Scottish Tories are turning Stalinist - your views

Ruth Davidson's candidate committee has been accused of 'cronyism' by internal opponents.Ruth Davidson's candidate committee has been accused of 'cronyism' by internal opponents.
Ruth Davidson's candidate committee has been accused of 'cronyism' by internal opponents.
"I was astonished and annoyed to see Ruth Davidson, who isn't even standing in this election has the cheek to 'endorse' and name five out of the 13 candidates’

Scottish Tories are turning Stalinist

As a member of the Scottish Conservatives for over 25 years, five of which I served as a local councillor, I have just received my ballot paper for the regional list rankings for MSPs.

I was astonished and extremely annoyed to see that in the paper an ex-leader, Ruth Davidson, who isn't even standing in this election and is heading to an unelected body, has the cheek to 'endorse' and name five out of the 13 candidates standing in the Lothians!

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But it isn't just this region, it is the whole of Scotland! This is tantamount to telling members who to vote for. We might as well not bother asking people to vote.

When I worked for Ted Brocklebank, a regional MSP for Fife, I was tasked with writing his CV. I casually made mention of how he was a member of then leader Annabel Goldie's shadow cabinet. I was told by Scottish Conservative Central Office that this wasn't acceptable, as it could be seen as being an endorsement by the leader. How times change!

I'm glad I've posted off my ballot papers without following an increasingly undemocratic, Stalinist party which tries to tell members what to do.

I spent 13 years working in the Scottish Parliament for decent, hard working, talented, free thinking MSPs. That seems largely to have gone.

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Dominic Heslop, Edinburgh Scottish Conservative Councillor 2012-2017

Why the haste for Holyrood elections?

We are told by the SNP leadership that Scotland will not be following England’s route map out of lockdown and that we will follow a more cautious approach.

So no plans to get pubs, restaurants, colleges, universities, gyms, churches or any places of worship open anytime soon.

The First Minister even tells us to forget about summer holidays this year. People are being fined if ‘caught’ travelling too far to take a walk along a beach or a park, others are terrified to step out their front door for fear of catching Covid.Why is it, then, the same SNP leaders are able to tell us with certainty that the Holyrood elections will go ahead? Surely if the risks of catching the virus are still as high as the SNP make out, the election should be postponed until next year. Could it be because none of the usual doorstep canvassing is allowed and political parties can’t send out election leaflets?

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This means the SNP have a huge advantage because they are on national TV every day with the First Minister’s political podcast or the ‘virus update’ as she likes to call it.

Another possible reason is the long awaited report on our education system, due out in June, is almost certainly going to be bad news for the SNP as it will confirm we are failing our young people, so better get the election done first.All very cynical but, typical of a party that puts power before the people.

David Smith, Doctor McEwan Lane, Prestonpans.

Hate Crime Bill is turning farcical

There is further farcical confusion in the govern-ment’s hate crime bill over free speech regarding religion. There had been unanimous agreement which allowed for criminal prosecution only of behaviour proved to be "threatening or abusive" and “intended” to stir up hatred. Expressions of "antipathy, ridicule, dislike or insult" of religion or belief had rightly been protected.

In an exasperating U-turn there is now to be a consultation, where two out of four new options allow only “discussion or criticism.” It would be a brave new Scotland which criminalised Life of Brian.

Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society.