Sunday, December 04, 2016

Sturgeon shows her desperation as the wheels come off the SNP bandwagon

I am sure Ruth Davidson will not have forgotten what Maggie Thatcher had to say about people who resort to personal attacks on their political opponents:

I mention this because SNP first minister Nicola Sturgeon has just made what has been described as a scathing attack on Ruth Davidson, accusing the Scottish Conservative leader of "selling out" over Brexit.

Apparently "selling out" is now SNP-speak for "respecting the result of a democratic vote."

It's been obvious for a while that the SNP are not very good at respecting the results of democratic votes when they are not on the winning side.

It would appear that Sturgeon is not very good at paying attention to what is going on, either, since one of her charges against Ruth was of having joined Conservatives such as the PM, Chancellor and Brexit secretary David Davies in supporting a so-called "hard Brexit."

Actually the papers these past three days have been full of suggestions which appear to have the support of all three of those ministers - specifically including David Davis who told the House of Commons that the UK might pay to keep single market access - that the government are moving towards trying to negotiate what the papers are calling "soft Brexit."

(Of course, Theresa May doesn't think the expressions "hard Brexit" and "soft Brexit" are very meaningful, indicating that she is aiming for what she calls "open Brexit" instead, but the point is that the government's emerging plans for Brexit negotiations do not appear to match Nicola Sturgeon's comments.)

There is a reason for Nicola Sturgeon's desperation - her plan to use the "Leave" vote as a vehicle to resurrect the Scottish Independence campaign is falling apart, having infuriated people on both sides of the Brexit debate.

Many Scots who voted for both "Better Together" and "Remain" - and a lot of people are in that category - are, as Ruth Davidson pointed out, annoyed at having their "Remain" vote abused to re-open the Independence question which most of them regard as closed by the first Independence Referendum.

But many supporters of independence from London who are also unimpressed by the idea of having Scotland run from Brussels will be unable to vote "Yes" in a second referendum on Independence if that is specifically called to obtain what is described with the oxymoron "Independence in Europe."

I have never been able to comprehend the SNP position that putting up with government from Westminster is tyranny but being subject to the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the European Court in Brussels is a good thing.

To me both London and Brussels have major strengths and major weaknesses.

I would have preferred to keep both unions (though unlike the SNP I accept the result of democratic votes even when I don't like those results) but I cannot think of a single criticism of rule from Westminster and Whitehall which is not at least equally true of Brussels, if not more so.

A great many Scots who voted "Yes" in the independence referendum also voted "leave" and many of those people will be extremely torn if they are offered "independence" from Britain which is combined with remaining in or rejoining the EU.

A former SNP deputy leader who left the party over the SNP's support for EU membership in 1990, has said that he will be forced to vote No in a second independence referendum if one is called in the next two years on the basis of Scotland being part of the EU.

In a warning over the Scottish government’s Brexit strategy, Jim Fairlie told The Scotsman:

“By tying the second independence referendum to EU membership, it will split the national movement. It will split it right down the middle.

Because there are far more SNP supporters who are just as opposed to the EU as they are to being a member of the UK.”

“If Nicola Sturgeon ties the EU to a second independence referendum, she will lose, because people like me, who have fought for independence since I was 15 years of age, will vote no.

“By doing that she has made it impossible for a lot of nationalists to vote for independence, tied to the EU, because it’s not independence. What they’re offering is a choice between two unions, and that’s a false choice.”

He's certainly not alone in thinking this, and that's why the wheels are coming off the SNP bandwagon.

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