Scotland 'more bitter and inward-facing today than when I was young' says Douglas Ross
He will take aim at the Scottish Government in his speech, saying Scotland has been 'gripped by the dead hand of nationalism' since the SNP took office in 2007
Scotland has become a “far more bitter and inward-facing” place, Douglas Ross will declare during an address to his party’s conference.
The Scottish Conservative chief will speak to his first in-person conference as party leader on Saturday, while struggling with a sore throat that is expected to limit the length of his address.
He will take aim at the Scottish Government in his speech, saying Scotland has been “gripped by the dead hand of nationalism” since the SNP took office in 2007.
“Look what it has done to us, we have become divided against ourselves,” he will tell delegates in Aberdeen.
“Can anyone say the Scotland of 2022 is a better place than the Scotland of 2007?
“The nation I grew up in was confident and outward looking.
“Yet the nation my children grow up in today is far more bitter and inward-facing.”
Ahead of local council elections in May, Mr Ross will urge the party to “bring together the silent majority”.
He will say: “Scotland is becoming a smaller country every day that the SNP remain in power.
“We are becoming worse off, both economically and intellectually, because we are stuck with a Government that won’t take any responsibility.
“Our party must bring together the silent majority of working people to end this stalemate.”
The Scottish Tories, Mr Ross will say, are creating a “real alternative” to the SNP.
“A real alternative that will end the referendum obsession and allow us all to move on,” he will tell members.
“A real alternative, that because of our values and because we are Scotland’s largest opposition party, only the Scottish Conservatives can build.
“A real alternative to take back Scotland from the SNP and allow us all to move forward together.”
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar accused Mr Ross of “shameless hypocrisy”, claiming he and his party had “spent years stoking” the division he accuses the SNP of.
“The Tories aren’t the alternative to the SNP – they are their biggest asset,” he said.
“Their Government are failing communities across Scotland and the UK, and putting the very future of the country at stake.
“The Tories aren’t good enough to lead the UK and they aren’t strong enough to stand up to the SNP.
“This May 5th, you have a chance to choose a Scottish Labour candidate that will put your local community first and work to build a better future for Scotland.”