Sunday, 30 April 2017

Three lessons learned.

During this election period I've decided to write the occasional blog in the role of a largely detached observer. My first effort is here

Don't get me wrong, I'll vote Labour as always but it would be fair to say that I'm pretty semi-detached from our Leaderships both north and south of the border and for the moment there is little sign of that sentiment changing on either side.

So in the spirit of that first effort here are a few more passing reflections about, on this occasion, how the UK campaign is being influenced by recent Scottish politics.

Firstly, we have what the UK Tories have learned from the Scottish Tories.

I modestly claim the credit for first promoting the concept of the "Ruth Davidson Party". Ms Davidson, on inheriting the Scottish Tory Party leadership appreciated early on that while (some) Scottish Tory Policies were popular with a significant section of the electorate, they were failing to resonate because a cultural hegemony (look up your Gramsci) had come to exist in Scotland that the Tories were an alien Party. The Party of another country (England) and the Party of Mrs Thatcher, a woman so horrible that her doings could not even be discussed in polite company. A sort of Finchley Voldemort.

So Ms Davidson's solution was, initially, to pretend that she wasn't a Tory at all. She was Ruth, who liked a laugh, and a drink and who could turn up at a Pride event not as an embarrassing auntie there on penance but as someone who could claim to be a legitimate front line soldier on the right side of the culture wars.

And having done that, she started getting a wider hearing, admittedly assisted by Labour's determination to pluck defeat from the jaws of victory in the aftermath of 18th September 2014.

But most of you reading this will know that story. No, what is interesting is what we've seen in the early days of the UK campaign. Not the Tory Party but the Theresa May Party. For as Mrs May makes her progress through the Country there is one thing very noticeable. The prominence on all the backdrops of all the staged events of the name "Theresa May" and the absence, other than very much in the small print, of the word "Conservative".

For the UK Tories have worked out that Theresa May can reach parts of the electorate that "The Tories" never could. Thus, she is much more popular than her Party in certain parts of the Country. I genuinely have no idea why (although actually I suggest one partial explanation below) but there is no denying the polling. Even in Scotland, why she is so much more (or relatively less un) popular than David Cameron mystifies me. But it is there and the Tories know it. So where Ruth went, Theresa follows. Only Theresa starts with advantages Ruth never had.

Well actually, that "May factor" might be what the Tories have learned from the SNP. The common narrative that explains the 2015 SNP landslide at the General Election in Scotland is that all the Yes voters voted SNP while the No voters fragmented. First past the post then did the rest.

Except it wasn't as simple as that. For the SNP did significantly better in attracting a share of the popular vote in May 2015 than had the Yes campaign in September 2014. During that time, polling on Independence itself barely moved and logic dictates that some Yes voters at least returned to their normal Party allegiance. So it is incontrovertible that a significant section of the electorate, having voted No (indeed still intending, if asked again, to vote No), then nonetheless voted SNP. Why? Because Nicola Sturgeon sold herself as the person prepared to "stand up for Scotland". And where is Theresa May in this campaign? Standing up for Britain. Not kow-towing to Brussels (as the Tories would paint the Libs), never mind kow-towing to anybody who raises their voice as (believe me) they are about to do to Corbyn. "However you voted on Brexit, only one Leader will stand up for Britain in its aftermath", could almost be lifted directly from the Nats appeal in May 2015.

Then, thirdly, we have what the Lib-Dems have learned from the Scottish Tories. Sometimes a limited aspiration can pay dividends.

In May 2016, Ruth Davidson did not really stand for the position of First Minister. She stood for the position of Leader of the Opposition. And it worked. As the inevitable return to office of La Sturgeon became obvious, the electorate looked round as to who might best hold her to account. And Ruth stepped into a vacuum. Tim Farron spots that opportunity. It's just a pity he is Tim Farron. "Go back to your constituencies and prepare for opposition" might not immediately prove the most effective rallying call but if coupled with "Labour is finished forever and people won't want Tory Government's forever." ........? If that works, Tim might at least have the decency to buy Ruth a drink.

Anyway, these are my thoughts this weekend. More next week sometime,

1 comment:

  1. Few weeks ago my girlfriend told me that she was fed up, so she packed her stuff and left me while I was taking a walk to cool off. When I got back, I was so messed up because I didn't even know what to do, it was like my whole life was coming to an end. That night I drove to a friend’s house and he was nice enough to give me a description of a man who did spells that could bring her back for me. He said this man brought her fiancĂ©e back to him after 2days. The man's email is emutemple@gamil.com, it was this man that then did a spell and brought Claire back to my life. She was now so humble and calm, she was respectful and lovely even more than i can imagine. This man is really strong and accountable. I never regret anything through him. meet him if you need help in your love life. visit his website you may find your solution there https://emutemple.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete