Alex Massie

The Most Useless Political Party in Europe

Text settings

This is a subject that one could - and may! - return to frequently. David Cameron, not unreasonably, seems to have decided that there's no point to the Scottish Tories at all. This is not a great surprise given that the Scottish Tories have declined to make any meaningful, let alone sensible, case for themselves.

According to Hamish Macdonell - a reliable reporter - Cameron has had enough of his enfeebled North Britain platoon. By her own admission, Aunt Annabel Goldie hasn't spoken to the Prime Minister since the election. And what would they have to talk about anyway? The sorry truth is that the Scottish Conservative & Unionist party is perhaps the most useless political party in western europe.

You have to remember, alas, that New Labour's reforms weren't just too daring for the lumpen Scottish Labour party (that was to be expected) they were also too daring for the Scottish Conservatives. No wonder Cameron's ideas are too bold for these timorous beasties.

The most successful political parties are interested in ideas and power; the nastiest only care about power. The Scottish Tories are unusual in pretending to be a serious party while being utterly uninterested in either ideas or power.

Since the Tories have, at Holyrood anyway, decided they won't treat with anyone else (admittedly, this feeling is reciprocated) and since they've not had a good idea in at least a decade is it really any wonder that they fail to make an impact? What is the point of them?

If they're not interested in power - and that's fine! - they should at least be in the vanguard of the ideas battle. But they're not. In non-hopeless cases I tend to think it's a bad idea to retreat to ideological first principles. But the Scottish Tories are that rare hopeless exception.

The wonder of the Tory predicament in Scotland is not that they win so few votes but that they receive so many.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

Topics in this articlePoliticsscotlandtories