Jan 11, 2023·edited Jan 11, 2023

This is an excellent article, to which I would add only that the more we know about Sturgeon the more we can reduce speculation to fact (or dismiss it). That is why I started writing a book about her performance in parliament, as it seemed to me that words spoken there would fairly reflect her own view of political life and the future in Scotland.

Inevitably, the book evolved into one that was as much about the parliament as her, the reason being that the opportunity for disruption that she has taken so boldly (and not unreasonably given her status as a politician) is one which was made possible (and arguably inevitable) by what I term the "Dewar Constitution". The interaction of the politician and the open goal for disruption presented by the New Labour idea of devolution is a major theme of my narrative.

I call my book a "citizen's biography" as it makes comment from the side-lines, from the point of view of the citizen who has nothing to do with the political bubble. This to me, in modern conditions, is a trend which ought to be replicated widely as the bubble is so tightly controlled these days that almost no information comes out of it to the wider community without censorship - except, of course, the Official Report of the Scottish parliament, which was my main source for the book.

Forgive this advertisement, but really I think anyone interested in the problems raised in this article should be informed of the real Sturgeon, and the realities of our "provincialized" parliament.

This is what Scotland’s leading constitutional authority has to say about my text:

“This is a citizen’s biography not just of the current First Minister but also of the Parliament of which she has been a member since it was first elected in 1999. While some of the language and ideas may be new and unfamiliar, Ian Mitchell’s biography deserves reading by all those who care about Scotland’s political and constitutional future.” (Alan Page, Emeritus Professor of Public Law, University of Dundee and author of Constitutional Law of Scotland)

More details here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0BPVLR9ND?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860

Nicola Sturgeon – Vol. 1 – The Years of Ascent 1970-2007 – A Citizen’s Biography of a Driven Woman in a Drifting Parliament (Ian Mitchell, 2022) available on Amazon.co.uk

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Good analysis as usual Blair. As Eddie Barnes' research shows many people have very little idea what "independence" means. That is not just because the natural implications of leaving the UK have not been explained or have been covered up by nationalists (though they have). It is also because the nature of "independence" would only become clear once the very difficult withdrawal negotiations were concluded.

That is why the SNP's plans to rerun 2014 are not fair, democratic or honest and it is past time for non-nationalists to say so loud and clear. The Brexit calamity provides all the evidence needed.

Many people do however think that the Scottish people should decide their future. At the minute Nicola's referendum seems to be the only process on offer. Equally, though the term "independence" is almost meaningless it sounds good to many and by using it in the same way as nationalists, non-nationalists give it sanction. The SNP can therefore get away with living on air.

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Stephen Daisley highlighted the most succinct and true arrow into the SNP heart delivered by Michael Marra. More of this is what is required. Exposure of the Never-endum Nicola and her ever decreasing circles:

"Those honourable folk who favour independence have been sorely failed by their leadership. Despite the Cabinet Secretary’s rhetoric, there is a route to the destination that they seek.

Build a case, through honest deliberation and careful compromise, to allow the prosecution of the argument. Build a coalition of those seeking change. Build a consensus, a settled will of the Scottish people. Make it overwhelming.

That is how the case for devolution was made and how it was won. No one – no one – can seriously suggest that since 2014 that work has been done by the people in the positions to do it."

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Jan 11, 2023·edited Jan 11, 2023

This tactic of diversion and deflection towards either up at Westminster, or down to Councils has been very successful for Never-endum Nicola and her cabal, as the general public just don't know or understand where power and responsibility lies.

It's a standard misunderstanding of the political layers which aids and abets the SNP agenda.

They simply don't understand that the majority of public sector services which impact us on a daily basis are under Holyrood responsibility. The block grant budget is provided by UK but the decisions on spending and policy is all controlled by the SNP.

Library or grass services cut as a result of budget cuts to Councils combined with ring fenced budgets dictated by Holyrood, NHS spending reduced as money was diverted away, ferry contracts awarded on a political whim rather than via proper procurement processes etc, etc...

I see it all the time on social media and comments sections plus when trying to discuss topics with friends.

Then the old EU grievance mongering...I saw a response to the video clip above asking why "Scotland" was taken out of the EU. It's simple the UK was the member state and by a majority of UK voters we, the UK, have left.

We "the people of Scotland" voted you remain in the UK in 2014. If we had voted to leave then we would be leaving the member state, and joining queue as a new state.

I'm sure if "The Borders", "Moray" or "Orkney" voted to remain in the UK rather than be "independent" the seprarists would allow them to stay.

But this type of logic doesn't cut through either.

However I do not think Gordon Brown and Labour's grand plans will do anything but worsen the situation. Devolution is failing because it was an ill thought through arrogant mistake by Blair, confounded by Cameron throwing additional powers through his panic and mismanagement of the 2014 referendum.

There has to be clear responsibility and accountability across the structures of government. Part of that needs to have a review of the way Holyrood operates through an intervention of strong and effective audit powers on spending.

The current peely wally hands off method is just adding to the issues as the rest of thr UK tax payers looking aghast at the additional spending, and lack of impact, waste through incompetence and or transparency of where is goes.

I think those people of Scotland which have been under the spell of Nationalism are at last seeing through the empty rhetoric and broken promises. The last thing we need now is further mucking about with any more constitutional giveaways.

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