The British government is a disaster area…so why hasn’t support for independence surged?

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during the SNP conference at the Event Complex Aberdeen (TECA) in Aberdeen, Scotland. Picture date: Saturday October 8, 2022. PA Photo. See AP POLITICS SNP story. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

It took five days for Boris Johnson, four for David Cameron and two for Theresa May before the new Prime Minister traveled to Edinburgh for his first official meeting with the Scottish Prime Minister.

It’s been 34 days now and counting, but Liz Truss hasn’t even picked up Nicola Sturgeon’s phone let alone made that happy hike to Bute House.

Then again, perhaps this very pregnant break shouldn’t come as such a surprise given the Prime Minister has made clear his distaste for ‘attention-seeking’ FM, which she says should be best ignored .

True to his word, Truss ignores Sturgeon and no doubt shares Boris Johnson’s belief that Scottish devolution under a 15-year-old SNP administration has been a ‘disaster’ in which Sturgeon and his colleagues have brazenly sought to use power in Edinburgh to undermine the Union and further their aim of breaking up the Prime Minister’s ‘precious Union’.

Interestingly, since entering Downing St, Truss has eased her tone towards Sturgeon, saying she is “very keen” to work with her to help “turbocharge” Scotland. economy.

The only problem is that the three areas mentioned by the Prime Minister – using more North Sea oil and gas, building more nuclear power stations and cutting taxes, including for the wealthy – do not quite float the Sturgeon boat.

As the SNP conference kicks off in Aberdeen, where high-profile figures will tear apart Tory ‘dysfunction’ and ‘chaos’, the FM itself has called the Prime Minister’s failure to appear on its doorstep ‘absurd’ , saying she didn’t know if it was “arrogance, or disrespect, or insecurity, or whatever.”

Sturgeon stressed that she would do her best to fizz with Liz, but then shot her ‘or whoever comes after’, after explaining how ‘utterly abysmal’ the Prime Minister’s debut had been.

Truss may be confidently awaiting the outcome of the UK Supreme Court hearing on whether or not Holyrood has the power to hold Indyref2 before formally meeting Sturgeon. Both days to research The session is due to start on Tuesday.

The PM shares the view of most experts that there should be no right the lords aspire to reject the Scottish government’s request.

The FM suggested the constitutional position is unclear and a decision to get a final decision is now needed as most Scots vote for nationalist politicians.

Yet who but Sturgeon and his SNP praetorian guard thinks the constitutional position is unclear? The 1998 Scotland The law is clear. It says a law passed by MSPs is beyond their jurisdiction if it “relates to reserved matters”, which includes those relating to the constitution, notably “the Union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England”.

This time last year the SNP administration lost a battle at the Supreme Court, which ruled that certain provisions of two Holyrood Bills were outside the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament; that is, they were fundamentally at odds with the law of Scotland as they could encroach on the sovereignty of Westminster by limiting its ability to make laws for Scotland in all matters, including those which are devolved.

So the country’s top judges made it clear that MPs could not be coerced, pointing out the limits of devolved power, which of course upsets the SNP leadership.

And yet, in the late 1990s, nationalists enthusiastically supported legislation that created decentralized settlement, knowing full well its limitations.

In the eight years since the 2014 referendum, Sturgeon & Co also knew full well that UK governments on both sides would not agree to another independence poll any time soon, taking the FM at its word that the poll was a “once in a-gen” event poll.

What continues to surprise is that despite the upheavals of the financial crash of 2008, subsequent conservative-inspired austerity, the Brexit result and the ensuing parliamentary psychodrama, the partygate debacle and Boris Johnson’s dishonest prime ministership, the energy crisis and Tory economic mismanagement under Truss’ disastrous debut at Downing St, he no There is still no clear majority among the Scottish public for independence.

Regularly, the nationalists seize on any poll showing that the yes has preceded the no, but then adopt a Trappist silence when it is the reverse. Naturally.

Given all the turmoil of recent years that has unfolded in such dramatic style in Westminster, one would have thought that Scotland’s desire for independence would rage on. But this is not the case.

Indeed, a snapshot recently suggested that just 35% of Scottish voters wanted another independence referendum this time next year with 53% opposed.

This lack of public support is accompanied by a silent seething of discontent among senior nationalists, who privately believe that Sturgeon’s threat to turn the 2024 general election into a “de facto” referendum, if the Supreme Court rules against the Scottish Government, is wrong and a bet too far.

An SNP minister recently told The Times: “People can see through. People know when they feel it, not just when they hear it, and people don’t feel it. »

And it emerged yesterday that even Angus Robertson, the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs, seemed less than convinced that Indyref2 would perform on Sturgeon’s preferred date of October 19, 2023, saying it would come “at some point given… sooner or later”.

Raising the stakes by trying to turn a general election into a one-issue referendum, the SNP leader also raised the prospect that the UK-wide poll two years from now could turn out to be the nastiest campaign from living memory.

However, if by some unexpected twist the Supreme Court declares that the current statute gives Holyrood the power to hold another referendum, Truss will remain extremely relaxed. She knows that the Tory government would simply introduce new legislation in both houses to reassert the supremacy of Westminster over the constitution without question.

Under such circumstances, an outraged Sturgeon would insist it was a betrayal of Scottish democracy. By contrast, Truss would say it is British democracy at work, ensuring – as the FM comes close to calling it a day – that Scottish constitutional torture will continue. And on. And on.

About Jefferey G. Cannon

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