Ruth Davidson Speech Good (and Bad) Points

AFFG Activists outside Parliament on 13-11-17

We don't support any political party but we were interested in Ruth Davidson's latest speech to the Policy Exchange on 21 May, because she moved onto potentially fertile new ground (albeit ground we've been tilling for years now).

Some Things She Said which we Really Liked


"Nicola Sturgeon went on the Peston on Sunday program to say she was going to restart the debate on independence. This came as news to much of Scotland as we'd never heard her stop it."

We liked this way of putting things:

"And – despite the best attempts of those attempting our break up – the Union is not something that is done TO us. It is something that we have ownership of; that we've built and fashioned and sculpted again and again."

And she warned against complacency:

"Anywhere between 40 and 45 percent of my fellow country men and women currently say they do not want to be part of the United Kingdom. That our parliament in Edinburgh currently has a majority of MSPs who support independence and want the 300 year old Union to end. And that the SNP, having just completed its 11th year in power, continues to use all the muscle and measures and influence government provides to prise apart the UK ever further, every hour of every day. So: for all that independence seems to have lost momentum and may feel like yesterday's battle, it is still real and present. The Union continues to be under threat."

She stated correctly that Scotland and other parts of the UK "need more Union too".

In that regard, she spoke about the importance of "City Deals" (money partially coming from the rest of the UK to help areas of Scotland).

That's all good, but unless the British Government find a way of emphasising the fact that it is money coming from the rest of the UK, then everyone looking-on just presumes it comes from Holyrood, or from whatever "Scottish Government Minister", or devolved quango, ends up announcing the Deal.

An important point she raised is about making Britain less London-centric. For example:

"For our civil service and major cultural bodies to claim to be UK institutions, they need to represent and be present across our whole United Kingdom...Why is it we must come to London to see the wonders of the British Museum? Why not create a second home for the Museum nearer to where most of the rest of us live?"