Friday, June 16, 2017

The Truth About Ruth

So with the “Scottish” Conservatives having come second in Scotland with, let’s be frank, a single-issue campaign, Ruth Davidson is now being heralded as the darling of the Tory party.

No matter that the Conservatives only polled 28.6% nationally in Scotland (versus 42.4% state-wide in the UK), they are, nonetheless, being seen as a “success”.

Yet despite this, Theresa May is on borrowed time and the only likely replacements - Boris Johnson and Michael Gove - are simply too unpalatable for some. I could mention Angela Leadsom, but I won’t…

The reality is that Ruth Davidson just isn’t that good. She has had (and continues to have) a very easy ride from both the media in Scotland and throughout the UK. Yet on those rare occasions where she has been pushed a little harder, when some journalist has dared to look under the thin veneer of what it is that she stands for, she does not perform well, and has even stormed away from interviews. The trouble is that for many, Davidson is the Union personified and to question her policies, is to question the very fabric of the Union itself.

In the aftermath of the election, Davidson has been reported as having made recommendations to Theresa May as regards Brexit being “more open”. Yet these sentiments are also being echoed by many other Conservative MPs and Ministers and are in no way unique to Davidson. Moreover, Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has been calling for this very approach from the get-go. 

The simple fact of the matter is that Ruth has always been a lackey to her masters in London and has never dared to question any of the Conservative Party’s more extreme policies such as the Rape Clause or the Dementia Tax. Consequently, she is not trying to wrest control of Brexit from Theresa May as some of the London-based newspapers seem to be implying. Rather she is simply offering her council as it has been requested.

Yet regardless of her many shortcomings, Davidson is, nonetheless, perceived as being the best of a very bad bunch and, for that reason, she’s being buttered up by the Tory-supporting media as a replacement for Theresa May.

There are only two problems with this. Firstly, her “winning” strategy (to coming second) essentially revolves around opposing the SNP and its policies, whilst offering little else. This is unlikely to be of much relevance to voters in, say, England or Wales where the SNP does not contest any seats. Secondly, Ruth Davidson is not a Westminster MP. So the question is: when the next by-election in a safe Westminster Tory seat comes up, will she be parachuted in to stand as a candidate?

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