Sunday, 4 January 2009

Labour Are Ruining The Only Union That Really Matters!

It isn't Labour's arrogance that is ruining the Union. Nor is it simply their complacency. It is undoubtedly a combination of all the above, and their failure to provide any real leadership in promoting the benefits of our relationship with England, Northern Ireland and Wales, that is doing so much damage and placing the Union at risk.

Who can forget the claims of the Labour Party in Scotland that devolution would "kill nationalsim stone dead". George Robertson used to preach this mantra as Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland in some sort of false belief that is you say something often enough it will always come true. Those of us who predicted the exact opposite, that devolution would give the SNP their best ever opportunity of moving Scotland towards Independence (effectively using it as a stepping stone) take no pleasure in having been proven right by events.

The SNP are not some sort of amateurish band of country bumpkins incapable of capitalising on gift horses. They are a very well disciplined and ruthless bunch of politicians who are as capable of being opportunistic as any other political organisation in Scotland.

As the current Secretary of State for Scotland, Jim Murphy is falling in to the very same trap as his Labour predecessors in attacking the SNP instead of making devolution work by establishing protocols and conventions that enable the Scottish Parliament to work with Westminster when the administrations of each are of different political persuasions! At the same time he writes blandly in newspapers about Scotland's strength being attributed to its place in the United Kingdom without establishing in print what this actually means.

Where are the statistics that prove more than 70% of all Scottish exports go to other parts of the UK? Where are the examples of Scots working to the benefit of the rest of the UK? Where are the references to the benefits that Scotland get from remaining an integral part of the United Kingdom? Because all this matters to the ordinary people of Scotland and the UK.

For me the Union is a marriage of four very capable countries who realise they are better off united by the common land and common principles their people share. It is only right to tell your partner what it is you do for them and to acknowledge their role in improving and fulfilling your life. Ask any salesman and he will tell you it is easier to sell the positives of your own brand than to decry the products and claims of your opponents. So why do unionist politicians continuously slate the case for Scottish Independence rather than sell the benefits of remaining part of the United Kingdom?

The failure of the Labour Party, and Jim Murphy, to make a positive case for the Union continues to put our countries long term future in doubt and that is something I, and the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party, must fight to ensure we champion.

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