As noted here a few months back, the Conservatives are struggling to maintain relevance outside England (and to a lesser degree, Wales). It’s tough job when you barely have any elected representatives to bring some political capital to the literal party. It’s not even an English thing.
For reasons not entirely within their control (aka the virtual collapse of English regional as a meaningful conduit for the expression and understanding of English regional politics), large chunks for northern England are also slipping way beyond their ken.
And Westminster politics is fast becoming a parlour game played at some distance from the local interests of the electorate.
On the issue of Scotland, Alex Massie is damning of a political move (to force the issue of a referendum sooner rather than later) which is calculated, he believes, at playing a game that’s no longer tenable:
Cameron’s ploy is too clever by half and thus, actually, not very clever at all. Again: the time for a Yes/No referendum was 2007 but the Tories, like Labour, missed that opportunity. That ship sailed, however, and, typically, the Tories are answering yesterday’s question unaware that today’s teaser is actually rather different.
The SNP’s current strategy appears to be: “hold fire, until you see the whites of their Tory blue eyes”…