I note from the contributions today to Scotsman.com View (30 September) that some of your readers are confused by the term “Tartan Tories”.
Older readers like me will be aware that the original “Tartan Tories” were the 11 SNP Members of the Westminster Parliament who in 1979 did a deal with the then leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition, Margaret Thatcher, and offered to vote with her Conservative and Unionist Party to bring down the then Labour government of James Callaghan in a vote of no confidence.
The SNP frequently remind us of the 18 years of “Tory rule” that followed 1979 but seem to have forgotten that it was they who delivered it by walking into the same Division Lobby as Mrs Thatcher and her party.
The vote was won by Mrs Thatcher and her Tartan Tories by 311 votes to 310. Callaghan rightly called the SNP “the turkeys who voted for Christmas”. Their names? Douglas Crawford, Margaret Ewing, Winnie Ewing, Douglas Henderson, Iain MacCormick, George Reid, Donald Stewart, George Thompson, Hamish Watt, Andrew Welsh and Gordon Wilson. Scottish patriots to a man and woman?
Well, they really showed Callaghan who was boss, did they not? I was one of the many in Scotland who, during those 18 years, lost my job to redundancy and eventually moved to London for work.
I am back home now and note that those of the 11 still alive are now the “elder statesmen and women” of the SNP. How they have the brass neck to claim to speak for Scotland now astounds me. But then some politicians will say and do anything for power, and the Scots are no different. They were Tartan Tories then and despite all their appeals to create a fairer Scotland, Tartan Tories they remain.
Let’s all work together to create a fairer Scotland, but be wary of the SNP: they have form on betraying the people of Scotland. They just prefer not to be reminded of it.