Nicola Sturgeon and Donald Trump have more in common than just their Scottish ancestry. They are both shifty political opportunists hiding behind the roguery of fake patriotism, says Bill Blain.
“For Brutus is an honourable man; So are they all, all honourable men…”
Something died within me yesterday. Friends have long known I had something of a soft-spot for Scotland’s first minister – Nicola Sturgeon. I admired her gallus, her feisty Weegie-ness, her “in-yer-face” approach, and was delighted she took so well to the world stage. (To be fair, the ice-cold eyes were something of a concern.) The fact she appalled most Englishman made me even happier.
How foolish I was. Not the first time an Ayrshire girl has fooled me…
You could say yesterday’s demands for a Second Referendum was a brilliant piece of political timing, a finely tipped dagger plunged deep into the heart of already distracted Westminster.
Yesterday was crass politics. Cynical and insincere.
It lifted the veil on Scottish Nationalism. It exposed Sturgeon as a shifty political opportunist hiding behind the roguery of fake patriotism. She is just another chancer, looking to exploit the political instability left by the abject failure of liberal democracy to solve anything these past 50 years. She is wedded to the political goals of the SNP – break the union at any cost. AT ANY COST – and pay the piper later.
Sturgeon is no different to Trump – shout enough lies loud enough and often enough and some of them will become the truth. She’s lifted the playbook straight from the St Petersburg Soviet about 100 years ago.
I think the market gets it. The lack of panic in Gilts following the announcement suggests either the market doesn’t care, it isn’t worried, and that it considers the likelihood of a successful independence vote to be low. I hope they are right!
The reality that Scotland voted in 2014 to remain in the Union offends Sturgeon – so she simply denies the legitimacy of the last referendum under the veneer everything changed. She refuses to acknowledge the fact Scotland’s GDP is running a massive and unsustainable 11 per cent deficit. She would have us believe the obsolete oil industry will restore the nation’s wealth – blithely pretending the new reality of cheaper US shale will keep prices at a level where the deeper parts of the North Sea remain irrelevant for decades.
She pretends Scotland has some special relationship with Europe. It’s no more part of the EU than Norfolk. She tells the voters Scotland will remain in the EU. Nato was quick to remind her yesterday that Scotland will have to apply for membership – a factor other members will block to avoid similar constitutional breakup.
If you want an example of how poorly Scotland has been performing over these past 20 years, you just have to look at the sharp contrast between Scottish and London house prices…
Much has to happen before a second destabilising referendum – and in that time we can but hope for Scottish voters to wake up the brutal reality of the SNP administration: hiding looming economic disaster behind demands for special treatment from London. Support for the SNP is falling, but they don’t face an election until 2021 – by which time the second vote will have been and gone.
The one thing I am sure of: if Nicola Sturgeon wants independence from the English, the way to achieve it would be to give Englishmen the vote in the next referendum (a chum suggested I start this morning’s Porridge with the Disney Classic from Frozen – Let it Go!)
The Old Burns Song: “Such a parcel of rogues in a nation…” was written about the sale of Scottish Independence to England in 1707. We were forced into that Union by the fact we’d bankrupted ourselves in stupidity and the ill-considered Darien adventure. History has a horrible way of repeating itself.
The reality for markets now is likely further sterling uncertainty piled upon uncertainty.
But, at the end of the day – it’s never going to be as bad as we think it will be. While the Scots are proud, daft and unpredictable… we’re not as stupid as that… Are we?