Download Devolution and the Scottish Conservatives: Banal Activism, by Alexander Smith PDF

By Alexander Smith

This hugely readable ebook is a special, ethnographic learn of devolution and Scottish politics in addition to social gathering political activism extra generally. It explores how Conservative occasion activists who had adversarial devolution and the flow for a Scottish Parliament through the Nineties tried to mobilise politically following their annihilation on the 1997 common Election.  It attracts on fieldwork carried out in Dumfries and Galloway -- a former stronghold for the Scottish Tories -- to explain how senior Conservatives labored from the idea they had persevered their very own "crisis
in representation. The fabric outcomes of this drawback incorporated losses of monetary and different assets, legitimacy and native wisdom for the Scottish Conservatives. 
This e-book ethnographically describes the procedures, practices and relationships that Tory celebration activists sought to enact throughout the 2003 Scottish and native executive elections. Its crucial argument is that, having asserted that the problems they confronted constituted difficulties of information, Conservative activists solid to the geographical and institutional margins of Scotland turned "banal" activists.  Believing themselves to be missing within the information and knowledge beneficial for profitable mobilization in the course of Parliamentary elections, neighborhood Tory celebration strategists tried to handle their wisdom "crisis" by means of burying themselves in bureaucracy and petty bureaucracy.  Such practices have frequently escaped scholarly recognition simply because they seem daily and mundane and are consequently much less noticeable.

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Additional info for Devolution and the Scottish Conservatives: Banal Activism, Electioneering and the Politics of Irrelevance

Sample text

This kind of metaphor seemed particularly useful in accounting for the election of Peter Duncan as, then, Scotland’s only Tory MP at the 2001 general election. This electoral achievement was by far the most important for the Scottish Conservatives at the time of my fieldwork. 28 In the aftermath of the foot-and-mouth epidemic, some more-hopeful Conservatives described Mr Duncan’s victory as a ‘breakthrough’ or ‘turning point’ in local politics. However, the fact that the Labour MP for Dumfries, Russell Brown, defeated the Scottish Conservative candidate Lt Col.

Conservative strategists struggled to agree how best to respond to the changed political realities they now faced in Scotland. According to Mitchell et al. (1998), the Scottish Tories were illequipped to campaign against devolution in the months immediately following their ‘wipe-out’: The Conservatives initially decided not to run a campaign but to work under the Think Twice umbrella. This was in recognition of the harm to the campaign if it was identified with the Conservatives. The official Conservative position was to oppose both the Parliament and the tax-varying powers.

10 As Hutchison (2001: 176) notes, very little scholarship exists on the Scottish Conservatives, unlike the Scottish Labour Party and the SNP (but not, interestingly, the Liberal Democrats). 11 Although for a recent reappraisal of Margaret Thatcher’s legacy in Scotland, see Torrance (2009). 12 The Poll Tax was introduced in Scotland several months before England. This contriÂ� buted to a sense that Scotland was being penalised and treated differently. 13 Ironically, the UK Conservatives were the first political Party to embrace devolution, under Ted Heath’s leadership in the late 1960s (cf Lang 2002).

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