Douglas Ross’s sorry vision for Scotland’s economy made headlines for all the wrong reasons, with the Scottish Tories being panned in the press for suggesting Scots “work more hours” and that tax cuts for the wealthy would tackle Westminster’s cost-of-living crisis.
As the Conservatives in Scotland brace for a well-deserved wipeout at the next election, we break down the most notable times their leader got it wrong in an effort to please his bosses in Westminster.
The Boris Johnson merry-go-round
Douglas Ross started out by praising Boris Johnson, endorsing him as “truthful” and the man to get Brexit done.
So when he originally called for Johnson’s resignation in the wake of the initial partygate revelations, it seemed that for once, he had done the right thing.
But barely a few weeks later, he had withdrawn that call. Pressure from his bosses in London ensured he abandon his position. Even worse, he used the Ukraine war as an excuse for his humiliating u-turn.
When Ross finally once again called for Johnson to go, it was too late. He had lost credibility and jumped on the bandwagon for a second time only when it was clear there was no way Johnson could survive the demands for his resignation.
🍾 While Boris Johnson partied during lockdown and lied about it, Douglas Ross and the Scottish Tories defended him.
📺 It’s on the record – Douglas Ross thinks Boris Johnson is a “truthful man”.
👎 Scottish Tories, standing up for their Westminster bosses every single time. pic.twitter.com/BoAHLhuH7E
— The SNP (@theSNP) June 16, 2023
The mini-budget madness
When it comes to tracking Douglas Ross’ bad decisions, backing the Truss-Kwarteng mini-budget has to land near the top of the list. The infamous package of unfunded tax cuts sank Liz Truss in a matter of days, making her the shortest-serving Prime Minister in UK history. But even worse, it saw the pound plummet, interest rates skyrocket and the markets panic, all of which has caused economic damage to families across the UK.
This didn’t stop Ross from demanding the Scottish Government follow Westminster’s lead and deliver unfunded tax cuts for the richest in society. Days later, he welcomed the UK government’s u-turn on its budget once it became clear it had crashed the economy. Embarrassing for Ross, but even more damaging for working families.
💷 The falling value of the pound is just one part of the story of Westminster mismanagement.
And it isn’t only the result of the Tory mini-budget – it’s been a long-term decline.
In fact, the value of the pound almost halved since 2010, when the Tories came into power. pic.twitter.com/5ImScYTMM1
— The SNP (@theSNP) September 26, 2022
Claiming Liz Truss could – and would – win the next election
But the embarrassment didn’t stop there. Ross claimed on BBC’s Question Time that Truss would last until the next election and even that she would win it for the Conservatives.
Suffice to say, she did not, being outlasted by a viral lettuce online.
The Conservatives are still reeling from her disastrous premiership, having imploded at the end of last year thanks to internal divisions and internecine fighting. Rishi Sunak currently leads a desperate party, lurching to the right in a hollow, last ditch effort to keep power.
This is the same Douglas Ross who said “Liz Truss has set out ‘bold vision for economic growth’”
I think the lettuce 🥬 that survived longer than Truss & her economic disaster that caused the current cost of living crisis tells us all we need to know about Ross & his #ToxicTories https://t.co/nvRppPrCd0
— Christina McKelvie (@ChristinaSNP) August 29, 2023
Backtracking on his call for tactical voting
His latest shameful climbdown was thanks to an ill-judged plea to voters to back whichever party was most likely to defeat the SNP, earning him a swift slap-down from the Tory establishment in Westminster.
Ross backtracked on his words soon after, but the damage was done. Proof that the Westminster parties are running scared of an ambitious and positive vision for Scotland’s future that only the SNP is willing to offer.
The Tories might be a laughing stock – but Labour will let them pull the strings
Ross’s embarrassing catalogue of u-turns show how dangerously incompetent he is. The Conservatives in Scotland are an increasingly right wing, desperate outfit, terrified of losing status and seats.
Stoking culture wars by targeting minorities and advocating damaging tax cuts in a time of economic crisis reflect their woeful inability to be a serious party of government.
But any Labour revival in Scotland will heavily depend on the Tories. With Labour already embracing Tory economics and cruel Tory policies like the two-child limit and Rape Clause, it’s clear Labour are swinging to the right to try and win Tory voters, rather than working to deliver a progressive vision for Scotland.
Only the SNP are serious about delivering for Scotland’s diverse economy; driving growth, supporting workers and helping our amazing businesses to reach their full potential.
The Westminster parties have failed Scotland time and time again – they don’t deserve the chance to do so again.
👇 Labour and the Tories are simply offering more of the same at Westminster.
❌ NHS privitisation
❌ Child poverty-causing policies
❌ Withdrawing support for Free School Meals
🏴 It’s only the SNP that will stand up for Scotland and fight to deliver a better future. pic.twitter.com/hAeevnpe42
— The SNP (@theSNP) August 23, 2023