The arrogant Nicola Sturgeon is the author of the disgraceful collapse of the SNP

As the embattled parties hold their inevitable election inquests, the blood pressure in Tory circles will be second only to that of the Scottish National Party. Stripped of a party that once boasted that it had never lost an election in almost two decades, its angry supporters claim that this defeat has killed the cause closest to their hearts: independence for Scotland.

Now a shadow of its former self – down from 48 MPs in the House of Commons to nine – the party knows only too well why it seeks this shameful deficit. No, not John Swinney, who was the party’s third leader in a year and was appointed just seven weeks ago. Old nationalists know where the blame lies: Nicola Sturgeon’s 10-year “royalty”.

And they are comparing her time at the top to that of her predecessor and former mentor – now sworn enemy – Alex Salmond. In 2014, he came within ten percentage points of engineering a UK break, a result that a year later saw the SNP win all but three seats in the 2015 general election.

However, it is now clear that Sturgeon’s legacy is very different.

The 53-year-old former lawyer succeeded Salmond almost as soon as the ink was dry on the referendum result and her decade at the top started well. During the Covid emergency, she became a household name across Britain, thanks to her controversial daily TV news conferences and her tough policies to fight the Covid virus; policies that most now know created more problems than they solved.

But her terrible fall from grace in the political world was accelerated by her completely reckless belief in her own omnipotence and her determination to be a world leader, not just in breaking up the United Kingdom but as a pioneer in controversial social change.

Still hanging over Scottish public life is what happened to the £600,000 missing from the SNP’s coffers. Presented by MPs to a referendum that will now never happen, a Police Scotland investigation into the whereabouts of his recent third anniversary has been successful. Sturgeon and a party official were arrested and released without charge pending further enquiries.

Her husband, Peter Murrell, resigned as chief executive of the SNP, and is now accused of embezzlement in relation to the missing money, a charge he denies. Police Scotland say the First Minister is still under investigation. She denies any wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, her victory in the 2014 referendum halted her independence and the opposition pushed successive Conservative governments to allow another vote. But Sturgeon refused to accept defeat and told everyone she would go ahead and stage Indyref2. However, a unanimous vote by the Supreme Court ruled that the Scottish government could not call such a referendum without the consent of the UK Government.

Despite this, she remained determined to make her mark on the world stage and this happened with her Gender Recognition Bill which would allow anyone over the age of 16 to change, despite widespread concern even among some of the wisest leaders in her own party. gender through a simple statement.

Many popular critics, including one of the world’s most famous authors, JK Rowling, promoted the bill as a serious threat to women’s rights and safety. And his death ended when the United Kingdom Government, under powers retained by Westminster when the devolved government was established in Edinburgh, vetoed the move to stop the law.

There is no doubt that this bill has become an issue where Sturgeon’s judgment and political “nous” have been called into question, with her predecessor and former mentor, Alex Salmond, being angrily criticized for damaging the case for independence .

However, while that controversy kept her reputation on the UK stage nose-diving, we can go back almost three years exactly to find the root cause of her downfall.

That was when Sturgeon, angry that she failed to achieve an absolute majority in the Scottish Parliament in the 2021 election, sought to “manufacture” an artificial majority that would allow her unfettered power at Holyrood.

On 20 August 2021, a smiling Sturgeon, with even wider smiles from the co-leaders of the Scottish Greens – Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater – formally signed the so-called Bute House Agreement.

Its objective was simple: “to create a majority in the Scottish Parliament for a transformational agenda and a cast-iron mandate to give the people of Scotland the choice of independence” with a huge majority of 71-57 at Holyrood.

Although the Greens only had seven MSPs to the SNP’s 64, he was the first to quickly take charge of the Coalition’s agenda and the result was that the tail was soon wagging the dog , but that there was only a tail and no dog.

The Greens have long supported independence but, in securing their support for another referendum, Sturgeon appeared to have ceded almost total power over her government’s domestic agenda to this tiny Marxist party that barely voted for anyone. for her.

This gave the Greens a strong boost on the gender issue, calling for a shutdown of North Sea oil and gas production, the introduction of Marine Protected Areas in Scottish waters that would ban fishing in remote communities West Highlands, and be responsible for it. delay in the upgrading of critical main roads.

It’s hard to blame the Greens for the fuss about building those two ferries on the Clyde yard nationalized by Sturgeon. Now, at least five years late, their cost has risen from £97 million to over £240 million. Sturgeon managed that all by herself.

Humza Yousaf, Sturgeon’s eventual successor as Prime Minister who had no doubts, called for the courage to get rid of the Greens, because of a dispute over climate change targets, only for the Greens to get rid of him. After they were in office, they tabled a motion of no confidence in him, which was supported by the opposition parties, and Humza was gone, forced to resign.

And that’s where John Swinney came in to try to find the worst aspects of Sturgeon’s legacy. He failed.

She may have enjoyed being patronized at home and abroad, particularly by the London commentary, but in the end Sturgeon’s legacy was to transform the SNP from a sure election winner to a crazed warring pot that prides itself on depend now. the third place on the benches of the Deputies reduced to a handful.

Oh yes, and especially in my mind, she was a guest pundit on an ITV election special, and reliably – even brazenly – admitted on air that the SNP had a “dismal” night of bad results.

But did she apologize on air for her part in her partner’s disastrous ordeal? That’s not what I heard.

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