As much as I think Murdo Fraser is on the right track in trying to dispense with the Scottish Tories' toxic brand and to gain autonomy from the London party, it's clear that a lot more thought is going to be required on what the new name should actually be. The suggestions leaked at the weekend were for the most part pretty awful. Let's go through them in turn -
A campaign slogan, not a party name. Also utterly vacuous.
A folk-band that seems unlikely to rival the popularity of The Corries. And can you imagine the fun Alex Salmond would have?
Scottish Unionists or Progressive Conservatives
These have the huge disadvantanges of not actually being name changes - the words 'Conservative' and 'Unionist' both feature in the current name. So either one would be a monumental waste of time if the object of the exercise is to banish the toxic brand. In particular, 'Progressive Conservatives' (a name presumably borrowed from the ill-fated Canadian party) would be extremely easily shortened to 'Conservatives', and before you know it you'd be back to 'the Tories' in popular usage. And the possibility that a reborn Scottish Unionist Party would be seen as an 'Orange' party is hardly the 'slight' concern that some Tory sources seem to think it is.
The Scottish Progressives
The Tories may not like it, but as an unqualified term "progressive" is associated with the left, so this choice would attract confusion and derision in equal measure. Unless, of course, they actually become 'progressive' as a party, but I'm not holding my breath.
Scottish Reform Party
Probably the least worst of the six in the sense that it's at least a meaningful declaration of intent, but it still sets my teeth on edge because it's almost certainly the wrong sort of intent for a centre-right party in Scotland - I think we can all imagine the kind of 'reform' that is implied. Still, I suppose we should be grateful that no-one has (as yet) suggested going down the uber-Thatcherite/Bushite route of calling it the 'Scottish Freedom Party'.
So if not any of the current suggestions, then what? Whisper it gently, but a good way for the party to demonstrate that it has genuinely changed is not to be afraid to borrow ideas from continental Europe. The ubiquitous 'Christian Democrat' name for centre-right parties can be safely ruled out in an increasingly secular country like ours, but why not 'Scottish People's Party'? (A touch of irony there, given Labour's outdated self-image, but that's no bad thing.) Or they could look to the example of the party that leads the centre-right coalition in Sweden, and call themselves the 'Scottish Moderates'. Although, again, it would help enormously if their policies were as moderate as the name.