Open letter to Nicola Sturgeon MSP FM
Earlier I saw a tweet highlighting the lack of excitement that your referendum announcement has created in the wider YES movement. Despite the promise of a referendum in about 15 months time, there’s nothing like the activity and the passion that was on display about 15 months before the first referendum.
But why is that? Have folk in Scotland gone off the whole idea of independence? Is it a foregone conclusion the the No side will win? Or have folk noticed that, despite all that’s being said by the SNP and, in particular, by yourself, history has shown that words mean nothing unless followed by actions and, unfortunately, in recent years, SNP words are rarely, if ever, followed by actions.
Following the loss of the 2014 referendum vote, Alex Salmond resigned, and was replaced by you, his deputy, as First Minister and party leader, amid a huge increase in membership and support for the SNP, prompted, in part, by the actions of the English government in Westminster voting down all the benefits Scotland had been promised following a No vote.
So you were leading a buoyant SNP, with many No voters in the referendum regretting their vote, disgusted by the actions of Westminster. A perfect pro-independence storm, you might think.
In the run-up to the following year’s UK general election, with a huge SNP majority of Scottish seats a certainty, you unexpectedly stated that a vote for the SNP was not a vote for independence. Why would the leader of the alleged ‘party of independence’ not make the most of this opportunity? Was this the first sign of a change in emphasis on independence?
Despite gaining 56 out of 59 seats in Westminster, a mandate for independence, nothing was done to further the cause in the months that followed.
Nicola, we trusted you to deliver independence, but you let us down in 2015.
Then came the Brexit referendum. The SNP campaigned against Brexit , but, unsurprisingly, you could not persuade the UK government to treat each part of the UK separately, so the decision in favour of Brexit was an English decision, completely ignoring the Scottish and Northern Irish decisions against. We will not be dragged out of the EU against our will was your slogan, but, in the event, most of your post-referendum campaigning was in England, trying to overturn the English decision. Finally, faced with the intransigence of the English government, independence was the only way to keep Scotland in the EU and, with that certainty, you took no action. You simply dropped the slogan and allowed the English government to overrule Scotland’s wishes.
Once again, we see you allowing Scottish opinions to be overruled by the English government without taking action to prevent it.
Nicola, we trusted you to deliver independence, but you let us down in 2016.
In the snap 2017 UK general election, despite the pleas to ‘give us a mandate’, the word independence was banned from SNP election materials and, with no promise of independence, many former SNP voters simply didn’t turn out. That resulted in a big drop in SNP support and a big reduction in the number of SNP MPs elected. However, the election still resulted in a majority of SNP MPs, but, once again, no action followed the mandate. Nothing was done to bring independence closer.
Nicola, we trusted you to deliver independence, but you let us down in 2017.
As the mandates piled up with still no action to bring independence closer, the number of unhappy SNP members voting with their feet and leaving the party was increasing, but this didn’t seem to overly worry you or the rest of the SNP leadership. You just refused to publish membership figures and pretended it wasn’t happening.
A further UK general election followed in 2019 as Boris Johnson sought to confirm his premiership. Once again, the SNP asked for a mandate, once again they got one and once again, no action on independence followed.
Nicola, we trusted you to deliver independence, but you let us down in 2019.
Now let’s consider the latest national election, for the Scottish Parliament in 2021 and another mandate demanded by the SNP. A referendum by the middle of the parliament, or a referendum by the end of 2023, was your cry, a tight timescale, a year less than the time it took in 2014. The justification offered for the feasibility of the shorter timescale was that, coming only nine years after the first referendum, many aspects of the preparation would take less time or even wouldn’t have to be done at all.
Despite all the aforementioned justification, you would have thought that you would have been anxious to get started on the preparatory work, but that didn’t seem to be the case. In the event, it wasn’t until the following year, this year, that any progress was made.
You announced that a further request for a Section 30 would be made and, if that was rejected by Boris Johnson, the next UK General Election, likely to be in 2024, would be treated as a plebiscite on Scottish independence. This latter point was surprising as up until that very day, you had been solidly against a plebiscite, describing it as a hindrance to the independence cause and describing those making the suggestion as idiots, or worse. We now know that, as most people expected, Johnson rejected the Section 30 request, not giving it more than a moment’s thought.
The next action was to submit a request to the English Supreme Court for a decision on whether a referendum was within the competence of the Scottish Government. As with the plebiscite, this was a surprising move, as the Scottish Government had gone to great lengths to destroy Martin Keatings attempt to establish the same thing just a year earlier. I suppose some might also think it strange that the Scottish Government should be asking an English court (I know it’s called the UK Supreme Court, but as there’s no such thing as UK law, it isn’t really) to establish whether they can hold a referendum when you and the rest of the SNP leadership appear to accept that the Scottish people are sovereign, not an English court.
Now we have the release of the first two of the promised series of papers on (and here I quote) “Building a new Scotland”. Unfortunately, here I have to confess a certain amount of disappointment.
The first paper, a comparison with other similar sized European countries, shows clearly that they are better off than Scotland in so many ways, implies that Scotland, with independence, can be the same, but gives no indication of the steps that would be taken to achieve this goal.
The second paper, which focuses on democracy, highlights Scotland’s current democratic deficit and the problems a government focused on the South of England creates in Scotland, but again, beyond the aspiration of independence, no positive steps are laid out to make this a reality.
More papers are to come and we can only hope that they will concentrate more on the actions you and the Scottish Government plan to take to achieve the goals set out in each paper. Without that, you could well be accused of following the same failed path of words not leading to actions.
After such a series of missed opportunities, is it surprising that many Scots are reluctant to place much trust in your current statements?
One last point, an action you seem determined to take is to try to prevent people who don’t agree with every SNP policy from being part of independence campaigning. These policies include the decision to reform the Gender Recognition Act in ways many Scots disagree with, thus seeking to limit the numbers campaigning for independence. Placing the highly controversial GRA reform above the need for maximum unity in the independence movement seems, at least, counterproductive and, at worst, an action likely to limit the chances of success.
Nicola, we are trusting you to deliver independence. Let’s hope you won’t let us down again in 2024.
Yours in independence
14 thoughts on “The trust has gone”
Nothing will change until we change the leader, she ain’t any good.
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I agree, but it won’t be easy. Her harsh treatment of anyone who steps out of line, even in a minor way, stops those who have an income to lose. Her woke followers have also little interest in independence and only Sturgeon’s failure to achieve their biology denying ends would make them rebel.
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Good Try but unfortunately a wasted effort , I am not a member of any political party never have been but I am astounded that anyone with what passes as a brain could not real your historical dateline and determine and conclude we are getting the pish ripped out of us
I despise politicians who lie which unfortunately is 99.9% of them , it does not matter whether they are Liebour , tory , Lib Dumbs or the Sexual Nonce Perverts party they are despicable
Even if the head pervert did hold a referendum the chance of us winning is miniscule as she has done less than nothing to educate no voters or undecided voters to the benefits of independence , her insistence on a sect 30 order enables WM to circumvent any possibility of a win for us which IMO is a deliberate move on her part , the franchise ditto , there is NO possibility of independence until the Nicophant snp sheep get a brain
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As things stand, there’s certainly little chance that we would win a referendum, both because the SG has done nothing to persuade voters and because the flawed franchise allows as many English non-residents as can be bothered to register and vote against independence. It happened in 2014 and it will happen in another referendum, probably in even greater numbers.
Getting rid of Sturgeon will be difficult in the fascist party the SNP has become, where the leader controls everything and members are too scared to disagree either because they would lose their undeserved income or because the pokies would pile in to destroy your reputation, or worse.
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I followed most of that article, right up till the 2nd last sentence. I think I get it though.
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If you mean this sentence
Placing the highly controversial GRA reform above the need for maximum unity in the independence movement seems, at least, counterproductive and, at worst, an action likely to limit the chances of success.
I was referring to the code of conduct that the party are threatening to adopt which includes acceptance of the proposed GRA reforms, which by far the majority of Scots disagree with. If the SNP wokies start hurling abuse at independence campaigners who don’t agree with GRA reform, that will certainly harm the prospects of a successful independence campaign.
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Ha ha! Naw man, I followed that alright. ‘ Nicola, we are trusting you to deliver independence’
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Remember it’s a letter addressed to Sturgeon. I was trying to encourage her. Of course, it may have been a wasted effort.
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I totally agree. Either Sturgeon has never wanted Scotland to be independent or she has been “persuaded” by the British State to destroy our movement. Whatever the reason for her anti-Scottish behaviour she has to go.
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My current opinion is that the money and power has gone to her head, but I wouldn’t dismiss the possibility that she has been got at by the British state.
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Very well said. I would only have added the following: Scotland’s rejection of the Syrian invasion and yet less than 1 hour later planes were leaving from Scotland!, COVID when the entire country was shut down. A perfect time to not only reassert Scotland’s statehood in full but without causing any real disturbance to folks lives, Trident renewal and English gov refusal to move it, the attempt via Clause 38 to put English parliamentary sovereignty into English law and over the parliament of GB, and not least the new English Act of Union 2018 bill.
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These and many other examples of the English Government simply ignoring Scottish opinion. Politically, we don’t count. We’re only here to serve our English masters. If only our government would do something about it.
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Indeed, but if you look at it from the English establishment perspective this is what they see daily: Scotland, who is their equal and signatory partner, refuses to take responsibility for ANY and ALL political decisions. Scotland constantly defers governance and then complains when England, whose set of priorities is vastly different from those of Scotland, makes political decisions that suit its needs. Scotland is bound to the same terms as England yet refuses to acknowledge its own constitution, laws and rights and instead seeks those of England, while Scotland is n independent country within GB it outright refuses to act accordingly and ignores the many breaches to the treaty. Even when England categorically states that to them UK means a GREATER ENGLAND with Scotland extinguished and subsumed into it and that they never enacted the treaty and if they ever had it was no longer the case, Scotland ignores it and continues as though nothing was ever said, where in the parliament of GB English parliamentary conventions has no place Scotland upholds them, when Scotland should be sitting directly opposite the English government in the chamber it prefers to sit at the back of the room and rely not only on English policy making but on its institutions. Where Scotland provides the capital to the union it acts as a silent business partner. In short, to the English government they see a weak and pathetic partner who refuses to assert any of its rights and happily accepts abuse thrown at it no matter what. Scotland has forgotten how to govern itself but will not admit it to its own people so excuses come easily to its own politicians. Everything is big bad England’s fault when all Scotland need ever do is assert itself. If England is to be cast as the panto baddie then they will play the role well.
There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING stopping Scotland from standing up and telling England to get tae… That they are equals and partners not possessions. That from here on out Scotland will take no more of the abuse, admittedly self inflicted. Yet it refuses to do so.
When Alba stood up and asserted Scotland’s rights that should have been the moment SNP gov stood up for Scotland. But no, they put petty political rivalry before country. They demonstrated that when push comes to shove they will side with England not Scotland and its folks. That to me is the biggest betrayal of them all. They simply rode roughshod over Scotland in order to preserve their lifestyles and maintain the illusion of governance when they are incapable at every single level. That is perhaps why they also permit English political parties to stand in Scotland.
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An extremely accurate description of our current situation and what our government are seemingly incapable of doing. I would make only one comment. The sale of our offshore wind energy for £700m when it was worth 10 times that was a disgrace and a tragedy for Scotland’s future and our children’s future. I note that SNP politicians are no longer boasting about Scotland’s massive wind energy potential as we don’t own it any more.
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