HAS MS STURGEON LOST IT?
Although a competent enough and shrewd politician in the past, it seems that the leader of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon, is becoming increasingly politically desperate and painting herself into a corner from which she is unlikely to be rescued unscathed. Of course, when you’re at the top of the heap, there’s usually only one way to go after that, and its not higher.
Instead of getting down to the serious business of trying to reunite Scots in the face of the country’s many serious economic problems, the First Minister has done little since the Brexit referendum in June last year, but indulge in non-stop spinning because of the Brexit decision, and frequently threaten us all with the prospect of yet another Indyref which we would all welcome like a hole in the head, except for her most ardent hard-core supporters.
Her latest diatribe came this week when she warned us all that she ‘wasn’t bluffing’ about holding another referendum. She then said that one would not be held this year. The SNP former leader, Alex Salmond, has predicted that a 2nd referendum would be held next year. The former SNP Justice Secretary, Kenny Macaskill, a powerful SNP figure, has just said that the economy now is worse than it was in 2014 when the last referendum was held, and lost by the Yes campaign. He points out that circumstances for another vote are both less favourable and more complicated than during the failed referendum in 2014.
It should be noted that Ms Sturgeon said she would respect that result. Why doesn’t she? And by the way, who gave her the power to call another referendum?
The respected Recruitment and Employment Confederation – ‘Jobs transform lives’ – has just reported a fall in the number of Scots finding permanent work and that the Scottish economy is underperforming the rest of the UK. While the Brexit vote has had a UK-wide effect on confidence, Scotland has double the uncertainty with the prospect of a 2nd Indyref constantly being threatened.
Obviously, the SNP strategy for growth is not working, and the Scottish budget deficit is now approaching 10% of GDP. Instead of getting down to tackling the serious underlying problems in the Scottish economy, and they now have sufficient legislative powers to do this, the SNP continue to live in their own magical fantasy la la land, still stubbornly cherishing the impossible dream of becoming an independent country within the EU.
Its important to get back to basics. Ms Sturgeon and her SNP wonks must have forgotten that the Scottish budget deficit of some 14.8 billion sterling is the worst of any nation in Europe including Greece. With a deficit level comparable with GDP of 9.5%, this is more than twice the rate of the rest of the UK. Now, unless things have changed dramatically since I last looked, to be a member of the EU you should have a budget deficit of no more than 3% of GDP. We all know that this can be fudged, manipulated, or whatever, but to the degree required in Scotland’s case?
There is also the little problem of Catalonia. Who could doubt that Spain would be determined to vote against Scottish membership, or is this just a minor detail to Ms Sturgeon and her SNP cronies?
So Ms Sturgeon, to qualify for EU membership as an independent nation, would you be prepared to cut your Government’s spending by 10% of GDP – or make all of us living in Scotland pay 20% more in tax?