7 Apr 2015
By Ruth Davidson (The Edinburgh Evening News – 7 April 2015)
Last year the city of Edinburgh voted resoundingly to keep Scotland within the strength and security of the United Kingdom.
It did so emphatically – with 61 per cent rejecting the SNP’s plans to separate Scotland from the rest of Britain.
It means Edinburgh was Scotland’s city most intent on rejecting independence – more than Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen.
However, come May 7, not even a year on from that definitive verdict, it could all be jeopardised again.
The same Capital residents who backed the union in September will be asked to return to the ballot box for the closest election in decades.
We all know what a vote for the SNP achieves; the party has made clear it will agitate and agitate for separation, and if Nicola Sturgeon cannot do it here, Alex Salmond will do it in Westminster.
The party couldn’t persuade Scots of the case for separation, so instead it has made a series of threats to Westminster, unashamedly admitting it would even seek to bring a Conservative government down.
However, a vote for Labour will achieve exactly the same thing.
There is no way Ed Miliband will be able to wriggle his way into 10 Downing Street without Alex Salmond’s assistance.
At this point, the former First Minister would be able to make no end of demands on the weak Prime Minister he is propping up.
And we know what those demands will be. He’ll make Ed Miliband agree to full fiscal autonomy, something that would have almost as disastrous an impact on Scotland’s finances as separation. He’ll make Ed Miliband weaken our defence, costing thousands of jobs and destabilising the entire UK’s defence deterrent.
And he’ll make Ed Miliband commit to even more borrowing, ruining all the economic progress that has been made under the Conservatives in the last five years.
Who knows what else he’d ask for – possibly even another referendum immediately.
People in England are waking up to this threat, but it is voters in Edinburgh who can help counter it. We know the Liberal Democrats are dead in the water, with the party polling as low as a staggering two per cent.
Statistics out this week have also suggested 85 per cent of their voters have deserted them since 2010.
All that means the only party who can stand up for Scotland’s place in the UK, who can help guarantee that economic recovery continues against a stable constitutional background, are the Scottish Conservatives.
We have a tremendous group of candidates across Edinburgh.
Iain McGill in Edinburgh North and Leith is one of the most admired activists in Scotland, from his work with homeless charities to his tireless commitment to the area.
And in Gordon Lindhurst (Edinburgh South West), James McMordie (Edinburgh East), Miles Briggs (Edinburgh South) and Lindsay Paterson (Edinburgh West) we have people ready to step up to the plate and serve Edinburgh with Conservative policies at the centre of their agenda.
It is a clear choice for Edinburgh voters; an SNP intent on breaking up Britain, a Labour party who are running away from their role in Better Together, or the Scottish Conservatives who will proudly back the views of the 61 per cent who said No.
Edinburgh made its feelings clear on the UK in September – only a vote for the Scottish Conservatives will honour those views on May 7.