This morning at about half past nine, I succumbed to one of the episodes of extreme fatigue which have plagued me since I had a bout of Covid some months ago. Fellow sufferers will surely sympathise. The onset of this extraordinary tiredness can be sudden and the effects debilitating. Today’s episode was undoubtedly the worst to date. Naturally, I struggled up the stairs to bed where I lay virtually unconscious for almost four hours. On waking, I felt totally drained ─ as if I had been quite seriously ill. Fortunately, this sensation passed quite quickly. Only for me to be rocked by the discovery that I had slept through one of the more momentous political moments of my lifetime. Nicola Sturgeon had resigned.
This was one of those Rip van Winkle moments. I may have slept only a few hours. But the sensation was of the world moving on several months. The phrase ‘shocked, but not surprised’ comes to mind. Only yesterday I was speculating that Nicola Sturgeon would probably hold on until the special emergency democracy look-busy conference next month.
My assessment is that the special ‘democracy’ conference the SNP is to hold on 19 March is likely to be the decisive factor. Until then, it’s the proverbial ‘jaiket on a shoogly peg’ for Sturgeon. The conference will either confirm her stultifying dominance of party and government, or it will kick inertia’s arse – and hers!The question for conference
I thought there was a good chance, perhaps as much as a probability, that Sturgeon could survive the conference at least intact enough to soldier on until she could find a way out of the present self-inflicted guddle of GRR ─ not to mention a raft of other issues including a stepped-up Police Scotland investigation into the SNP’s financial affairs. My impression of Sturgeon was that she possessed the self-confidence (let’s be gracious and not call it arrogance) and determination (let’s be gracious and not call it obduracy) to keep going. I don’t think I was wrong about these qualities (let’s be gracious and not call them character flaws). Which leads to some intriguing speculation about what has prompted her to jump rather than even risk being pushed.
Sturgeon’s resignation speech was, as one would expect, a master-class in balancing self-congratulation with self-deprecation; hubris with humility. It was a good speech. It hit all the right notes in very much the right order. It may even be that some of the noble reasons she gave for stepping down were genuine ─ at least to some extent. But I, for one, am not convinced that it is the whole story. There is nothing in there that looks like a deciding factor.
In yesterday’s article, I noted that there were a number of ways things could pan out at the March conference.
There are three possible broad outcomes from the ‘special emergency democracy conference’ initiative. If it goes entirely Sturgeon’s way, it will confirm and bolster her control and mean that her ‘strategy’ for Scotland’s cause will continue. And continue to fail.
If it goes entirely against her and conference insists on a change of strategy, Sturgeon will learn from personal experience what the term ‘untenable position’ really means.
Then there’s the fudge. Some compromise that allows inertia to restore its hold and Sturgeon to maintain her position. Even if her position is considerably weakened.
I also noted that,
She is relying on her own ability to control the party machinery and her husband’s now legendary ability to ‘manage’ big set-piece events such as party conferences.
My take on Sturgeon’s ‘premature’ resignation is that she and Peter Murrell, have looked at the prospects for the conference and concluded that battling on was going to be just too costly in terms of political capital and her personal reputation. They are, of course, much better acquainted with what is going on inside the party than any of us ‘outsiders’. It looks very much as if they have seen portents that are not yet visible to us. There political instincts are telling them that the conference is not going to go well for Sturgeon. In fact, it is looking like going very badly indeed. By resigning now, Sturgeon retains some control over the manner of her departure. If my take on things is anywhere near accurate, the whispers reaching Sturgeon and Murrell must have told a tale of outright rebellion as a real possibility. It was a case of resign now or face an ignominious ousting in an orchestrated coup.
What would embolden anyone enough to attempt a coup against someone whose position was as strong as Sturgeon’s. The GRR fiasco had obviously weakened her. But I don’t think the wound was fatal. Not in the short term. It was likely to fester and, together with other injuries, lead to her eventual demise. But it wasn’t a career-killer in and of itself. There must have been something else. I reckon Stu Campbell on Wings Over Scotland has revealed the clincher that led to Sturgeon’s resignation today.
Wings was also told a few days ago – this time first-hand from the people concerned – that Police Scotland has finally, after 18 months, been given permission to begin formally interviewing a number of SNP and ex-SNP figures about the missing £600,000 of fundraiser money, and the bizarre loan to the party by its CEO Peter Murrell which is thought to be related to it.The ship that died of shame
No doubt Campbell will suffer the slings and arrows of cruel resentment that are the fate of anyone who tells uncomfortable truths. I applaud his efforts wholeheartedly. I rate Wings Over Scotland essential reading for anyone who genuinely seeks a better understanding of Scotland’s politics.
There is life after Sturgeon, just as there was life after Salmond. What that life will be like remains to be seen. Sturgeon’s departure can usefully be regarded as a moment to pause and reassess where one stands and how we as a movement might now best progress Scotland’s cause. For example, I am considering the possibility of rejoining the SNP in the hope of using this opportunity to win back the party for the membership and get it back on track to be ‘the party of independence’. That’s not a decision I’ll make lightly. And it’s not a choice that is entirely mine. There is a good chance the party doesn’t want a #ProudMalcontent in its midst. We shall see.
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7 thoughts on “A Rip van Winkle moment”
Reblogged this on Ramblings of a now 60+ Female.
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I certainly think that the money is one of the reasons, but so many MPs and MSPs have come through the other end of such an investigation. Some resign, some do not. She was definitely starting to look hounded by the turn of last year, then, Adern, in New Zealand, stepped down, (ostensibly because of the ‘trans’ issue and other issues), and the police were starting to close in on the SNP funds matter.
However, the absolute pig’s ear she made of the interviews she gave on the Isla Bryson case, insisting that this was a larper, not a ‘trans’ or a ‘trans’ but also a larper, and that “genuine” (sic) ‘trans’ would not do this would have exposed her lies on this issue. Anyone with a laptop could have exposed the lies within a couple of minutes, and the Rev, Graham Linehan, Genevieve Gluck, and many others have been exposing them for some time.
I think that destiny brushed her cold hand down Sturgeon’s cheek when the butch butcher was arrested. A child could have been killed because she and her cohort, and the Greens, Labour and Lib Dems were perfectly willing to allow women and children to be sacrificed. The public would have torn her innards out had she dared to give another apologist’s rambling, stammering interview.
She could face down speculation about missing funds (plenty of time to cover up, if necessary, and no one in the establishment wants a show trial) but not a fatality or sexual damage to a child. She kept saying, “I’m human” which I interpreted to mean, “I have made mistakes”. You can be forgiven for making mistakes out of a lack of knowledge, but you cannot knowingly make false statements about the safety of women and children to have those exposed when an innocent child was so obviously at risk, and it could be proved many times over that you had deliberately ignored the warnings from women’s groups, and all the evidence made available by bloggers like the Rev and many others.
She could not carry on spouting for ‘trans’ to placate the Greens and the ‘wokerati’ in her own party as leader, any more than Adern could have done. The fact that she is to become a back bench MSP suggests that she is not afraid of the police investigation, but I could be very wrong.
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As Nick Eardley reported a source close to the FM I reckon “she’d had enough”.
Maybe not for the reasons she gave.
At the political level:
GRRB is dead in the water. In her knee-jerk response to Alistair Jack’s Section 35 sanction she promised to challenge that in court. On reflection she probably knows that can’t be won. Leaving office means she can back away from that embarrassing commitment.
On Scotland’s Cause she had very little room to kick the can any further down the road at the Special Not So Urgent Non Emergency Sort of Democratic Conference. Leaving now, ironically, leaves the perfect excuse for the party’s movers and shakers to do so.
The policy failures and unpopular decisions are really starting to pile up – apart from the gender legislation there is the ferries fiasco, ScotWind fire sale farce and ‘green’ freeports to name a few are starting to tarnish the reputation and will be difficult to fix.
On the personal front there’s lots of speculation from Police Scotland seemingly stepping up their investigation into the party’s finances and the email exchanges between the FM and Stewart McDonald that Craig Murray says he has access to and is threatening to publish (with appropriate redaction). The FM says she is not stepping down … but she would say that wouldn’t she?
All speculation at this stage of course.
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Special conference menu: Not available until further notice. Those who have already ordered and paid for the fudge – tough.
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Sorry to read that you aren’t/weren’t feeling too well just take it easy.
Anyway you didn’t miss much Peter, because Murrell and Sturgeon will have a big hand in picking who gets the keys to Bute House, he/she will be a close ally to both of them, and will not stray far from Sturgeon’s policies, none of which includes dissolving the union.
The most likely candidates are Brown, Swinney, Robertson, Yousaf and Forbes, the last name has been touted by the Britnat radio stations as a favourite, she’s also a close ally of Sturgeon’s.
As for the so called conference, well it take 130 days to pick a new leader so any BS that was going to be debated by them will now go on the back burner, carrots last a while.
So there’s no real change in direction at the SNP, all the real talent dumped the SNP and moved on and the NEC is still controlled by the woke/trans obsessed mob, of whom Sturgeon is in agreement with.
Sturgeon did tremendous damage to the indy cause, she wasted eight years as well and saved the union after Brexit, she also tried to use the UKSC to stop Scotland from ever leaving this bucket of sewage union. I can only hope she goes to prison for a long long time with regards to the stolen 600k.
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Thanks for that. But mostly I feel fine. It’s just these occasional spells of fatigue that trouble me. That and some problems with my sense of balance. These are, I believe, recognised after-effects of Covid. I’m quite certain others have it much worse than me.
It is, however, a useful reminder that the viruses haven’t gone away. Covid is still with us. Still making people seriously ill. Still killing people. Elsewhere in the realm of pathogens, the dice are still being rolled trillions of times a second. One of the combinations of characteristics will end civilisation, if not the human species.
Globally, we have created near-ideal conditions for a killer pandemic. Viruses in particular pose a threat. They don’t have choice. They have to do the thing they do. The thing they do is transmit – move between hosts along chains of infection. If the pathways are there, the virus must follow it, potentially wreaking havoc as it goes. We have created those pathways. We learned how to interfere with the chains of infection sufficiently to prevent a catastrophic explosion of disease. But we proved incapable of maintaining the effort.
Pathogens won’t wipe out human civilisation. Stupidity will.
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Post viral fatigue is pretty common and there’s not much the medical profession can do to help.
My tell, was always a little light headedness, the feeling of utter exhaustion follows pretty quickly and pain wherever the virus decided to settle, the chest being the worst. The good news is, and you’ve already noticed this, the gap between bouts gets longer and the bout itself gets a lot shorter, eventually you’ll hardly notice. The tell stays though, 30 yrs since I first experienced it.
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