Monday, March 05, 2007

we may need a change, but we dont need you

there seems no end to the level of in-fighting some people in the conservative party will stoop too just because things are not exactly the way they want them. and if proof were needed that this happens in the scottish conserative party along comes an unhelpful, badly written and poorly argued blog out of edinburgh designed to create maximum damage so close to the elections.

the award for pointless petulance goes to the blog 'scottish tories are doomed' who presents a whole list of reasons why he doesn't like the scottish conservatives. the author claims to be a tory by the name of alan simpson, yet the comments in some of his threads cast doubt on this.

let us go through his weak arguments one by one.

in the most recent post entitled comment moderation the author responds to a comment with this little gem:

We currently have such a weak platform to stand upon as we fight this election but I do not see this changing until the manifesto is launched, I pity those that have to campaign for the party! [my emphasis]


that's just oxymoronic in the first order. of course the party is light on policy prior to a manifesto launch, that is the whole point of a manifes - to launch policy! secondly, we do have several policies out there, some announced as far back as last summer.

and here they are: Council tax cut in half for pensioners, '3 strikes and you're out' for repeat offenders, £100m towards drug rehabilitation, Saying no to the Lib-Lab Pact's road toll scheme, An eco-bonus scheme for homeowners.

my source? their website: http://www.scottishconservatives.com/manifesto.asp

on another post amusingly entitled 'serious debate' the blog entertains us further with this gem which is meant to be a reason for the party suffering:

failure to invest in the future of the party - younger and hungrier candidates.



so once again i checked the party website and guess what i found - 5 under 35 year olds standing as parliamentary candidates. and here they are: peter lyburn, jamie johnston, john lamont, bob dalrymple, derek brownlee. 35 is chosen as that is the age of the reputed alan simpson in his profile. so that's a crop of candidates all younger than this waste of fresh air and one of them is already an msp! pratt... and now for the council candidates younger than he is... on this page alone he can find 10 candidates under 30 up for election in may 2007 - 2 are incumbants. again, what a pratt.

i seriously think this alan simpson failed in an application to be a candidate and is jealous of other people's success. he probably failed as he has the reasoning of a brain dead chipmunk.

now for some more oxymoronic reasoning by this pillock. on the same post as above 'serious debate' he he he posted this...

an overstaffed and underperforming central office which has repeatedly failed to
take responsibilty for repeated by-election failures



quickly followed by...

an aging membership which is too interested in coffee mornings and attending
long and boring meetings, and too reluctant to actually get out and
leaflet
. [again, my emphasis]



so is he complaining that that our membership is too old or that our membership will not listen to the younger views of scco? this guy is too stupid to explain which, but his two points cancel each other out.

on the 23rd feb this alan simpson thing had a whack at murdo fraser because he seems to have a personnal difference with party policy. the funny thing is; alan the moron seems to miss the irony of his blog. his blog is a swipe at the party he disagrees with; yet complains when a politian shows the same conviction. what a dim witted 'ucker; are you a lib dem in disguise alan?

and once more to this man's crap ability to research his facts i bring you to a post from the 21st feb; evidently our lack of policies before a manifesto launch is a bad thing. a manifesto in his mind being something other than a policy launch!!!

and to conclude. this man, in his profile describes himself as "I am more of an old school type Conservative, none of this wet Cameron style Conservatism". out of interest would that be the old school conservatism that lost us the last 3 elections? you clearly enjoy living under a labour government because you don't seem willing to embrace the 21st century. your blog is nothing but ammo for the opposition, and as long as idiots like you put the boot in to score more readers on your blog this country will continue to suffer the malaise of a labour government.

if you are a conservative; shut up. if you actually like this country, shut up. such poor blogs feed the opposition. you are the opposition.

22 comments:

In defense of Alan said...

Firstly, your point on policies and our manifesto. The SNP has been coming out with policies for nearly a year now. Nearly one a week through the quiet summers months and this gave them almost exclusive press coverage. That's why they are on a roll and we are not. If you just launch everything in a manifesto then you minimise the coverage you get on specific points. It's basic strategy but obviously not basic enough for you. Oh, and by the way, listing the 5 policies you managed to find on our website doesn’t strengthen your argument – it actually makes it look weaker. 5 policies in a year – hardly exciting stuff.

Your issues with the phrase “failure to invest in the future of the party - younger and hungrier candidates” also demonstrates your failure to do anything but the basest of research. Peter Lyburn is a student who is fighting a no hope seat, while Jamie Johnston, John Lamont and Derek Brownlee have all fought before. Not sure about Bob Dalrymple but even if he hasn’t fought before then that’s still only 2 new young (if you’re counting under 35 as young) candidates out of over 70odd contesting the parliament. There were far more new young candidates who contested the Westminster election in 2005 but who have chosen not to stand this time. We’ve actually gone backwards not forwards.

And Alan’s comments on SCCO and the membership DON’T cancel themselves out as they’re different points. One is critical of SCCO’s repeated by-election failures while the other is a about our members not doing enough. No one is suggesting everything is SCCO’s fault, merely that they fail to take any responsibility when it is. The point is that neither SCCO nor the membership are doing enough.

You might not like what Alan, and others on the site, say but that is probably because you totally fail to grasp the position the party in Scotland is in. We are only doing better south of the border BECAUSE WE CHANGED. For the Scottish Conservatives to play their part in the providing MPs for a Westminster Government then WE NEED TO CHANGE up here too. Unfortunately there’s no sign of this.

The alternative is to sit back, stay quiet and watch our support slip away in Scotland. Is that what you want? Thankfully there are those who are prepared to stand up and debate the problems. It’s just a shame that, all to often, it’s the weasely little yes men like you who have got themselves into the positions of power.

Alan Simpson said...

I take responsibility for this post: "an overstaffed and underperforming central office which has repeatedly failed to
take responsibilty for repeated by-election failures"

but not for "an aging membership which is too interested in coffee mornings and attending
long and boring meetings, and too reluctant to actually get out and
leaflet. [again, my emphasis]"

Another thing that interested me was the fact that you criticise my use of English and of grammer but display no quality of your own in either of those respects.

Re the age of candidates. The five you list, only two stand a chance of becoming MSPs post May yet we see candidates such as Mary Scanlon set to return, hardly looking to the future now is it? Do you not think that instead of selecting candidates such as Scanlon, who at best will only have one term left in her, we should be promoting youth. Removing Scanlon from the Highlands list would improved Jamie Johnston's chances of becoming an MSP.

Failed application you say? That I deny, I have not applied to become a candidate.

In regards to your final point, are you suggesting that I cannot be critical of my party? What tosh. I pay my membership and have every right to be disappointed when the party is underperforming, blogging is a good avenue for creating debate, I am disappointed many of the topics have been hijacked by mud slinging, but you will be unable to read those points as they have been rejected.

Alan Simpson

chief Y is a vowel campaigner said...

our policies so far that i can remember - but havent gone looking for details - are:

(law and order)
3 strikes for repeat offenders
double jeopardy
ending early aurtomatice release

(education)
new education act
school boards

(tax)
50% discount on council tax for all over 65
opposition to local income tax

(transport)
forth road crossing
high speed rail
anti-road toll (independant website for this)

(health)
independant website for this too - less waste, middle management, targets etc more money on health care

(environment)
the eco bonus

(urban)
town centre regeneration fund

looking once more at their website i found a business manifesto had been launched on the 5th march - yesterday!

now some other issues arising...

don't bother with the grammar - of you didn't get the point of this blogs header im not having that conversation with you. any reference i may have made to your english was either a crass sidewipe or subtley raising a higher issue with your argument. ill leave you to figure that one out.

in defense of alan 13:35 - i accept your points about the english party changing its image and policy content alot, but i still disagree that the same effort is not being made in scotland. out of interest - how would you like them to take responsibility for faults? secondly, how would you like to see change in the scottish party?

i count 15 individual policies, 2 independant websites - how much more did the opposition have before any conference this year? exactly - they had one or two that got repeatedly played in the media; local income tax, independance etc...


and alan, i did not suggest you can not be critical of the party (and dont take murray's name in vain). i pointed out that you were complaining that murdo fraser aired a different opinion; you were doing what he was doing!

and another contradiction of yours. you complain there's no change in the party and you complain mary scanlon got a good vote. erm, scanlon only came top because we changed our system to give all members a vote. it is likely the incumbant petrie would have done much better had the vote been in house. you are blaming the professional party for something the voluntary party did.

are you sure you know how the party operates?

chief Y is a vowel campaigner said...

oh and another thing; im not a yes man and i dont have any position of power in the party. i am however, weasely and little ;-)

in defense of alan said...

Where is the change in the party in Scotland? I can't see it.

I want to see membership drives attracting new members across Scotland.

A realisation that we can't just look to the next election but need to have a long term vision for the party.

An understanding that every vote counts under a pr system.

A total rebuilding of our infrastructure - AS A PRIORITY!

That's just some of the change we need - not all but a start.

and SCCO can take responsibilty by realising that, after 2 disastrous by elections, it's maybe time to try new things as their campaign tactic are clearly not working. In effect, in Moray we spent £500 on each extra vote we received (off a bad result at the 2003 elections when our original candidate bailed at the last minute).

none of this is rocket science. it's second nature to anyone who's actually been involved in private business. Maybe that's where the problems lies with SCCO.

The Tory Hippy said...

I think you have touched on a problem here IDOA. Perhaps it would be better if certain factions of the party were run with principles incorporated from private business, especially when finance related, however it would seem that individuals with such business savy are not willing to get involved at the grass roots of the party which certainly doesn't pay well, as the majority of those based in SCCO can probably testify. (they are too busy developing their business careers)It is easy to stand on the sidelines shouting about what should and shouldn't be done. I can't help wondering what you yourself or Alan have done to change the party.

You want to see membership drives across Scotland? Arrange one. Perhaps one of the main problems with the party are it's supporters who think that an understaffed and overstretched Central Office should arrange everything for them across the whole of scotland and individuals such as yourself can merely sit back and soak up the rewards of increased membership.

You want to build a long term vision for the party that stretches beyond the horizons of the next election. How do you propose this could/should be done and what do you as an individual think you could do to contribute towards this.

It has been said that "blogging" can change the world. No my friend, only action and perserverance, compromise and understanding can do so. If you spent as much time helping to change the party as you do complaining about it perhaps you might get a little closer to addressing some of your concerns.

P.S 17 of the Scottish Conservatives selected candidates for the parliament are under 35 and for every member of the party out there that advocates putting new young candidates into target seats there is another claiming that this is precisely the wrong thing to do. You can't please all of the people all of the time.

chief Y is a vowel campaigner said...

dear in defense of alan 16:22.

membership drives happen all the time - just because you didnt receive one doesnt mean it didnt happen.

rebuilding the infrastructure? new regional campaign centres in glasgow and aberdeen clearly escaped you?

long term vision began last year with richard cook being elected as ppc. more ppc's are been recruited now - download a form off their website. there appears a bunch of new staff with job titles that suggest smoeone's looking beyond may - im taking that one on blind faith from their website.

there may have been two poor results in the by-elections but the scottish party has not lost a ward since 1995 and we're polling higher now than the same point before the previous scottish elections.

and finally; in your first post you said: that’s still only 2 new young (if you’re counting under 35 as young) candidates out of over 70odd contesting the parliament

so i raised the bar to 40 and under, here's what who i found:

Fiona Houston
Brian Pope
Heather Macleod
Richard Cook
Davena Rankin
Derek Brownlee
Bob Dalrymple
Richard Sullivan
Gavin Brown
Stephen O Rourke
John Lamont
Ian Mcgill
Scott Campbell
Gordon Wilson
Christina Harcus
James Callander
Chris Bustin
Maurice Golden
David Potts
Pete Lybrun
Ross Thomson.

that's 21 out of your 70odd. More than one quarter of the scottish party's candidates are under 40!!!

your arguments are not well researched, poorly thought out and oddly negative for someone claiming to have the party's interests in mind. you and your alter ego "alan simpson" are the cancer of the party. retro looking, name calling wannabe's. everything you attack the party for i have disproved. the party is re-building and if you kick it down in the meantime you help only our opposition. be a part of the solution or go away!

Anonymous said...

Hard to disagree with much of what The Tory Hippy says, but SCCO is 'understaffed and overstretched'?!!!!

There are more people working there than the population of some small African countries. What DO they all do all day?

The Tory Hippy said...

Dear Anon. I challenge you to spend a day in the SCCO office and still claim that statement as fact.

Anonymous said...

Dear Tory Hippy,

Why don't you just answer the question? I am far too busy campaigning in my constituency to visit SCCO. So, again, what DO they all do all day?

chief Y is a vowel campaigner said...

anon 18:03 i know they used to have someone who perved on the reception girls! but on a serious note, and someone correct me if i'm wrong, but they produce most of the leaflets that go in scotland; think of the associations that aren't as lucky as yours to have an active candidate, agent, secretary, assoc officers or active branch's.

this said; i'll leave a full and proper answer for someone who works there (because naturally they all read this blog...)

where are you standing anon? want linked? or if you'd prefer to stay anon how about a first hand comment on what its like being a candidate on the front line, maybe with some insights on the help candidates require but aren't getting (for whatever reason, no mudslinging please) aswell as areas where you find you do get support. ive never been a candidate so am curious for a candidates angle.

Alan Simpson said...

Chief y is a vowel campaigner,

Your repition of your young candidate point is annoying. Here is your list again:

Fiona Houston
Brian Pope
Heather Macleod
Richard Cook
Davena Rankin
Derek Brownlee
Bob Dalrymple
Richard Sullivan
Gavin Brown
Stephen O Rourke
John Lamont
Ian Mcgill
Scott Campbell
Gordon Wilson
Christina Harcus
James Callander
Chris Bustin
Maurice Golden
David Potts
Pete Lybrun
Ross Thomson.

Four of that list of 21 are likely to be MSPs after May. Hardly a massive victory for getting younger candidates is it? How about answering that question. Should the party not be trying harder to get younger candidates into seats where they stand a chance in?

in defense of alan said...

firsly, don't think Richard Cook is standing for Holyrood so you can scratch him off.

Secondly, only 2 of those candidates are very likley to get in - Derek Brownlee (already an MSP) and Gavin Brown (2nd on Lothian's list). John Lamont might get in as long as we don't win Dumfries FPTP which we really should do.

Most of the rest of the candidates are little more than paper candidates selected at the last minute to make up numbers so, even when opened up to under 40s, it's hardly a great sign.

like the party, you must do better!!!!

chief Y is a vowel campaigner said...

alan, i agree provisionaly. we should be thinking about younger candidates, but only experienced ones. i think your desire to parachute young, untried and untested candidates into seats of serious contention is dangerous. what if pete lyburn had been challenging for dumfries? next time he'll be wiser and fully ready for the challenge.

and as for there being only 4 likely to get in - erm we only have 17; so that's one quarter. a number that will reduce to 20% if we gain most of our target seats. i think 20% of msps being tried, tested and experienced - as well as young - is a positive sign of progress. isn't that you said you wanted too see?

in defense of alan 11:57. you are correct; richard cook is not standing for holyrood. when i earlier referred to him as a ppc i naturally meant he was a ppc. they stand for westminster. unlike some of our opposition the scottish conservatives have begun selecting and recruiting for the next general election - i mentinoed that earlier as a sign that some in the hierarchy are looking to the future. i mention it again here as you either failed to read what was written or you do not know what a prospective parliamentary candidate is for.

and again - noone is denying that the party needs to do better. all along i've been saying the likes of you should be more positive in your debates of the future. stop complaining and start being constructive. why have you not answered that tory hippy post? is it because you prefer to throw rocks at the greenhouse rather than stepping in to help grow the seeds?

i note too that youve gone quite on the policy front. do you accept, then, that progress has been made on this? did you go to the policy conference and forward your ideas and debate with others? its called working together, not kicking a party that you should be helping.

IDOA said...

"and as for there being only 4 likely to get in - erm we only have 17; so that's one quarter."

You’ve again ignored the point that a maximum of 3 of those are likely to get in. Which others are you tipping- I’d be interested to know?

"richard cook is not standing for holyrood. when i earlier referred to him as a ppc i naturally meant he was a ppc. they stand for westminster. unlike some of our opposition the scottish conservatives have begun selecting and recruiting for the next general election - i mentinoed that earlier as a sign that some in the hierarchy are looking to the future. i mention it again here as you either failed to read what was written or you do not know what a prospective parliamentary candidate is for."

I’m well aware what a PPC is but your little list was a response to my statement “that’s still only 2 new young (if you’re counting under 35 as young) candidates out of over 70odd contesting the parliament” and therefore Richard Cook shouldn't have been included because………are you keeping up……he’s a Westminster candidate therefore not standing for the Scottish Parliament.

And while you may get excited because we’ve picked 1 candidate for Westminster, the party south of the border has picked nearly all its target seats and many more.

"all along i've been saying the likes of you should be more positive in your debates of the future. stop complaining and start being constructive. why have you not answered that tory hippy post? is it because you prefer to throw rocks at the greenhouse rather than stepping in to help grow the seeds?"

These blogs aren’t supposed to be the portal through which the party listens. They’re opportunities for members to have open and honest debate about the issues which matter. I make my points known to the party, and occasionally it gets acted upon. The problem is that the vast majority of the time it’s not!

"i note too that youve gone quite on the policy front. do you accept, then, that progress has been made on this? did you go to the policy conference and forward your ideas and debate with others? its called working together, not kicking a party that you should be helping."

I was at the policy conference and I did put forward my ideas and the ideas of others who couldn’t make it. I also contributed as a member of CPF. I also submitted documents as part of the policy review. And guess what……..nothing!

Your ramblings about not kicking the party etc are niave and a sign that you really have no idea about the party here in Scotland. Blindly working together’s fine if you’re going in the right direction but the party isn’t. You might be excited by our policy platform but no one else is…..oh, except SCCO.

Even some of the policies we do have are either badly though out – High Speed Rail link/Forth Bridge tolls etc. Or are so general (NHS waste etc) that they received zero press exposure even when we launched them.

Things won’t get better till we change. We won’t change until we recognise the need for change. Those of us who debate what the party is doing, how it’s performing etc aren’t the enemy. It’s those who sit on their arse and do nothing but ramble on “growing seeds”. You don’t grow seeds in poor land and that’s what we are at the moment.

To address Tory Hippy –

"You want to see membership drives across Scotland? Arrange one. Perhaps one of the main problems with the party are it's supporters who think that an understaffed and overstretched Central Office should arrange everything for them across the whole of scotland and individuals such as yourself can merely sit back and soak up the rewards of increased membership. "

I have organised membership drives and they’ve been pretty successful. The problem is the climate for the tories isn’t good and, without decent policies, that’s not going to improve. How do you attract students to join when you have absolutely no policies of real impact to them, the next generation of voters.

And to suggest that SCCO is understaffed and overstretched is laughable. If they actually spent a quarter of the money they spent at SCCO on staff putting people into the regions (and just not these token efforts in Glasgow and the north east – proper regional campaign HQs) then we might be getting somewhere.

"You want to build a long term vision for the party that stretches beyond the horizons of the next election. How do you propose this could/should be done and what do you as an individual think you could do to contribute towards this."

I play my part as an activist – someone who pounds the streets, supports and organises events, writes letters, helps write content for websites etc. I’m part of CPF and so put my ideas forward. And my biggest contribution is, and will continue to be, that I don’t sit back as the party I care about lurches from one disastrous election result to another. I call for things to be done better!

"It has been said that "blogging" can change the world. No my friend, only action and perserverance, compromise and understanding can do so. If you spent as much time helping to change the party as you do complaining about it perhaps you might get a little closer to addressing some of your concerns."

Believe me, I spend far more time helping the party campaign, and helping the party to change, than I do on these blogs. But they are a useful transfer of ideas and, yes occasionally, constructive criticisms and if someone in the party actually bothered to act on the issues raised rather than dismissing them then we all might benefit.

Anonymous said...

chief y is a vowel campaigner,

Right, let me try and work out who you are.

I am basing this on the fact that you have a Middlesburgh logo on your blog front page, sweeping generalisation that you are from Middlesburgh. You know a lot about the Scottish Conservative party and judging by your writing skills you are quite stupid.

So, we have someone from Middlesburgh who knows about the Scottish Tories and is stupid. Richard Boardman perhaps?

chief Y is a vowel campaigner said...

idoa: yesterday at 17:29 i posted this:

long term vision began last year with richard cook being elected as ppc. more ppc's are been recruited now - download a form off their website.

today you write:

and therefore Richard Cook shouldn't have been included because………are you keeping up……he’s a Westminster candidate therefore not standing for the Scottish Parliament.

erm, but by reference i was addressing "long term vision" i was referring to what you wrote yesterday at 16:22:

A realisation that we can't just look to the next election but need to have a long term vision for the party.

keep up idoa.

anon 16:06: you are indeed a wise and clever man; but since i have never tried to hide my identity and one can find references to who i am all over this blog you dont win many brownie points. post with your name and maybe you will.

secondly - if you think my reasoning is stupid then at least have the guts idoa and alan simpson have and state way. at least amongst the vitriol we're getting somewhere (i count three instances where agreement has been reached). if you can't do that stay away.

Bill said...

For someone whose blog title implies you care about the use of our language there are a great many spelling errors in this (and other entries. Apart from that I enjoyed reading this particular 'rant' ;)

Anonymous said...

Thoughts on this?

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/tm_headline=scots-tories-are-clueless%26method=full%26objectid=18721189%26siteid=66633-name_page.html

chief Y is a vowel campaigner said...

my last comment on this, allow me to explain why.

who ever used my name on this blog works for the conservative party. they do. or they work for a conservative msp. or they were given my name by a conservative employee.

i know this simply because they called me richard. no-one calls me richard; except that is, those i have worked with in edinburgh. all friends call me by my middle name. if you know me from the t.a. you will use my nickname the whole regiment used. if you know me from secondary school you will also use a nickname. only the party calls me richard.

therefore someone in the party has gone on this blog and attacked someone trying to defend the party. i find this reckless and unprofessional. however poorly you rate my defense of the party i will never attack it in public. so, now that i realise people in scotland who are paid to promote the party are attacking colleagues i am dropping out of the debate.

feel free to continue it if you wish, but i will let the party decend on this blog.

and my dear bill, thank you for your comments. i am glad you enjoyed this rant. you are, however, either failing in an attempt to provoke me or you were drunk when you read this blog. look at the header, observe the general irrelevance i take to grammer over this blog and you will realise the title is a piss-take. as are some of my posts...

anon, i have thoughts on that subject, but because of the above i am not wiling to comment... yet...

Anonymous said...

"who ever used my name on this blog works for the conservative party. they do. or they work for a conservative msp. or they were given my name by a conservative employee.

i know this simply because they called me richard. no-one calls me richard; except that is, those i have worked with in edinburgh. all friends call me by my middle name. if you know me from the t.a. you will use my nickname the whole regiment used. if you know me from secondary school you will also use a nickname. only the party calls me richard.

therefore someone in the party has gone on this blog and attacked someone trying to defend the party. i find this reckless and unprofessional. however poorly you rate my defense of the party i will never attack it in public. so, now that i realise people in scotland who are paid to promote the party are attacking colleagues i am dropping out of the debate."

The post I said you were Richard Boardman did not at all criticise the party. It read:

"chief y is a vowel campaigner,

Right, let me try and work out who you are.

I am basing this on the fact that you have a Middlesburgh logo on your blog front page, sweeping generalisation that you are from Middlesburgh. You know a lot about the Scottish Conservative party and judging by your writing skills you are quite stupid.

So, we have someone from Middlesburgh who knows about the Scottish Tories and is stupid. Richard Boardman perhaps?"

Can you point out where I criticise the party in the above post? No? Nor can I. Makes a mockery of your final post I feel.

Alan Simpson for First Minister said...

I am intrigued why you are not choosing to comment on Mundell's leaked memo(s)

You were very quick to comment when I was deriding the group at Parliament yet seem to be very quiet on Mundell's comments. Why is this?