Alex Massie Alex Massie

Rising Tory, Hidden Danger: David Cameron is Doing Too Much Too Well

The British economy is growing. Not before time you might say. Be that as it may, there is a breath of summer in the air after a long winter. The quickening recovery has the Tories in jauntier spirits than for some time. The polls are closing. The Conservatives are within the margin of error and though the odds may remain it is no longer utterly fanciful to think they might remain the largest party at Westminster next year. What ho and what larks, good news is all around.

Except in the north. Always the contrary north. A chill wind blows from North Britain and the message it bears should warn David Cameron he’s being used by his enemies.

Scottish nationalists endlessly carp that Unionists are obsessed with Alex Salmond. A vote for independence is not, per se, a vote for Mr Salmond. Being immune to his charms need not dampen your enthusiasm for independence. September’s referendum is not about personalities, you see.

Except when it is. Mr Cameron is Mr Salmond’s unwitting – indeed unwilling, too – accomplice. A tool to be used by the nationalists to remind voters that the referendum is a choice between independence and more, long, bleak years of Tory rule. Cameron or freedom?

The more it looks as though the Tories might win in 2015 the happier the nationalists are. Vote No and Get Dave, they say. According to Joan McAlpine, if Scotland votes No it is certain – not possible but certain! – the Conservatives will be returned to power in 2015. And lord knows what whirlwinds of spite and revenge will be unleashed on Scotland then. A new era of Rough Wooing, that’s for sure.

Now McAlpine’s weekly epistle in the Daily Record is nothing more than propaganda, of course. Being so, it is interesting less for the claims it makes than for what it reveals about the mindset that spawns these claims.

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