Scottish Tories and a Changing Game

Murdo Fraser, frontrunner to be the Conservative party’s next Scottish leader is planning to disband the Scottish Conservatives and start up a new independent, though affiliated  center-right party. He sees this as the best way to neutralise what is seen as the poison infecting the centre-right voter base in Scotland.
(Daily Mail article Here)  (Morning Star article Here)

Maybe though there is another agenda here.

Just as the Scottish electorate have lost faith with the Conservative party, I think it quite possible that the Conservative party has in turn lost faith with Scotland.

This proposal from Murdo Frazer would make the political viability of Scottish independence more certain. A General Election in Scotland would be (at least in part) a Scottish electorial fight between Scottish political parties. Today is is in reality, the SNP versus UK national parties operating under Scottish banners. With Murdo Frazer's proposal, a General Election in Scotland will be a Scotland centric affair.

For the Tories, there is certainly no longer any political advantage to propping up the Scottish economy with English taxes. Currently the Tories (and previously Labour) are funding huge subsidies to Scotland via the Barnett formula and various job schemes (such as the two white elephant aircraft carriers). This Danegeld is being paid primarily to try and undermine Scottish Nationalism.

Maybe though the Tories have now dispaired of ever seeing any return on this expenditure and have decided to abandon Scotland to its own self determinist fate. Then the Tories could concentrate on England. England is of course, where the overwhelming Tory support lies.

If the conservatives abandoned Scotland and then promoted and encouraged the formation of an English Assembly they would, most likely, within that English Assembly, be unassailable.

After all, although a minority in the UK parliament they are still today the largest single party. If you take out Scottish, Welsh and Irish MPs, the Tories are solidly in the majority.

Where does this leave Labour?

I think Labour saw this coming in the early 2000's. They tried to defeat the prospect of an English parliament by attempting to dismember England into a number of competing Regions. As we all know their policy was derailed by a popular vote in NE England. Even so, a number of the Regional Quango's, elites and assorted hangers-on still remain.

Labour realised that if there ever was an true English Parliament or Assembly, then Labour would be the main loser. It is likely that, in England, there would never again be another Labour government with an absolute majority.

An English Parliament would be, by far, the most powerful and influential national parliament in these islands.

I don't think it would be long before an English Assembly tired of any remnant UK parliament. It would soon see the many advantages of simply being a wholly separate state. Especially if the other UK nations like Scotland has similar ambitions.

Scotland, and possibly Wales and Northern Ireland too, could muddle along by themselves.

Maybe this statement from Murdo Frazer is less about a new Scottish Party but is more about testing the water for a new English Party - The English Conservatives.

We live in interesting times.

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