It’s a Unionist revival
Sir: Contrary to Alex Massie’s claims, there is no rebirth of Scottish Conservatism in Scotland (‘Queen of Scots’, 6 May). Rather, there is a strident Unionist vote from 2014 that has found its home in the Scottish Conservative and Unionist party — the latter part being the key. Mr Massie makes the error of confusing support for Unionism with support for Conservatism. It is widely acknowledged that Ruth Davidson and the Scottish Conservatives have no discernible policies or philosophy other than opposing a second independence referendum.
This was clear in the recent Scottish local elections on 4 May, where their campaign was based solely on ‘sending the SNP a message that we don’t want a second referendum’ and was entirely devoid of local policies. It is also notable that during the 2016 Scottish parliament elections, Ruth Davidson went to great lengths to hide the name of the party that she leads. In addition, as Mr Massie himself notes, the Scottish Conservatives are often uncomfortable with the more Conservative policies of the UK government, which are not as sellable in Scotland. All in, Mr Massie’s Tory revival is a Unionist one, not a Conservative one.
Riding to the rescue
Sir: As a member of the Side Saddle Association and a former National Side Saddle Rider, I have to take issue with Sylvia Loch’s reply to Simon Barnes (Letters, 29 April). Firstly, side-saddle riding does not cause inevitable suffering to both horse and rider. If it does, why is it that my own horse can compete happily both side-saddle and astride, and is currently competing at a high level?
Saddle-fitting today is much improved and I have never had a horse end up sore or rubbed. As long as the length of time spent riding is built up gradually and regular saddle checks are made, there is no problem.