By Bob Duncan

Scots Tory leader Ruth Davidson must “be seen to be ahead of the curve” and “loony” Michael Forsyth should be “muzzled”, claims the Conservative group leader of Fife council.

In a scathing attack on Ms Davidson’s leadership, the Tories have been told they must go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate their position on constitutional politics, the Tory council group leader in Fife has said.

The damning critique on their positioning in the anti-independence No campaign sees Cllr Dave Dempsey attack party leader Ruth Davidson and former Scottish secretary Michael Forsyth, saying:

“We need to decide who is the leader of our party. Then she needs to be seen to be ahead of the curve and ahead of the other leader.  In particular, there’s an appetite for localism in Scotland that is incompatible with lines in the sand.

“I find myself cringing whenever a particular former Scottish Secretary is wheeled out because I know he’s about to undermine what we’re trying to achieve. Could we please have a Dangerous Politicians Act to introduce muzzling. Leaving the loony fringe to one side, there is an easy solution – just lose the referendum, sit back and wait.”

Davidson had a shaky start to her leadership as she became the first MSP to be fined by the UK Electoral Commission after failing to declare on time almost £15,000 of donations to her leadership campaign.

She has been sidelined and contradicted by prime Minister David Cameron on several occasions, leading Tory MSPs to complain that the party in Scotland was "not even on his radar" and to accuse Mr Cameron of hanging the Scots Tory leader "out to dry".

She has also been accused of political inconsistency with Holyrood magazine even writing that “Ruth Davidson’s line in the sand has moved so many times she could play hopscotch with the trace of her arguments”.

And to top it off, a recent YouGov poll commissioned by the SNP found that just 5% of Scots thought that Ruth Davidson was best at standing up for Scotland.

The damning assessment from within her own party will come as yet another blow to under-fire Ruth Davidson, as Kirkcaldy SNP MSP David Torrance explained, saying:

“It is an achievement in itself that Ruth Davidson has managed to survive for a full year as leader of the Tories in Scotland – but clearly the diminishing Tory grassroots are not pleased at all.

“Councillor Dempsey’s admission that the Tories are out of sync with the needs of the people of Scotland and the bitter personal attacks on a former Scottish secretary will come as a huge embarrassment to Davidson.

“It leaves her in a position where she will either have to side with Cllr Dave Dempsey or discipline him. And she will have to do it herself - not on London’s demand.

“Ruth Davidson will no doubt be relieved to have clung onto her job for a full year, despite the repeated gaffes she has inflicted upon her party, but the pressure is on and she should raise her game now if she wishes to remain in charge.”


# hiorta 2012-11-14 08:05
Well, if legitimate aspiration for self-determination in Scotland is seen as mere 'localism' - whatever that is, then what exactly do posh boys represent?
Apart from thieving from the grossly overburdened tax payer.

Their motto was once: do as you wish, but don't get caught.
Now it doesn't even matter if they are caught.
# weegie38 2012-11-14 08:18
Cllr Dempsey is only saying the obvious.

Scottish Tories seem to think Michael Forsyth, who let's not forget led them to a complete electoral wipeout in 1997, is someone worth listening to. It's weird, because at the UK level we tend to associate the Tories with ruthlessness: after all, they even ditched Thatcher when she was clearly a liability to them.

Yet the Scottish Tories seem to think the biggest loser in their party's history is a "political heavyweight".

The Scottish Tories could definitely do with being more "Ruthless"! ;)
# Willie Hogg 2012-11-14 09:22
"Ruthless"! Priceless!

As we all know Cllr Dempsey is only saying the obvious and whether it is "localisms", parochialism, or subsidiarity, the Conservatives in Scotland are crying out for a leadership/party that is able to fight for Scottish solutions to Scotland's problem and not waste all this effort on fighting a constitutional change which would definitely benefit conservatives in Scotland. If you doubt this, just remember that over one third of the Scottish membership voted for a leadership candidate who proposed to disband the Party in Scotland and then reform as a separate (sic) party.
# zorbathejock 2012-11-14 15:31
He should go back to being a barman in the Clachaig Hotel in Glencoe. That was about the limit of his capabilities.
# Fungus 2012-11-14 08:44
What's not to understand here? Ruth is useless, Johanne is incapable of even taking refuge in a subway shop and Willie is as much use as a chocolate teapot. But does anyone for a minute think that if any of these people showed eve half the talent and ability of any one member of the SNP cabinet that they would not be whipped off to London?
It's all about control, the Unionist partys don't want anyone of ability running the show, they might get idea above their station.
Outside of the M25 it's all pretendy.
# Soloman 2012-11-14 09:10
Of course Lord Forsyth has extra time on his hands now, as the Bitter together bandwagon loses 4 wheels.....
# Dcanmore 2012-11-14 12:20
"Taxi for Forsyth" lol! Maybe the dead robe society should have their own lane, just above the law, like the Politburo used to have in Moscow.
# uilleam_beag 2012-11-14 13:47
Nae need fer wheels fan ye'r sledgin doun a steep snawy brae.
# Breeks 2012-11-14 09:46
Maybe Ruthie is well ahead of the curve and her secret meeting with González Pons wasn't a secret conspiracy but actually a job interview.
# J Wil 2012-11-14 10:02
Lord Forsyth and the whole Scottish cabal in the Lords seem to think that it is their role to throw petrol on the flames of Scottish politics and get up to all sorts of mischief making. Exemplified by their latest report about the referendum agreement between the UK and Scottish governments.

Faces appear on the TV to give their twopence worth that you thought had long disappeared from the scene. It's like the rise of the zombies.
# Soloman 2012-11-14 10:06
A good question for the next "Big Debate" would be, what will happen to the House of Lords and in particular the Scottish Lords should Scotland vote Yes?
# mealer 2012-11-14 10:33
Speed limits should only apply to "the plebs".
Why was Ruth elected leader? I think it was maybe because she wanted to draw a line in the sand,safeguardi ng Scottish tory principles regardless of the electoral consequences.They dont expect any great electoral success,but hope to get enough MSPs to allow their principles to have at least some influence in parliament.So they want to keep their principles.A bit like the greens.The big difference being,the greens principles are kind of respected,in general terms,by the bulk of Scots.Where as the tories certainly are not.Ruths style is light and breezy,which is fine for a wee while but she's just too lightweight to go on for long.
As for Forsyth,well,he knew well enough that the Scots wouldnt be content with a parish cooncil parliament.He knew where it would lead.Thats why he has always wanted Scotland to be assimilated into England rather than start out on the devolution route.
# Rabbie 2012-11-14 13:02
"As for Forsyth,well,he knew well enough that the Scots wouldnt be content with a parish cooncil parliament."

Wis it no him that gied us oor Stane back?
# Lintie 2012-11-14 17:42
Rabbie, Forsyth had the bright idea to return the Stone in the hope of saving his party in Scotland. It didn't work. They used one of Scotland's most precious symbols for political gain – much as they're now using the war dead for political gain. By the way, the Stone was returned to us ON LOAN – our own stolen property returned to us ON LOAN. Surely that's illegal? We HAVE to get rid of London in 2014.
# MAcandroid 2012-11-14 23:27
It's all right - it's not the real one!
# UpSpake 2012-11-14 16:36
Davidson is an non-entity and when her tenure is over, no-one will remember her other than the one who finished off the last remnants of conservative persence in Scotland.
That is of-course assuming Murdo and his supporters don't jump before the ship sinks inexorably below the waves.
There used to be a sizable xconservative vote in Scotland where has it gone ?.
Maybe middle of the road organisations like the SDA will pick up the slack ?.
# pmcrek 2012-11-15 02:41
Dressing the wolf up in a bunnet and kilt, bound to work eh chaps? Rather.

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