Tory obsession with the SNP shows their campaign is falling apart
Vice-Chair of Labour's General Election Campaign Lucy Powell writes: "The Tories have spent days talking up the SNP because they cannot defend their record and are losing the argument about the future of our country."
Now we know how extreme their desperation has become, because they are relying on John Major who himself has said he would be prepared to sacrifice the Union for partisan gain.
In 2013, the former Prime Minister said, “From a purely partisan political point of view, the Conservative party would be much better placed without Scotland because somewhere down the line we have mislaid our Scottish votes. From a purely political point of view we would be better off without Scotland but the UK would not – the UK needs Scotland it ought to have Scotland.”
These comments aren’t a slip from the past – they are they Tory strategy today.
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The fact is the Tories have abandoned any pretense of having an argument for how our economy, public services or communities should change and are instead relying on an argument that emboldens those who want to tear our country apart.
They are putting a desire for a few more years in power ahead of a determination to preserve hundreds of years of shared history.
As so often, the interests of the Tory party are trumping the interests of the country.
Working people’s wages are down £1,600 a year since 2010, the NHS is in crisis and the next generation cannot get on the housing ladder. In the absence of solutions to these issues, which define the choice facing the country in May, the Tories are now relying on unfounded SNP scare stories.
While David Cameron rarely features on Tories’ leaflets dropping on doormats, but you can bet Alex Salmond does. When David Cameron gave a speech supposedly about the economy yesterday, he mentioned the SNP 14 times, the NHS once and didn’t mention ‘wages’ at all. In an interview with Sky News, he mentioned the SNP 10 times and did not comment on ‘wages’ or the NHS at all.
But the risk the SNP pose to our country is only being heightened by the Tories’ increasingly vocal support for Nicola Sturgeon.
And it is backfiring. The Tories said they were going to deploy ‘big hitters’ to make their case, but grandees have today turned on David Cameron’s reckless strategy.
The Tory former Scottish Secretary Lord Forsyth said his party is playing a “short term and dangerous” game that threatens the future of the UK.
Constitutional expert Vernon Bogdanor, David Cameron’s former tutor at Oxford, also warned the Tories against polarising Scotland and UK.
This is a campaign in trouble which is resorting to desperate and dangerous measures in an effort to prop itself up.
In doing so, the choice is becoming clear. It is between the politics of answers and ambition for the country, and the self-serving politics of panic from the Tories.
While the Tories have been talking up the SNP Labour has set out an NHS Rescue Plan for Labour’s first 100 days in office. This includes getting significant resources into the NHS immediately this and immediate action to tackle the Tory nursing crisis, with an emergency recruitment drive in May to get 1,000 extra nurses.
Each time David Cameron talks about Nicola Sturgeon he underlines that only Labour has a better plan for a better future.