Scottish Tory Party Conference

The Scottish Tory Party Conference was held in Troon on the Ayrshire Coast this year. The small seaside town has been swarming with police all week, even to the extent of mounted officers patrolling the beach (no doubt looking for kids building sandcastles without planning permission). David Cameron gave a speech to the Tory faithful in Scotland on Friday. Today the STUC held a march and rally of around 1000-1200 protesters.

Here are a selection of pictures.


17 comments on “Scottish Tory Party Conference

  1. Robert on said:

    OT Scottish independence and Unionist economic myths…-stories-myths-and-misinformation

    1) Royal Bank of Scotland: The cost of bailing out RBS would have bankrupted an independent Scotland.

    Scottish GDP in 2008 was an estimated £145 billion. The cost to the UK of the RBS / HBOS bail out in 2008 was £88 billion. However the actual Scottish share on a per capita basis was £8.8 billion, and on the debt accrued by the Scottish registered banks which would have been an independent Scotland’s liability is estimated at £2.4 billion. We’d only have had to cough up even that much assuming that Scotland implemented the same slash-and-burn approach to regulation of the financial sector as Westminster.

    The Unionists would have us believe that we’d be bankrupted by the price of a £1 bus fare out of a London riot zone, even though we’ve got £75 in our pocket. And we can reasonably hope to get a refund on that bus ticket at some point in the future.

    It wasn’t Scotland that allowed bankers to run riot, it was Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling. Brown and Darling and their ilk are effectively telling us we can’t be independent because they’re so bleedin’ incompetent. But we already know that, which is why we’re not so inclined to vote for them any more.

    As Andrew Hughes Hallett. Professor of Economics at St Andrew’s University, put it, speaking on Radio Scotland.

    “The real point here, and this is the real point, is by international convention, when banks which operate in more than one country get into these sorts of conditions, the bailout is shared in proportion to the area of activities of those banks, and therefore it’s shared between several countries. In the case of the RBS, I’m not sure of the exact numbers, but roughly speaking 90% of its operations are in England and 10% are in Scotland, the result being, by that convention, therefore, that the rest of the UK would have to carry 90% of the liabilities of the RBS and Scotland 10%. And the precedent for this, if you want to go into the details, are the Fortis Bank and the Dexia Bank, which are two banks which were shared between France, Belgium and the Netherlands, at the same time were bailed out in proportion by France, Belgium and the Netherlands.”

    2)Benefits: An independent Scotland couldn’t afford to pay the bill for everyone on benefits.

    This myth was put about by leader of the Scottish Tories, Ruth Davidson the Action Krankie. Her great strengths are abseiling, kick-boxing and making a face like a lemon whenever anyone mentions “independence” or “Tory irrelevance”. Ruth is deeply concerned about the ability of an independent Scotland to pay its welfare benefits bill, because after independence she’ll be unemployable.

    Ruth said that the amount Scotland spends on welfare benefits is greater than the amount we receive in taxation from North Sea Oil. So we wouldn’t be able to afford bus passes and old age pensions.

    Ruth can tie ropes together, but either she struggles to cope with joined up thinking or she imagines Scottish voters do. Her statement rests upon the bizarre notion that no one in the country pays any taxes at all and we have no industries, economic activity or employment, except the oil.

    The whisky industry alone contributes £800 million annually to the Scottish economy, then there’s tourism, manufacturing, the financial sector, and all the other jobs that have so far managed to avoid the swingeing cuts being imposed by Westminster.

    So as you get up out of bed to go to work of a morning, remember that Ruth thinks you don’t have a job at all. Since her own job as leader of a non-existent party is pretty much a non-job, it’s easy to see why she’s confused.

    Scotland receives less from the Union than it contributes, according to the UK government’s own figures: see Subsidies. We more than pay our own way already, we more than pay for the benefits received by inhabitants of Scotland. According to the most recent Government Expenditure and Revenues Statistics (GERS), the annual benefit bill is a lower proportion of Scottish revenue than it is across the UK as a whole. All benefits paid out in Scotland total 40% of all revenues collected from Scotland. Across the UK as a whole, the benefits bill makes up 42% of all expenditure. This means that Scotland can more easily afford to pay decent benefits to its citizens than the UK as a whole is able to. We don’t depend on Westminster to foot our unemployment bill, we only depend on Westminster to create mass unemployment in the first place. That’s something Tories have historically been quite good at.

    It needs to be pointed out that in the GERS figures a notional share of expenses for “UK national expenditure” is allocated to Scotland even though these monies are not spent in Scotland. The London Olympics and the high speed railway between London and Birmingham are deemed to be “national expenditure”. Scotland is also allocated a share of the cost of Trident and an overblown defence budget which is wasted on aircraft carriers without planes and the cancellation of Nimrod after spending billions on the project. The GERS figures don’t represent the government expenditure of an independent Scotland accurately, they portray a worst case Westminster scenario. In reality we’d be considerably better off.

    3) Central bank: We can’t really be independent without our own currency and a central bank.

    The Scottish Government proposes that after independence, Scotland would continue to use the Bank of England as its central bank and would negotiate with the rump-UK to form a new sterling area. This would benefit both the rump-UK and Scotland as it would guarantee financial and economic stability for both parties.

    Despite its name, the Bank of England is the UK central bank, and as such Scots have a percentage share in it. As an independent nation we would not be without influence in the central bank, as we are shareholders in it and would be party to negotiations to form a new sterling area. At the moment we only have the influence of George Osborne and Danny Alexander, even a minority say in the Bank of England is better than that. But more importantly we’d have full control over our own tax and spending.

    Having your own currency is not the definitive mark of an independent nation. Quite a few independent nations manage quite happily with shared a central bank and a shared currency. Apart from the 17 countries in the Eurozone, there are six independent Caribbean states who share the East Caribbean dollar (EC$), which is currently pegged to the US dollar at the fixed rate of US$1 to EC$2.70. The British territories of Anguilla and Montserrat also use the East Caribbean dollar. All eight share a single central bank. In Africa, eight nations share the West African franc and a single central bank located in Senegal. Another six African nations share the Central African franc and a single central bank located in Cameroun. Four southern African nations, South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia and Lesotho, share the rand as common currency.

    The key is sovereignty, not an independent currency or an independent central bank. The point is that all the independent nations who share currencies have the right to decide for themselves whether to continue with the shared currency or to leave it. They can remain with a shared central bank or they can set up their own if the shared bank no longer suits. They can make these decisions based upon their own economic and political needs. Scotland does not currently have any choice, we’re stuck with Westminster’s policies whatever our needs may be. With independence, we’d have the choice.

  2. Duncan on said:

    Cameron may as well have been kissing them goodbye or performing the last rites. As a political force, they are finished.

  3. jim mclean on said:

    Stuck with Westminster on the one hand, stuck with Salmond on the other. No Brainer, Ed for PM.

  4. Strategist on said:

    >>> It wasn’t Scotland that allowed bankers to run riot, it was Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling.

    I wish Scotland well, so this isn’t borne of anti-Scottishness, but I think it’s a fair question to ask whether Brown & Darling turned a blind eye to the grosser excesses of RBS and particularly HBOS (by far the most outrageously badly behaved High St bank) because the two Boards were Scotland’s lads.

  5. jim mclean on said:

    Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling.

    One Scottish and one of Scottish descent, both raised in Middle Class Fife. Darling, IMG, a former member of the 4th International.
    Maybe the Scots owe the rest of the UK an apology. 🙂

  6. Strategist: >>> It wasn’t Scotland that allowed bankers to run riot, it was Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling.I wish Scotland well, so this isn’t borne of anti-Scottishness, but I think it’s a fair question to ask whether Brown & Darling turned a blind eye to the grosser excesses of RBS and particularly HBOS (by far the most outrageously badly behaved High St bank) because the two Boards were Scotland’s lads.

    Tend to doubt it myself Brown’s refusal to regulate, or re regulate if you like, the financial sector extended to letting the FSA know they should not upset money men.

    Yeah the Tories are finished in Scotland and they know it. Forsyth was on the radio today bleating that many of his party no longer care about Scotland. I hadn’t realised the cared in his day but its a sign of the times.

  7. An iconic picture of part of the contingent of the Young Communist League (YCL) in Scotland today who were ready to tell the Tories what’s what.

    As the Communist Party (Scotland) twitter @communist_party put it:
    “Troon told the Tories to fuck off, create some real jobs and shove their degrading ‘work for your dole’ scams today. Jolly good show.”

    YCL going well, held joint Universities meetings on Monday just there on the “Case for Communism”. Good turn out, good discussion. On the up.

  8. jim mclean on said:

    Yeah the Tories are finished in Scotland and they know it.

    Yes but the neo cons are alive and well. The leaflets are coming through the door and the SNP council candidates are all Tartan Tories. In the 60’s these guys would have been standing as Progressives. The LibDem’s are finding it hard to put up candidates. in Edinburgh they are putting up fewer candidates than they have councillors. Also the sitting SNP councillor in my ward is 2 on there list, 1st choice is a guy that failed the Labour selection process last time round. The sheer opportunism of Scottish political activists saddens me. The next few years are going to be hard for some.

  9. Stephen on said:

    #1 “It wasn’t Scotland that allowed bankers to run riot, it was Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling.”

    You have obviously forgotten Salmond wanted even LESS regulation for banks in Scotland. Salmond described the ( ahem) somewhat lax City of London regime as “Gold plated” and declared that “silver plated” would do for Scottish banks.
    Incidentally, while the SNP have , rightly, criticised much of Osbornes’ budget.. they welcomed the cut in Corporation Tax.

  10. Ghost of FI in Scotland on said:

    Darling was never a member of the IMG. It is an urban myth. Both Labour through and through.