MWith almost programmed predictability, Scotland’s first minister attempted to turn defeat into victory, or at least vindication. Nicholas Sturgeon The UK Supreme Court ruling that Scotland does not have the power to hold a second referendum on independence without the consent of the British Parliament serves as an affirmation of Scotland’s right to self-determination.
Sturgeon declared in her disingenuous reply that the ruling “completely shattered the myth of union as a voluntary partnership between nations”. She invoked the myth of national victimhood by claiming that it was now more clear than ever that independence was the only guarantee of equality.
Scots are denied the right to choose a different future or even to ask about it, the First Minister complained obsessively. It seeks to portray the ruling as an affront to the basic democratic rights that London denies its citizens north of the English border.
Infect the old against London
With this speech, Nicola Sturgeon hopes to reignite the fading enthusiasm for secession – and her national party. In the event that the court should decide against it, it had already announced in advance that the next general election, which was to be held in two years at the latest, would be a de facto referendum on the independence of Scotland.
Its critics accuse it of wanting to stir up old sentiment against the central government in order to divert attention from the shortcomings of its own policies, especially in education and health. So serious is the crisis in the Scottish health-care system that in this country of all places, which prides itself in its equality, it has been considered to abandon the general principle of free medical care and to require the wealthy to pay.
It is absurd to imagine Scots abandoning the existential concerns they share with all other UK voters in current political and economic challenges in favor of the greater national cause. Eight years ago, 55% of them voted for one Referendumwho was to settle the question of independence “once in a generation”, against secession from the Union.
The legal position is clear
Since then, opinion polls have shown that support for independence rarely (and only ever) exceeds fifty percent. Sturgeon knows how far nationalism is from triumph.
Legally, it was clear, as evidenced by the swift and unanimous decision of the UK’s highest court, that the verdict would be against Nicola Sturgeon. This fuels suspicions that she intended this so as not to be able to compete in a hopeless election.
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