Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Quote of the day 2nd May 2017

"I’m not saying Ruth Davidson is planning to kill your family dog but I’d keep an eye on her."
 
"I have no evidence that she is a menace to canines or anyone else, but I’ve been listening to Nicola Sturgeon’s speeches and it seems there is no depravity foreign to the Scottish Tory leader. Addressing the STUC in Aviemore last week, the SNP chief spat out the word ‘Tory’ at a rate of once a minute. She’s got tartan Tourettes — she could be speaking about River City or the price of teabags and she’d find a way to bring it back to the Conservatives.
 
"For some time now, the SNP has prospered by shouting ’Tory’ and watching the votes pile in. ‘The Tories’ were the political equivalent of ‘The Man’ who harassed mothers threaten their recalcitrant offspring with in supermarkets. ‘Coco, if you don’t stop eating the Pick ’n’ Mix, Ruth Davidson is going to come and charge you up-front tuition fees.’
 
"In fashionable parlance, this is called ‘othering’. Instead of dealing with your opponents’ arguments, you anathematise them. That way it doesn’t matter what they say — they have no right to be heard.
 
"This did not begin with the SNP but with Labour, Scotland’s nationalist party back when the SNP was three home economics teachers passing a flask of tea around a draughty hall in Stirling. Labour grasped the political currency in framing the Tories as alien to Scotland and her oft professed but seldom defined ‘values’. This served the comrades well until one day they found themselves ‘Red Tories’, the new national enemy, and summarily replaced by the SNP as Scotland’s latest saviours from mythical persecution.
 
"But much like the F-word after Kenneth Tynan uttered it on live television in 1965, ‘Tory’ has steadily lost its power to shock. Polling suggests Ruth Davidson’s party could win as many as 12 seats in June’s general election as voters turn to the only outfit they reckon can put a stop to Miss Sturgeon’s endless referendum threats. The First Minister has been thrown by this; she’s never had to fight the Tories on substance before."
 
"The SNP under Nicola Sturgeon grows hollower by the day. You need not be a nationalist to respect the men and women who toiled for years to get the SNP taken seriously. Would they recognise their party today, a press release dispenser in search of a principle? Miss Sturgeon says she personally supports EU membership but won’t say if the SNP manifesto will endorse it; Alex Salmond says the party would now settle for the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). SNP MPs openly question GERS, the Scottish Government’s own figures which show Scotland with a £15bn deficit. Finance secretary Derek Mackay has (belatedly) defended the integrity of civil servants. After nine months of demanding a second independence referendum, Miss Sturgeon has dropped all mention of it from the general election campaign. Her spokesman has said a good showing for the SNP in June would be an endorsement of Indyref 2 but a bad result would have no impact on Indyref 2."
 
"This is what happens when you gut your party of all policy and place the constitution at the centre of everything you do. It wins you elections but it also changes your opponents and the country at large."
 
"If, as the polls predict, Scotland sends a clutch of Tory MPs to Westminster, it will be a personal and political triumph for Ruth Davidson. The ‘lesbian kickboxer’ patronised by the Press, vilified by Nationalists, and dismissed by the commentariat will have landed a knock-out blow on her critics. It will confirm her position as the 24th member of Theresa May’s Cabinet and the second most powerful woman in Tory politics. She will have earned her place in history."
 
"My local MP is Deidre Brock, an Australian actress turned SNP politician. She seems sensible enough and in different circumstances would probably win my vote. But if I don’t want my country plunged into another bout of rancour and discord, I’ll have to hold my nose and vote tactically for some Labour non-entity."
 
"Scotland has to stop fearing demons and looking for messiahs. The strongest argument for independence — perhaps the only argument now — is that it would deprive the Scottish establishment of its perennial bogeyman."
 
"The only country in the world where a subsidy is seen as a jackboot would have to fend for itself and take responsibility for its tax hikes and spending cuts, its limitations and failings. The alternative is to become a nation of Pete Wisharts, a man who doesn’t have a chip on his shoulder so much as a fish supper."
 
"The SNP thinks itself the only party that believes in Scotland. The rest of us believe in Scotland too. We believe it can be better than this."
 
(Stephen Daisley, extracts from a blog post which you can read in full here.)

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