in the photo? Just me then? Ok...

Dramfineday said...

Is M/s Rankin a shoe in for Wendy? Furthermore, does she have the same mobile face or is it my eyes deceiving me?

subrosa said...

He certainly doesn't have what it takes to inspire anyone pabroon.

That's the way I see it with Ms Rankine. Opportunity.

Cameron's hands? I thought he was saying 'And this is the size of Iain Gray's head..."

subrosa said...

She's certainly got mobility to move from tory to labour Dram but I'm not too sure about Wendy's place. Read someone some chap is in line for that.

Jeanne Tomlin said...

What I find interesting is the look on Annabel Goldie's face as she watches his gesture. Wonder what the man was saying. Maybe it was ungrammatical and she wanted to swat him one?

(Ms. Goldie has always reminded me with fear and trembling of my first grade teacher who wielded a mean ruler)

Jo G said...

Loved reading an Ian Bell piece years ago in which he mentioned Miss Goldie. Called Annabelle By Jove Goldie. Made me laugh right out loud.

subrosa said...

She may well be thinking he's talking utter nonsense by the look on her face Jeanne. :)

She reminds me of my P7 teacher, same build and slightly upper class Scots voice. I adored that woman though because she was such a fair person to each and every one of the 35 of us. She saw 34 of us through our 'qualie' exam for entry to secondary school.

The one who didn't pass didn't sit the test because she had been off school over two years after a serious injury in the Wormit train disaster.

subrosa said...

I do like Ian Bell's writings Jo. He has my style of humour but I'm unable to transfer it into type with the ease he does.

Oh I must offer my congratulations. Front page of the Scottish Review! Well done. I feel very honoured you still want to read my bletherings. :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails