Ruth Davidson advises Tories to smile and gets compared to Tina Turner

Written by David Singleton on 22 May 2018 in Diary

The Scottish Tory leader spoke alongside Michael Gove at the launch of Onward.

The Conservatives need to be less hectoring and more joyful, according to Ruth Davidson.

Echoing sentiments expressed by Justine Greening last week, the Scottish Tory leader told an event on Tuesday evening: "Sometimes as Tories we just look a bit dour. We look a bit joyless, a bit authoritarian sometimes. We don’t get to win if we start hectoring the people we need to vote for us."

Without explicitly mentioning Theresa May’s shortcomings on this front, she added: "When you do it with a smile, they actually get behind you."

Davidson was speaking alongside Michael Gove at the launch of new centre-right thinktank Onward. Also in the room were various political editors, Tory MPs, current special advisers and a few former aides who are now earning a crust in the public affairs industry. Namely ex-May spinners Lizzie Louden and Joey Jones and former Cameron operators Ameet Gill, Caroline Preston and Sean Worth.

The Scottish Tory leader also said that the Tories must speak to the entire nation – rather than making a choice a choice between “Serrano and gammon”.

And she took the obligatory swipe at the Labour leadership: "If you look at Jeremy Corbyn, actually I feel sad. And it’s an odd thing for a Conservative to say, but I feel sad at looking at how far a once important, integral, sensible, solid party has fallen. I do.

"I then look at John McDonnell and the shock troops, and the troll factories and their conspiracy theories and their envy and their fake news and their Skwawkbox and the Canary and all the rest of it, and I think that this Labour party has about the same level of moral authority as Sepp Blatter going down the bookies and putting a  fiver on Russia getting the World Cup."

She concluded: "I guess I’ve bored on for far too long, but I’ve fulfilled my role as pregnant lesbian. And I think what I really want to say is, we’ve got a government that is dealing with so much... that they need us to fly the kites. They need us to think the big thoughts. They need us to renew the party and the national narrative. And I look around this room, and I think we’re just the people to do it."

For his part, Gove channelled musician Pharrell Williams to call for more positivity in the Tory ranks: "What we Conservatives need to do, is to remember, we need to be happy.”"

In a misguided bid to suck up to the Scottish Tory leader, he also branded himself ‘Ike’ to Davidson's ‘Tina Turner’.

"It’s a pleasure of course to be here, particularly for me, with Ruth. And spending some time on the same platform with Ruth, I feel rather like Ike to Tina Turner," he said.

The environment secretary appeared unaware that the musical duo's relationship was abusive, with Ike Turner was violent towards his wife on numerous occasions. Oops.

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