Given that Boris Johnson’s rejection of her Section 30 order ‘demand’ was anticipated Nicola Sturgeon’s response looks decidedly weak. The observation that the British political elite cares nothing for democracy and holds Scotland in total contempt is just stating the obvious. The claim that the British state’s position is “unsustainable” in the face of it quite evidently being sustained just looks silly. And the stuff about how the awfulness of the Brits will bring about a surge of support for independence might be credible but for the fact that the awfulness of the Brits is the stuff of ancient lore, and the tale of an imminent pro-independence surge seems almost as old.
In terms of action, we get nothing. Apparently, despite having been able to see the rejection letter coming, Nicola wasn’t prepared for it. She needs maybe another week. The nearest we get to anything of substance is the announcement that she will be seeking another parliamentary referendum. Presumably, because there’s a free M&S voucher if you collect enough of the things.
The concern for those of us not inclined to greet the First Minister’s every word with a standing ovation is that the approval she seeks from MSPs will be a straight copy of what was asked for in March 2017. Namely, permission to as permission. Because that’s what all strong leaders do. Isn’t it?
If Nicola Sturgeon goes back to the Scottish Parliament with a motion that mentions “discussions with the UK Government on the details of an order under section 30 of the Scotland Act 1998” then SNP MSPs should tell her to think again. Perhaps reminding her of the definition of insanity often attributed to Albert Einstein. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different outcome then endlessly repeating a course of action which never had a real possibility of the outcome you’re seeking surely goes well beyond mere madness.
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