IF Nicola Sturgeon used her next speech to promise she’d “make Scotland great again”, who’d be surprised? Surely using the language of Donald Trump would be nothing more than the logical next step in the First Minister’s journey from voice-of-reason to ranting populist?

Dishonest rhetoric just shames Nicola Sturgeon - Euan McColm

Dishonest rhetoric just shames Nicola Sturgeon – Euan McColm

Sturgeon already shares Trump’s “black is white” relationship with reality. Why shouldn’t she steal his slogan, too? And his baseball caps while she’s at it.

The First Minister’s response to the announcement of the UK Supreme Court that the Scottish Government does not have the authority to run a second independence referendum was a shameful exercise in cheap rabble-rousing. Sturgeon knew, long before the court published its decision, what it would say. The Scotland Act is quite clear on where the power to run a referendum lies.

But the First Minister got what she wanted out of this charade. She got fuel for the nationalist grievance machine. And, boy, has she fired that up.

According to Sturgeon, her campaign is now about more than the matter of independence. Addressing a crowd of nationalists which had gathered outside the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday, she said the Yes campaign was now “Scotland’s democracy movement”.

This was reckless to the point of being dangerous. It was dishonest rhetoric designed to fuel anger and nothing more.

There is nothing undemocratic about the fact the Supreme Court agreed the wording of the Scotland Act – the legislation supported by the SNP as Holyrood was established – means what it says.

Nor is there anything undemocratic about the UK Government refusing to green-light a referendum desired by a minority of Scots. Rather than that position being democracy denied, it is an example of democracy upheld.

When Sturgeon succeeded Alex Salmond as First Minister after defeat for the Yes campaign’s “once in a generation” referendum in 2014, her spin doctors quickly let her thinking on a second constitutional vote be known. She would only push for a re-run of the question when polls showed, over a period of at least six months, that support for independence was running at 60 per cent or more. It was crucial not only that a second defeat was avoided – that, after all, might prove fatal to the independence movement – but that when a referendum was eventually won, it was done so by such a margin that it could reasonably be described as the settled will of the people.

This might not have been what the more excitable members of the nationalist movement wanted to hear but it was a sensible approach to matters.

Unfortunately, while the First Minister was happy for her spinners to peddle one narrative, she had a different script for her supporters. Time and again, she told them a second independence referendum was within their grasp. One more heave, lads, and they’d be there.

But the majority of voters refused to play along. Support for independence remained the preference of fewer than half of Scots. The breakthrough promised by Sturgeon refused to materialise, despite her repeated claims that it would.

The First Minister’s wheeze of having the Supreme Court rule on her competence to run a referendum was not evidence of a campaign gaining momentum but proof she had failed to achieve her objective.

Achieving that objective – to shift opinion among a substantial number of those who had voted No in 2014 – required Sturgeon to provide compelling answers on questions around matters including currency, borders, and pensions. Over the past eight years, the First Minister has failed to deliver those answers. Wicked Westminster hasn’t hobbled the independence movement, Sturgeon has.

The First Minister and her colleagues insist the SNP has an unshakeable democratic mandate for a second referendum. This is simply not true. A political party cannot be mandated to enact something outwith the competence of the devolved parliament it controls.

And if that’s too tediously technical a reason for some, there’s always the fact most Scots don’t want a referendum. Not only is independence the preferred outcome for fewer than half of us, only a third of Scottish voters want a referendum next year.

With her nonsensical claim that the nationalist movement is now the defender of democracy, Sturgeon cons her supporters into believing that her failure to deliver second referendum is the fault of others.

The truth is that there is a perfectly clear route to a second referendum on independence. If the First Minister can demonstrate that a desire to break the Union is the preference of a clear majority of Scots, then refusal to play constitutional ball would be unsustainable for any Westminster government.

Sturgeon will now proceed to use the next General Election as what she calls a “de facto referendum” on independence. If a majority of Scots vote for pro-independence parties, she plans to open secession talks with the UK Government.

This is a foolish move which will surely end in her political demise.

A General Election is a General Election, not a single-issue referendum – “de facto” or otherwise – and the result, if it went Sturgeon’s way, would confer on her no authority to remove Scotland from the UK.

What’s more, with Labour now riding high in the polls, the argument that the best way to end Tory rule is to vote SNP looks pretty damned weak.

And then there’s the small matter of who’ll get a say in the next General Election. Support for independence is higher among younger Scots. This is why the SNP legislated to give 16 and 17-year-olds a vote in Holyrood elections. However, these young nationalists will not have a say in a General Election, where the minimum age for participation remains 18.

Nicola Sturgeon may have succeeded in generating some anger among blood and soil nationalists over recent days but it is not Westminster’s fault that a second referendum won’t take place next year, it is hers.

And it will be her fault, too, when the result of the next General Election doesn’t bring her supporters what they want.

Großer Preis des Deutschen Literaturfonds für Georg Klein

Remains of missing Georgia toddler Quinton Simon found in landfill

'My gorgeous auntie!' Princess Andre shows off her family resemblance as she hugs mother Katie Price's sister Sophie in sweet social media snap

EXCLUSIVE: Keep your eye on the ball! Football fan has surgeons install a TV so he can watch Poland in the World Cup as they operate on his ‘lower regions’

Street-Spotted: Peugeot 406 Coupe

George Takei says ‘none’ of the Star Trek cast liked ‘prima donna’ William Shatner

DAN WOOTTON: President Xi’s sick and deranged Zero Covid policy destroying his country is finally crumbling thanks to the brave Chinese freedom fighters. Shame on Ardern, Trudeau, Sturgeon and Hunt who backed such an approach in the West

Παναθηναϊκός: Η υπέροχη υποδοχή του ξενοδοχείου "Cap St. Georges" στην πράσινη αποστολή

BAM decision akin to surgeons reporting to lawyers

Orthopedic Surgeon on rib injury to C.J. Gardner-Johnson

Peugeot Inception concept at CES kicks off an electric year

Elon Musk posted a bizarre photo of his 'bedside table,' featuring 2 guns, 4 empty cans of caffeine-free Coke, and a picture of George Washington

PEUGEOT 408 2023’te Türkiye’ye geliyor

Lezione di geometria. Come prendersi cura del "triangolo della giovinezza"

Turn Your Switch Into A GameCube With This Gorgeous Controller Case

Gorgeous Germany WAG Izabel Goulart cheers on her man Kevin Trapp from the stands – despite him not playing vs Spain

NEWS RELATED

Herschel Walker Only Recently Stopped Renting Out The Georgia Home He Claims As His Residence

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Getty When he launched his campaign for U.S. Senate in Georgia, Herschel Walker claimed his deep roots in the state didn’t end with his days as a football legend at the University of Georgia. It was widely known at the time that ...

View more: Herschel Walker Only Recently Stopped Renting Out The Georgia Home He Claims As His Residence

His strength is Limitless! Chris Hemsworth shows off his outrageous bulging biceps and ripped physique during surfing trip with his twin sons

He spends almost every other day in gym. And Chris Hemsworth showed off the fruits of his labour while enjoying a surfing trip with his family in Byron Bay on Sunday afternoon. The Australian actor, 39, who is currently starring in the National Geographic series Limitless, displayed his veiny bulging ...

View more: His strength is Limitless! Chris Hemsworth shows off his outrageous bulging biceps and ripped physique during surfing trip with his twin sons

George Harrison Said the Charts Killed the True Hits Artists Made

George Harrison didn’t appreciate music charts much. He thought they “killed” the truly good music artists recorded. However, George’s real struggle was with the record business. He didn’t like that they churned out the same music on a conveyor belt. Ultimately, they made it easier for him to step away ...

View more: George Harrison Said the Charts Killed the True Hits Artists Made

El filósofo Yuk Hui propone una nueva geopolítica basada en la tecnodiversidad

El filósofo Yuk Hui propone una nueva geopolítica basada en la tecnodiversidad Yuk Hui es uno de los investigadores más interesantes en el terreno de confluencia entre la filosofía y la tecnología. En la Argentina se lo conoció por su libro Fragmentar el futuro (Caja Negra, 2020) y recientemente ...

View more: El filósofo Yuk Hui propone una nueva geopolítica basada en la tecnodiversidad

George Clinton's Odd Request To His Guitarist Eddie Hazel On Funkadelic's Maggot Brain

Eddie Hazel wearing hat Guitarist Eddie Hazel may not have the same mainstream recognition as some of his six-string contemporaries, but that doesn’t diminish his influence on pop culture. As stated in Live For Live Music, he’s most famous for his time with Parliament-Funkadelic (or P-Funk), fitting right in ...

View more: George Clinton's Odd Request To His Guitarist Eddie Hazel On Funkadelic's Maggot Brain

Sen. Raphael Warnock leads Herschel Walker in final week of Georgia Senate runoff

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) holds a slim lead in a new poll and has much more cash on hand as he seeks to put away Republican challenger Herschel Walker in their Georgia Senate runoff. With just a week before the Dec. 6 runoff, Warnock has edged ahead of Walker on ...

View more: Sen. Raphael Warnock leads Herschel Walker in final week of Georgia Senate runoff

Nearly a quarter million vote in single day in Georgia Senate runoff race

Nearly a quarter million vote in single day in Georgia Senate runoff race Nearly a quarter million voters cast their ballots in Georgia’s Senate runoff on Monday, breaking the state’s record for a single day of early voting as incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and challenger Herschel Walker (R) ...

View more: Nearly a quarter million vote in single day in Georgia Senate runoff race

George Takei calls William Shatner 'a cantankerous old man' in latest salvo in long-running feud between former Star Trek costars

George Takei called former Star Trek costar William Shatner ‘a cantankerous old man’ in a new interview, marking the latest in a long-running war of words between the show biz stalwarts. The 85-year-old actor told The Guardian Monday that he didn’t want to continue engaging after Shatner earlier this month said that ...

View more: George Takei calls William Shatner 'a cantankerous old man' in latest salvo in long-running feud between former Star Trek costars

I’m A Celeb’s Owen Warner reveals Boy George saved him from a breakdown in the jungle

Early voting soars in Georgia Senate runoff between Warnock, Walker

The hospital team that’s slashing the surgery backlog by treating its operating theatre like an F1 pitstop and performing swift operations with a high-speed changeover

How Cameroon’s Aboubacker evaded the off-side trap to score the most outrageous chip-scoop goal of the World Cup against Serbia

Tony Blair praises Matt Hancock for ‘courageous’ decision to appear on ‘I’m a Celebrity’

UFC – Ngannou ou Jon Jones ? Georges St-Pierre révèle le meilleur selon lui !

Driver killed after FedEx truck hit by Amtrak train in Georgia

Toddler Quinton Simon's Remains Found in Georgia Landfill, FBI Confirms

Remains found in Georgia landfill belong to Quinton Simon: FBI

The Beatles: The lives and musical careers of John, Paul, George and Ringo

BREAKING NEWS: Human bones found in Georgia landfill are those of murdered toddler Quinton Simon, FBI confirms

1 dead after Amtrak train, FedEx truck crash in Georgia, authorities say

OTHER NEWS