Bruce Skivington: Sanderson report states the obvious

Lord Sanderson's report on the Tory Party is mainly 52 pages (less lovely pictures) of stating what has been obvious to anyone following Scottish Tory antics for the last 18 years. It provides a less than ringing endorsement (something the electorate has also been doing) of the leadership since the Scottish Parliament was formed.

It is the Scottish Parliament that is the core of the problem for the Scottish Tories.

Aside from their initial opposition to it, the list system has allowed centrally chosen party functionaries to sit quietly and profitably in the Parliament without recourse to the need for a strong constituency base.

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The irony is that the team which is going to lead the party into the 2011 election and which led to an increased Labour vote in 2010 is the same team which the report is suggesting replacing.

The idea that the leader should be elected by the party members is good but the suggestion that the person elected need not be a MSP is illogical. If the elected leader is not a MSP, there is going to be a conflict since the media is going to report the actions of the MSP leader (especially at FMQs) and possibly ignore the elected leader especially if an MP based at Westminster.

All the other parties give prominence to their Scottish leader who in all cases is a MSP. Also since most of the policies generated are going to be Scottish Parliament based, the leader of the MSPs and the relevant spokesmen are likely to be the source of all policy releases.

This part of the report, along with its general emphasis, shows a complete lack of a media strategy. Media strategy and policy formulation are the base of all successful modern parties.

Both Blair and Cameron made communication a core in their strategy and in the modern world it is the media in all its forms, including the internet, which defines a modern party as the recent leader's debates in the election showed.

If such a debate was to take place during a Scottish Parliament election would a non-MSP Tory leader be laughed off the stage?

• Bruce Skivington is a Scottish publisher and commentator.