Sep 2011: Davidson and Fraser Slugging match
The loss of Annabel Goldie, to the “House of Lords” created a leadership vacancy and the application of Murdo Fraser, supported by a majority of Scottish Tory Party members and officials and Ruth Davidson, the hopelessly inexperienced choice of David Cameron and Andrew Fulton.
Fraser, in his bid for the leadership of the party said that if elected, he would disband the party in favour of setting up a new centre-right party that would be fully autonomous of the UK Conservative Party, but it would take the Conservative whip at Westminster.
Fraser stated that this would be carried out in order to ‘de-toxify’ the party in Scotland, stating that it would have a distinct Scottish identity, represent Scottish values, support devolution and decentralisation, and fight to maintain Scotland’s place within the United Kingdom. He also suggested the name “Conservative and Unionist” should be ditched.
His proposals represented a major challenge to the “Union” and London based Tory leaders and the secret services decided it would have no truck with him and decided Davidson, whose supporters included Thatcher-era grandees such as Lord Forsyth, Lord Sanderson, and the party’s biggest Scottish donor, Sir Jack Harvie and Prime Minister David Cameron would win the leadership vote, no matter the cost. She duly won the day.
But many party members objected to the outcome of the contest and Davidson faced an inquiry after it was revealed that her campaign team had illegally used the private email addresses of party members.
A Tory councillor and dozens of Tory party activists complained to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) that Davidson’s team had sent unsolicited material to their personal accounts.
If the allegations were confirmed this would be an illegal extraction and inappropriate use of data secured with Party membership records.
The Scottish Conservative Party is registered with the ICO as “data controllers”, and must keep their data secure and leadership candidates are not registered to view the data.
Under Tory leadership rules, candidates were allowed to send a single “election communication” to the party’s 8500 members.
But the Davidson campaign team sent regular emails over and above the permitted level blanketing members via a commercial marketing service called Mail-Chimp. One, sent September 12, only four days after her campaign launch, claimed there was “a real groundswell of opinion” behind her. Another, sent a week before, highlighted her national tour of constituencies and a third said she had secured the 100 signatures needed to be a formal candidate. “I promise I won’t let you down,” she wrote.
A friend of the unnamed councillor who lodged the ICO complaint said: “He was concerned because there was not a level playing field for candidates. “Where did Ruth’s campaign team get his email address ? He has never ever met Davidson.”
Another Tory source said there were “widespread concerns” about her campaign and a third said several activists had complained to the party HQ in Edinburgh and received “incredibly defensive” responses.
A spokesman for the Scottish Tories confirmed a “query” had been received by Central Office about the issue of Davidson’s team and personal email, adding: “The member was told to complain to the relevant campaign team” Hows that for a brush off ???
The Assistant Commissioner for Scotland for the ICO, said: “All organisations that handle personal data, including political parties, have a legal obligation to keep it secure.
It is also important to understand that marketing emails require the consent of the recipient.
We have received a complaint about this matter and will now make enquiries.”
Nothing ever came of the complaints and the outcome of the ICO investigations was never published.
Michael Crow, Director of Strategy for the Scottish Tory Party, (later identified as the person that had recruited Davidson to the party) was accused of inappropriate behaviour by his attendance at clandestine strategy meetings in support of Davidson’s leadership challenge.
He was censured about his behaviour and lost his job with Tory Party in Scotland only to be hired shortly after, by David Cameronon on an increased £100k+ salary. Fingers up!! to the Scottish Tories!!
2011: Tomkins and Israel
Tomkins married into an American Jewish family. His children are raised and schooled in the Jewish faith in Glasgow and he is very public about his support of the state of Israel.
In 2011, he won the Hebrew University’s Hailsham Scholarship for his work promoting links between the UK and Israel. In his acceptance speech he spoke of his desire to “strengthen ties between Glasgow Law School and legal scholars in Israel”.
In the period up to 2015 he actively developed a close working relationship with prominent Israeli’s culminating in a formal visit to the University by the Israeli Ambassador with the purpose of signing an concorde formally linking the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to Glasgow University.
The visit was disrupted by protests from pro-Palestine groups, including the Glasgow University Palestine society who called on the University not to allow the use of their platform to legitimise the suffering of the Palestinian people.
Protestors also claimed that the agreement would convince the Israeli Government to continue its illegal practices of occupation and the legal framework to deny Palestinian people’s rights to freedom and for return of their lands.
They further claimed the visit to be a propaganda drive by Israel to improve its image in Scotland assisted by the Conservative Friends of Israel. Favouring an aggessor over the oppressed…. et tu, Adam!!
2012 Scottish Independence Referendum early discussions – Tomkins shows his Colours
On the Good Morning Scotland, hosted by Derek Bateman, Tomkins claimed that the law was clear and insisted that the Scottish Parliament could not hold a referendum without Westminster permission.
Another guest, Aileen McHarg of Strathclyde University disagreed and said that the debate was a matter of interpretation and it was possible for the referendum to be held by Holyrood.
Tomkins, irked and angry that someone would dare challenge his understanding of the constitution argued back saying that: “the Scottish Parliament was created by the Scotland Act 1998, and the Scotland Act 1998 is the instrument which delivered devolution for Scotland, it created the Scottish parliament and it provided for the powers that the Scottish parliament has.”
He went on to say: “the Scottish Parliament’s legislative power is limited to that which was devolved to it and as the Constitution is a reserved matter, it has no power to hold a referendum on independence and any attempt to try to take on more powers would be in breach of law and would be liable to end up in court.”
Ms McHarg hit back pointing out that there was a difference between a consultative referendum, which was what the SNP were proposing and would have no power to bind the Westminster parliament and a legally binding referendum which would compel Westminster to act on the result.
Arguing that the Scottish Parliament had the power to hold the former, she said: “There is an argument that there is a difference.” and explained that if the Scottish Parliament legislated to hold a referendum then it had first to be determined what the purpose of the legislation was.
The academic explained that this was the key in determining legality.
The debate became heated as Mr Tomkins angrily tried to talk over McHarg and Derek Bateman asserted that he would conduct the interview and not Tomkins. An irritated Tomkins insisted that the proposed referendum was not about consulting the Scottish people calling it a “myth that’s got to be scotched”.
Tomkins claimed that referendums were formal decision making devices which were about making decisions and not about being consulted. “The Scottish parliament does not have the power to make decisions” he insisted.
However when pressed on whether the Scottish Parliament had the power to hold a consultative referendum, Tomkins conceded that such a power was within the Scottish government’s competence answering, “I didn’t say it couldn’t consult, I said it does not have the legislative power to pass an act providing for a referendum on Scottish independence.”
Tomkins behaviour exposed Westminster thinking when set against the behaviour of Labour MP Ian Davidson, who in an angry exchange with the BBC presenter Isabel Fraser made it clear the Unionist intention was for London to take control of the referendum and to apply conditions on the ballot that related to the timing and the question posed.
He further stated that anti-independence supporters believed a rushed referendum would ensure a win for the No campaign.
He said: “we want to have a speedy referendum… We want to have a referendum because we’re going to win quite frankly”.
Feb 2013 – Adam Tomkins in the Scotsman – An independent Scotland will fail
He wrote: “In contrast with the SNP’s deliberate obfuscation, we can be clear about what it would mean in legal terms for Scotland to leave the UK. The rest of the UK would continue and, legally, it would continue as the UK.
It would need a new name (the United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and a new flag (there would be no blue on it anymore) but, in international law, it would be the continuing state.
Scotland, by contrast, would be a brand new state. The continuing UK would inherit all of the international legal obligations currently in place in respect of the UK, including its EU membership, its UN and NATO memberships, its seat at the Security Council, as well as treaty obligations under 14,000 different instruments of international law.
Mar 2013 – Adam Tomkins: A West Lothian Answer?
As the House of Lords Constitution Committee pointed out in a recent bill whilst the devolutionary principle of home rule is now accepted and embraced by all three of the UK’s main political parties, the consequences of devolution for Whitehall and Westminster continue to be unresolved.
For Government the key issues remaining open are:
1. The funding of devolution.
2. The future of the Barnett formula.
2. The West Lothian question.
In a recent speech Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Tories gave the Tory game away saying: “the much-derided and little understood Barnett formula is in its death throes as it stands”. The future is decided. But when??
Sep 2013: Adam Tomkins in the Scotsman – backing the Union
Tomkins: “I regard my country as Britain. I feel neither English nor Scottish. I was born in England and I lived there for 33 years. I know I am in a minority but I don’t regard myself as English or Scottish.
If Scotland were no longer to be part of the rest of the UK I don’t know if I would feel comfortable staying. I totally buy the core message of the pro-UK campaign that Scotland gets the best of both worlds.”
Comment: Because the people of Scotland prefer to extend devolution to its optimum Tomkins thinks he may not wish to live here. Quite incredible.
He enjoys life in Scotland, it benefits him and his family, he believes that limited government has been successful…but feels that he might have to give this all up and all because Scots choose self determination?!
His “reasons” for voting against Scottish self-determination do not add up, indeed, they are clear examples of muddled thinking probably created by the anti independence alliance’s “Project Fear” and its constant dissembling and misinformation.
Sep 2013 – Tomkins in the Sun The rural lords own Scotland?
Tomkins predicted that a vote for independence could spark a bitter tug-of-war between Scotland and England over property rights since, under international law, all government buildings, institutions and organisations in Scotland could be up for grabs.
Jun 2014: Tories Experimented on the Scots
Secret files released under the 30 year rule confirmed that senior Tories plotted to “experiment” on Scotland by introducing the Poll Tax.
Oliver Letwin – who was then part of Margaret Thatcher’s Policy Unit – wrote a letter in which he suggested using Scotland as an “experiment”, to avoid accusations of “being rash” by proposing it for England and Wales at the same time.
The letter concludes “we therefore recommend that, if you are not willing to move to a pure residence charge in England and Wales immediately, you should introduce a mixture of taxes but should rather use the Scots as a trailblazer for the real thing.”
Meanwhile his colleague David Willetts – who was part of the same Policy Unit – wrote a memo stating “Scotland and Northern Ireland have their snouts well and truly in the public expenditure trough.
The challenge is to find a politically acceptable way of putting them on the same diet as the English.”