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Sun Aug 27, 2017, 08:01 AM

{Scottish Tory Leader} Davidson's mask slips over rogue Tories

Type the words “Ruth Davidson detoxified the Tories” into Google and you get 640,000 hits. This will come as little surprise, I suspect, to anyone who lives here and has endured the right-wing columnists’ love-in with the Scottish party leader over the last few years. Even when the Orange Order was batting its eyelids at her earlier this year, Davidson was touted as the purveyor of a more compassionate Conservatism, a moderating influence on her Westminster counterparts and the one figure capable of rehabilitating the tarnished brand north of the border.

Up to a point those commentators were right; the Scottish Tories did well in the local and general elections, gaining seats in both (though arguably this had more to do with Davidson’s decision to campaign on a No to a Second Indy Ref platform than her personal magnetism). But success can be a double-edged sword and so it has proved for Davidson. Unfortunately, the new intake of Conservative representatives included some loose cannons; and when I say loose cannons, I mean bigots.

Despite its putative transformation, the Scottish party’s toxicity level is once again soaring. Last week, two Stirling councillors, Robert Davies and Alastair Majury, suspended for posting racist and sectarian tweets, were reinstated on the basis of an apology so “unreserved” no-one outside the party was allowed to hear it.

Then – while that debacle was running its course – Moray MP Douglas Ross, a man already under fire for refusing to give up his job as a referee, told an online interviewer that, were he to be appointed Prime Minister for a day, his Number One priority would be tougher action against gypsies and travellers: two of the most marginalised groups in the country.


Finally, evidence of the Scottish Tories' new intake's toxicity reaches such levels that the MSM is distracted from complaining about the online antics of "cybernats" and the shine is quickly coming off the party's darling, touted by some as a future Scottish first minister, if not a UK prime minister.

Even so, this article merely scratches the surface of a party and leader that scrabbled together a tally of Scottish seats at the last UK election on the back of pandering to the sectarian Unionist fringe, aided and abetted by Scottish Labour.

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