Tories have struck a chord across spectrum
The Edinburgh Festival is upon us, so perhaps we should indulge the stand-up comedian of political commentary, Gerry Hassan, and his entertaining but ultimately pointless diatribes.
But in his latest rabid rant (Perspective, 11 August), he goes too far with his quite outrageous proposition that support for the Conservative Party is underpinned by racism. This is the kind of baseless slur normally associated with the puerile publications of the extreme left.
Much though it may irritate Comrade Hassan and his ilk, the fact is that people of all backgrounds – races, religions and classes – have supported the Conservatives over the years because of a shared belief in the values and virtues of fair play, hard work, freedom under the law, and opportunity for all – even more relevant than before in these tough economic times.
It is no secret that the Conservative Party faces many challenges, not least of which is repairing the damage left by 13 years of Labour profligacy, which was cheered on by the likes of Mr Hassan, who may care to reflect that the widely regarded racist dog-whistle slogan of “British jobs for British workers” was voiced not by any Tory but that paragon of progressive opinion, Gordon Brown.
Moreover, the fact that in a few weeks more than 10,000 people have joined the Conservative Friends of the Union campaign shows that far from being the “Zombie party” portrayed by Hassan, we have struck a chord with many Scots in taking forward as a campaigning party an issue which has profound significance for our country .
But perhaps we should be grateful to Gerry Hassan for reminding us that the “loony left” of the 80s is still alive and well. Those who believe in the benefits of free enterprise, choice, lower taxes and smaller government should not be fooled into thinking that their values can ever be reflected in the left-of-centre consensus which passes for so much of Scottish political discourse today. For that, they will continue to need a Conservative Party .
Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP for Lothian
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