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SNP - the madness continues


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Michael Glackin in today's ST, not missing Sturgeon's Fantasia on a Theme of Tallest Stories and hitting the wall. 

 

MICHAEL GLACKIN

Nicola Sturgeon holds on to her job but loses grip on reality

Michael Glackin

Sunday September 12 2021, 12.01am, The Sunday Times

 

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/nicola-sturgeon-holds-on-to-her-job-but-loses-grip-on-reality-dzmvfwt8z

 

Wot, no power to the people? Until last week, my favourite public correction was from an un-named 19th century US newspaper which told its readers: “Instead of being arrested, as we stated, for kicking his wife down a flight of stairs and hurling a lighted kerosene lamp after her, the Revd James P Wellman died unmarried four years ago.”

It has now been eclipsed by last week’s correction to Nicola Sturgeon’s cock-and-bull promise to create a publicly owned energy company before the end of the last parliament.

Indeed, instead of establishing, in the first minister’s words four years ago, “a publicly owned, not-for-profit energy company”, where “energy would be bought wholesale or generated here in Scotland, renewable of course, and sold to customers as close to cost as possible”, the SNP will actually create a “public energy agency” to “inform and educate the public” on going green.

In place of cheap renewable energy, the poor can burn cake.

As I pointed out over the past four years, this energy company never existed anywhere other than in the text of the first minister’s “flagship” speech to the party faithful at the SNP conference in 2017. While promising to establish the company that never was, Sturgeon gleefully told her cheering audience that it would have “no shareholders to worry about”, as if investors were an enemy of the state.

Sturgeon wouldn’t be in a job if she had to face shareholders, rather than a supine parliament, after spending almost £500,000 on a business study that anyone with an ounce of knowledge of the energy market knew was a non-starter. Still, I daresay £500,000 of taxpayer’s cash is small beer compared to the hundreds of millions Sturgeon has squandered on unbuilt ferries, Tim Hair’s salary, Prestwick Airport, BiFab, Sanjeev Gupta’s steel empire, et al.

Still, you can imagine the atmosphere back at the 2017 SNP conference. Sturgeon and her advisers huddled in a room wondering what might get a cheer in her big speech. They had no successes to boast of, so, as ever, they reverted to “the kind of Scotland we aspire to…” songbook, blithely ignoring the reality.

Well, why not? Populists will always revert to licking the boots of the mob by telling them what they want to hear. Policy? Delivery? These are alien concepts to an administration that is first and foremost devoted to PR, not government, and which excels only in scapegoating others for its failures.

Whether the first minister is parroting falsehoods that she has “banned fracking, end of story” or non-existent “Scottish green deals” that create jobs overseas, businesses in Scotland know not to take her at her word.

 

Time for some home truths
Well, this year alone we have seen another “flagship” policy, the First Home Fund — established to help home buyers with deposits — shut down days after it launched because it ran out of money. Funding for the scheme was abruptly slashed from £200 million last year to £60 million this year.

Despite calling for extra powers, Sturgeon also refuses to accept responsibility for key fiscal powers that Westminster wants to place in Holyrood’s hands, such as the part devolution of VAT and social security benefits.

Meanwhile, seven years into her tenure as first minister, Scotland is suffering from collapsing public services, particularly in health and education, falling investment, low productivity, a youth unemployment timebomb, the highest drug death rate in Europe, and record numbers of children living in poverty.

Instead of facing up to these issues, the first minister prefers to hide behind Indyref2 and gender recognition. These “legislative priorities” are not what people struggling to make ends meet are concerned about but, like the promise to create a publicly owned energy company, they are integral to the SNP’s desire to create what can be best described as fictional reality in Scotland. One where the distinction between truth and falsehood is effectively erased, where reality is ignored, and fabrication is eulogised.

The late and much-missed historian Tony Judt said a “well-organised society is one in which we know the truth about ourselves collectively, not one in which we tell pleasant lies about ourselves”.

Please take note, first minister.

 

Passport plan has stamp of a botch
Is there anyone in the Scottish government who speaks for business? Whatever one’s views on the issue of Covid-19 vaccination passports, it is outrageous that the plan to introduce them was waved through our legislature bereft of any detail about how it will be applied, and without any consultation with affected businesses.

Much is said about the paucity of talent on the SNP benches, but the sight of a parliamentarian resorting to Google to support the government during the passport debate was shameful.

Surely SNP MSPs aspire to be more than well paid sycophants of the executive? Perhaps they could use their privileged position to ask the first minister why, after the most severe economic lockdowns in Europe, Scotland has highest Covid-19 infection rate in the UK?

@Glackinreports

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1 hour ago, Uilleam said:

Policy? Delivery? These are alien concepts to an administration that is first and foremost devoted to PR, not government, and which excels only in scapegoating others for its failures.

The unpalatable truth about the SNP

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Nicola Sturgeon has put independence ahead of Scotland's economic recovery.

Robert Kilgour
Robert Kilgour is Chairman and Founder of Scottish Business UK, and CEO of Dow Investments

City A.M

 

It’s that time of year again, when politicians, members, delegates and the media begin to pack their bags ahead of the party conference season. First up this year, albeit online, is the SNP, who, after almost fifteen years in Government, will set out their priorities anew. It should come as no surprise that independence is top of that agenda, just as it was the main priority in the First Minister’s Programme for Government speech to parliament on Tuesday.

Close observers of Scottish politics will have noticed a busy few weeks in Holyrood. Nicola Sturgeon will no doubt be hailed as the party leader that delivered an unprecedented fourth term in power. However, all is not well in Scotland, and Sturgeon knows it. A reckless deal with the Scottish Greens has exposed how little stock Sturgeon puts on supporting our economic recovery and creating an investment friendly environment in Scotland. 

 

When Scotland’s company leaders think back to past conferences, they remember an open-arms welcome from an SNP hierarchy that studiously courted businesses. The SNP studiously assured businesses the economy was in safe hands. No longer is that message anything like credible. In signing away Scotland’s prosperity to the Scottish Greens, Sturgeon has left Scottish business out in the cold.  

 

Taking a look at the agenda, the focus this year is on independence, next year’s council elections and climate change. There isn’t a thought about the nation’s recovery post-Covid 19. To put this into context, the recent GERS numbers, which provide insight into the economic performance of the Scottish Government, show the budget deficit doubled last year to over £36bn. 

 

Let’s be clear, Scotland doesn’t want to be reliant on England and as an entrepreneur, I instinctively believe in creating value to the economy through jobs and growing businesses. However, I, like many Scots, have valued the partnership that we have with our closest neighbours when times are really tough. 

The reality is that the power sharing arrangement with the Scottish Greens will do the exact opposite to what the economy needs. The Greens’ manifesto was full of red tape and additional burdens on an economy already struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. They would have us believe the only way to grow our economy is through independence.

 

However, when push comes to shove, are the right decisions being taken? Take the Cambo oil field, West of Shetland, which could help create and sustain thousands of jobs for the next decade. I recognise that fossil fuel extraction is becoming increasingly tricky for politicians of all colours. However, rather than demonstrating leadership, fearing the loss of pro-independence votes from the Greens, Sturgeon has chosen delay and obfuscation, passing the decision like a hot potato to Whitehall. 

 

The SNP faithful, for whom independence is the only policy that truly matters, will inevitably lap up the words of Sturgeon and her colleagues. Good for those who want to get involved, but what about  the voices of business for whom pandemic recovery is still unfinished business? 

Sadly the SNP is becoming a no-go zone for Scotland’s wealth creators. Ultimately, it’s the Scottish people who’ll suffer. 

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The Great Leader, Mammy o’ the Nation, composes a speech to the peepil o’ Sco’llan’.

 

That’s an impressive bookshelf. I wonder if she’s read any of the books. Michael Collins, probably. She’s got two copies of it.

 

Nicola Sturgeon (pictured writing her conference speech) will today demand Boris Johnson 'cooperates' in holding another independence referendum - despite polls suggesting most Scots don't want one any time soon

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13 minutes ago, Scott7 said:

The Great Leader, Mammy o’ the Nation, composes a speech to the peepil o’ Sco’llan’.

 

That’s an impressive bookshelf. I wonder if she’s read any of the books. Michael Collins, probably. She’s got two copies of it.

 

Nicola Sturgeon (pictured writing her conference speech) will today demand Boris Johnson 'cooperates' in holding another independence referendum - despite polls suggesting most Scots don't want one any time soon

As contrived a PR shot as your likely to see. The idea of this thicky reading books like that is where credibility bows to ridicule. 

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