Martin Hannan: Send Ruth homeward tae think again

Ruth Davidson will be No 1 Tory on the Lothians list in 2016. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Ruth Davidson will be No 1 Tory on the Lothians list in 2016. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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The news that Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson was abandoning her Glasgow list seat in order to fight for an absolutely guaranteed list seat in Edinburgh brought to mind a version of an old saying that greater love hath no woman than that she lays down her friends for her life.

No-one, but no-one, has called Davidson for what she is – nothing more or less than a carpetbagger.

I am fully aware that berating Davidson is like spitting on a rose. I will be accused of misogyny or homophobia or both, so let me say at the outset that her gender and sexuality are matters of supreme indifference to me. I prefer to raise matters of political leaders’ policies, political professionalism and personal integrity, and in the case of Davidson, the first is a sad joke, the second is questionable – she has just led her party to its lowest share of the popular vote in a Scottish general election since the days of Red Clydeside – and as I will show, her personal integrity is capable of being scrutinised.

As a good SNP member, I actually appreciate having Ruth Davidson around, because every time she opens her mouth and spouts some more Tory nonsense it reminds me why Scotland has rejected the Conservative Party.

Now she is moving to contest a seat here, ostensibly on the grounds that she now lives in Edinburgh, in order to fight hopelessly for a constituency and go on the Lothians list for her party where, of right, because she is the leader and there are still enough Conservatives around, she 
will become the No 1 Tory to be elected off that list – something that was no longer guaranteed on the Glasgow list.

If Davidson had the courage of her convictions, she would simply fight a constituency and not push another hard-working Conservative off that list – something she has done before.

The political reporters of the Unionist press have yet again proved themselves pathetic and seriously unprofessional in tackling Davidson on this issue. Most egregiously, hardly anyone in the Unionist press reported on the fact that Davidson has 
carpetbagging form.

Having joined the Tories in 2009, Davidson was rushed into their candidacy at the by-election in Glasgow North East in November that year. She polled 1075 votes. She fought the same seat in the 2010 general election and came fourth, increasing her vote by 0.1 per cent to 1569 votes.

Then came her first carpetbagging, and it was nasty beyond belief. She fought the Glasgow Kelvin seat in the 2011 Holyrood elections and came fourth, polling 1845 votes.

But thanks to brutal internal machinations against businessman Malcolm Macaskill, he was ousted from top place on the Glasgow Conservatives’ list so that Davidson could take his place and hey, presto, she had a seat in the Scottish Parliament and her ascent to the leadership was well under way.

Macaskill later sued the Conservatives and they settled out of court in his favour – “rotten to the core” he called them.

Now Davidson, who has attracted the princely total of 4489 votes in her entire career, will again push someone off the Conservative list – for the second time. Sorry, but that stinks.

Ruth Davidson is not welcome here. She is not welcome anywhere in civilised Scottish society.

How did Ruth Davidson respond? Click here to find out

Has the Festival outgrown our struggling city?

HAVING been stupid enough to take the bus into town yesterday and experienced a normal 40-minute journey become a 70-minute nightmare, I really do have to repeat what I said on the BBC last week and ask if the whole Festival shebang has outgrown this city.

Whole streets sealed off, people unable to park anywhere near their homes, public transport failing to cope.

We all want the various festivals to succeed but we do not have the basic material to cope with constant expansion. It is time that someone had an infrastructural vision for the future.

The Ribbon hotel can get knotted

The so-called “ribbon hotel” that is to be the centrepiece of the St James Quarter gets major criticism from me. It is not an original design, looks like a dun-coloured car park access route, and is nowhere near classy enough for Edinburgh.

Give us something original and of the highest quality and the people will support it. Otherwise . . .

Weather is sickening

We have supposedly summer months of grey, dreich and even cold weather and finally we get a decent warm day – and guess who had to spend it in hospital? Call me “nae luck”.