Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Cameron has the measure of the SNP, but he will still have to handle with care.

Speaking before the Conservatives' Scottish conference David Cameron has laid into the SNP, claiming that Alex Salmond lives in a 'perpetual episode of Braveheart'. The Tory leader also affirmed his determination to avoid boosting the argument for independence.

"If Alex Salmond thinks a Conservative government is going to get in and run the United Kingdom in such a way that makes the argument for independence stronger he has another thing coming."

All good stuff, although I hope that Cameron really has the measure of Scotland's First Minister and is mindful of the accusations of anti-Scottishness which each Conservative decision, however innocuous, is bound to provoke. The cultural kitsch so beloved of Salmond is surprisingly popular in some circles.

As I remarked below:

[In Scotland] nationalism has attempted to weld itself on to a vibrant cultural patriotism. Its response to the instrumental arguments of unionism is that they are unpatriotic, they ‘do down’ Scotland, they rely on a ‘Scottish cringe’.

Alex Salmond’s nationalist populism exerts an undeniable emotional pull. It attempts to avoid the practicalities of economics by placing a very definite ideological price on Scottishness. In order to be proudly Scottish you must believe that Scotland can be independent and successful. Holding your Scottishness in common with any other political allegiance infers a crushing lack of self-confidence which is anathema to the national spirit.


Jeffrey Peel said...

Must say I agree. Unfortunately quite a few Scottish Conservatives seem a bit too fond of Scottish kitsch as well - plus what's all that Welsh language nonsense the Welsh Conservatives ramble on about at Party conference? Some Tories seem to think that they need to appear parochial and a bit too Nat-like for my comfort - in order to gain votes.

JPJ2 said...

You don't seem to have grasped how little impact Conservatism has in Scotland.

The parties support is lower than it was even at any time under Thatcher, and will experience only a modest recovery to what will prove to be a generational high water mark at the election.

As for the Conservatives showing "respect" for Scotland that is a sick joke.
They have warned the SNP off even daring to comment on the renewal of Trident on the grounds that it is not a devolved matter in spite of the fact that:

* a majority of MSPs voted against Trident renewal

* A majority of Scotland's MPs at Westminster voted against Trident renewal

* a majority of Scots are against Trident renewal

The Conservative party has little traction in Scotland and a victory in the UK in such circumstances will sharply increase the support for independence.

rutherford said...

Unfortunately JPJ2 managing a nuclear deterrent is a little more complex than whose neighbourhood you park it in.

But keep going with the myopic nationalist ranting.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm...has the measure of the SNP, whilst his party props their government up in Holyrood?