Murdo Fraser set the pace with radical proposals to fold the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party into a new centre right party, separate from, but allied to, the UK Conservative Party. At 32, Ruth Davidson represents a new generation and her presentational skills, honed as a TV presenter are considerable. Jackson Carlaw brings considerable experience of business and politics to the table. Margaret Mitchell completes the broad choice on offer, especially with her distinctive anti devolution views. Updates, news and campaign statements can be found at the Tory Hoose blog.
In my previous post on the leadership election, I explained why I will be voting for Murdo Fraser. Whilst the idea of creating a new party attracting a broad range of supporters prevents detailed policy until those members are given a chance to come on board, Murdo Fraser has published a list of six key aims and values in support of his vision of a centre right party. Here is a summary.
- Develop a distinct Scottish identity - with policies genuinely made in Scotland.
- Strengthen the United Kingdom - devolution of power but with certain things better done at a UK level making us stronger together than apart.
- Devolve power to communities and people - diversity will flow from decentralisation of power is, together with the ingenuity of people, the key to progress across the board.
- Deliver quality public services - with the emphasis not on central command and control, but on local diversity.
- Extend economic opportunity - ensuring government provides the right environment of lower and simpler taxes, sensible regulation and good public infrastructure to extend opportunities.
- Build a strong society -
- founded on government action and personal responsibility
- upholding vital institutions encouraging them to be built from the bottom up rather than top down
- encouraging family loyalty, philanthropy and mutual benefit
- championing the traditional Scottish belief in voluntarism, mutualism and community, removing barriers that prevent voluntary organisations, social enterprises and community bodies from serving the needs of people in their local communities
- speaking and acting for all - especially those least able to look after themselves.