Politics

Meet the new Queen of Scots: Nicola Sturgeon’s unstoppable rise

Unionists thought the SNP would collapse after a ‘no’ vote. They couldn’t have been more wrong

22 November 2014

9:00 AM

22 November 2014

9:00 AM

‘She sold out the Hydro arena faster than Kylie Minogue,’ said one awestruck unionist of Nicola Sturgeon this week. Scotland’s new first minister has come into office on a tide of support that many in Westminster find hard to imagine. Not only is she packing out concert venues, her party is also consistently scoring above 40 per cent in the polls. If she can keep this momentum going, she will rout Scottish Labour at the next general election.

Defeat in the independence referendum has not halted the nationalists’ momentum — quite the opposite. The party stands on the verge of an electoral breakthrough that few would have thought possible even three months ago.

Yet again, Westminster has read Scotland wrong. During the referendum campaign, one of the most influential Scots in the government told me that failure in the referendum would cause the SNP to descend into chaos. The nationalists would end up divided between those who wanted to settle for beefed-up devolution and those who wanted to keep on pushing for full-blown independence. This is what Labour thought would happen when it created the Scottish Parliament in 1999 — but then, as now, the enemy emerged stronger.

Sturgeon’s achievement is all the more striking because she is becoming first minister in a coronation rather than a contest. She has managed to captivate the public by her mere procession to Bute House. In contrast, Scottish Labour is struggling to get voters interested in its leadership battle, despite it being a dramatic choice between a sharp move to the left under the MSP Neil Findlay or becoming a reformist party under the Blairite MP Jim Murphy.

The new first minister is not a pint-swilling populist nor a shooting star of a politician. She has been deputy first minister for seven and a half years, part of a decade-long double-act with Alex Salmond. Those activists snapping up tickets to see her at the Hydro will have seen her on television for years. Unlike Salmond, a successful RBS economist before being elected to parliament, Sturgeon is a career politician with few outside interests. She became involved in SNP politics at 16, first stood for a Westminster seat at 21, became a member of the Scottish Parliament aged 28 and is married to the chief executive of the party she leads.


Will this wave of popularity for Sturgeon and the SNP break? Many on the Labour side argue that all Scottish polls will be fairly meaningless until it has selected its new chief (likely to be Murphy). But the worry for Labour is that, however popular their new leader is, a general election campaign will focus on Ed Miliband who appears to be as reviled in Scotland as Sturgeon is popular. The most recent poll there found that 59 per cent of Scots distrust him, compared to 29 per cent who trust him.

With Labour in disarray, Sturgeon — a Glasgow MSP and far more of a conventional social democrat than Salmond — is aiming squarely at the Labour vote in the West Central Scotland. In her first leader’s speech, she tried to claim from Labour the mantle of being Scotland’s ‘economically and socially progressive party’. She repeatedly attacked Labour as part of a distant, out of touch Westminster elite. Indeed, her anti-Labour rhetoric mimicked how that party so successfully delegitimised the Tories in Scotland in the late 1980s and 1990s.

Labour still hope that their message ‘Vote Sturgeon, Get Cameron’ will resonate in a country where, as one shadow Cabinet member puts it, many voters remain ‘neuralgic’ about the Tories. But, as the Tories are finding with recent converts to Ukip, it is hard to persuade people to vote for nurse for fear of something worse. Labour is also a noticeably less Scottish party than it used to be. In 1997, seven members of the Cabinet were Scots. Now, only two members of Miliband’s top team sit for seats north of the border.

The SNP might never, as Sturgeon says, enter into a pact with the Tories, but if they stick to their current position of not voting on English-only matters this would help the Tories considerably. For it would significantly reduce the number of MPs that the Tories would need to steer health and education reforms through the Commons. This advantage will become more pronounced as more responsibilities are devolved to Scotland. The Tories are, for reasons of both principle and politics, determined to cede a significant number of new powers to Holyrood.

The one thing that is certain is that, at the next election, the SNP will have a ground operation the likes of which we have not seen for many years. The party’s membership has increased by 200 per cent since the referendum and the SNP calculates that its membership extends to almost one in 50 Scottish adults — making it over three times more popular in Scotland than any party is in England.

Labour and Tory researchers at Holyrood are currently crawling through Sturgeon’s record as Scottish health secretary. They suspect that the hand-to-mouth nature of the SNP’s first years as a minority government means that there were some decisions taken which were short-term wise but long-term foolish. But the uncovering of a few bad calls is unlikely to be enough to knock the gloss off Sturgeon.

Those who imagined that the referendum would secure the Union for a generation have been confounded by recent events. If Sturgeon wins an overall majority at Holyrood in 2016, she may well go for a second referendum — and this time the nationalists would start within touching distance of victory.

For unionists, however, there is one consolation about the SNP’s surge. If they do end up winning a considerable number of seats in the Commons, then Westminster will have to be far more alert to what is going on in Scottish politics. There can be no repeat of the post-devolution ignorance and neglect that earlier this year so nearly ended the United Kingdom.

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  • Tilly

    A scary and quite hate filled childless lady is Nicola Queen of Scots.They said Nicola was a non smiling fragrant grizzily bear with her own agenda, her teeth would have been within slippery
    Salmond by now but fate played a hand in that.

    To be fair, she has her rights to defend Scotland, but what about
    the rest of the United Kingdom, they voted to stay when the majority of us rather they went, and we never got a say.And now
    I hear the SNP might prop up Labour, there is something utterly
    undemocratic and wrong about that idea.

    • ChuckieStane

      “hate filled childless lady”
      Evidently not as hate-filled as you, Tilly.

      • Linda Miller

        “childless”: the insult of the envious breeder.

    • Deckers Synchronicity

      I’m not quite sure why the fact that she doesn’t have children is at all relevant, unless your worldview is so retrograde that you think women only have one purpose to fulfil. Cling to that all you like but the rest of society has long since moved on. And if you want a referendum on booting Scotland out of the UK – fine, form a party that stands on that platform and run for elections, and see how much support the idea has. You know, the same as the SNP did.

    • rjbh

      Oh indeed Tilly..un democrat is wat it is…funny then that you never called it “Undemocratic” when Scotland has to suffer yet another Tory Government when there no sitting Tory MPs the length and breadth of Scotland…ha! But yes I do understand ….you couldn’t give a toss about that….well feck you too.

    • justejudexultionis

      I suspect you just hate women.

    • RolftheGanger

      Ah, the instant switch from demonising Salmond to demonising Sturgeon. And mostly from those ever so progressive, politically corrrect, feminism supporting Labour Unionist lackeys.

      • rjbh

        should thatnot be Donkeys Rolf?

        • RolftheGanger

          Unkind – to donkeys.

  • The_Parallax_view

    Had she been operating in Westminster, Cardiff or NI she’d have been kicked out of politics in disgrace for her role in the Abdul Rauf affair.

    As a government minister, Sturgeon lobbied a a court to give a constituent a non-custodial sentence after he admitted an £80,000 benefits fraud. She pleaded to the judge for a non-custodial sentence after he admitted an £80,000 benefits fraud, and for calling his frauds, which included stealing £60,000 in pensions and benefit cheques more than 15 years ago, “mistakes”.

    Mr Rauf , despite being a serial fraudster, is a pillar and elder of his community and Sturgeon’s constituent .

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2010/feb/24/nicola-sturgeon-apologises-fraudster-letter

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2010/may/12/benefits-fraudster-jailed-stealing-80000

    • To resign requires shame and humility and the Sturgeon has none, the Sturgeon is the girl that ran the losing referendum campaign but they way she carries on you would think she actually won it and that’s not good politics at play it is actually a delusion from a sick mind and there is no treatment as she ran NHS Scotland in to the ground.

      • Alex Creel

        I’m off to the shops ….I’ll need a couple of kilos of Tate & Lyle to go with these sour grapes

        • There is nothing sour about stating the facts and in any event I never wanted Scottish independence and the overwhelming majority of Scottish residents agreed so it appears that you are one of the deluded that believe losing a referendum somehow means you one it!

          • Alex Creel

            The fact is that SNP popularity has soared since the referendum. The loss has bound together the pro independence groups in a way that the campaign couldn’t. We achieved 45% of the vote with around 35k activists (including the 25k SNP members). It stands to reason that we will be able to campaign more effectively in future with so many more footsoldiers. The westminster elections will be a good test of Sturgeon’s popularity, if the SNP win more than half the available Westminster seats it’ll be clear that she’s not deluded but rather has widespread support among Yes and No voters. Time will tell but for now the party has a huge membership, is financially fluid and is polling well in every regard. No wonder we think we won!

          • There is no such fact, we have seen poll increases but the latest polls show that starting to decline however we have been told membership of the SNP has increased 200% but without any evidence of membership all we have is the word of the SNP so its entirely possible that the SNP took a leaf out of Labours books and started adding members themselves from all the list of names they gathered during the referendum process.

            28 out of 32 council regions were overwhelmingly won for the union and that is a staggering defeat for the separatists so feel free to carry on in your delusions with thinking that Sturgeon as First Minister will have a test of her popularity at the Westminster elections when she is not even standing as a candidate.

          • Alex Creel

            No proof of the membership roll? Now you’re sounding deluded! We’ve all had branch meetings since the referendum – previously we resembled a parish council, now we resemble a regional council! So I can see with my own eyes the way in which membership has increased in my own (non SNP) area. Your point about the council regions is moot, one person, one vote regardless of which areas voted what. As for the westminster election not being a popularity contest – you’d better tell the mass media that as they’re insisting on making this about the leaders not the parties….

          • There is no evidence of SNP members as that information is not published so renting yourselves a bigger meeting place and having the devoted come does not mean its the locals only as we all know how the separatists organised themselves in the referendum where they were transported from place to place.

            Unless you have a list of SNP members to share then you cannot prove the SNP membership claims and we all know the SNP have lots of money, you said so yourself, and we know also they do have access to numerous lists of names and addresses and we all also know the SNP were adding people to the ‘declaration’ during the referendum campaign without their consent and we all know this country has history with political party’s just adding on new members without bothering to ask the person first so really it is entirely likely this 200% members increase claim is a SNP ploy designed to make themselves seem relevant as the speed of the increase was truly bizarre and if you think it through going on the numbers they state over the time the stated next week the SNP will be the biggest party in the UK then next moth the whole of the EU and in a few months only the Chinese Communist Party will beat them!

          • Alex Creel

            and I’m sure you have some twin towers, JFK and moon landing theories to share with us also. It’s amazing that the SNP can be both a shambolic, referendum losing mess and criminal masterminds at the same time. OMG perhaps I’m not even a member, perhaps I’ve just been hypnotized into thinking I am! Cripes

          • All I am saying is the membership claims are totally unverifiable and that is a fact so to give credibility to the claim we need to look to the party themselves and they are far from honest and do have history of adding names on to lists without the named persons consent.

          • RolftheGanger

            Taking denial to new lengths. Desperate stuff from a Bitter Togetherite.

          • Rocksy

            Losing YES voters are the desperate ones. Always embarrassing to see how losers try to convince themselves that they are really the winners.

          • RolftheGanger

            Weak, very weak.
            There is plenty of evidence in the public domain of the nassive electoral backlash and the panicking dismay of the Naysayers. Or did Lamont depart chuckilng oral grenades for no good reason?

          • Its hardly denial, show the members list or accept that it is only the word of the SNP we have for the numbers.

          • RolftheGanger

            How about Labour publish their, pathetically short list, as evidence of good faith, then we will publish ours?
            (I’m not in the SNP, just calling the bluff)

          • Labour got caught out adding on names to their members list just because those names were members of a union and that’s how come we know political party’s do try things like that.

          • Rocksy

            Interesting you mention the Chinese Communist party, the SNP have so much in common with them.

          • RolftheGanger

            I know the Scottish diaspora generated by Union misrule is vast, but you are emulating Mr McK’s Baron Munchausen Syndrome efforts with that one!

          • Rocksy

            Try to follow the thread.

          • justejudexultionis

            Forty-five per cent nationwide support for independence is hardly a ‘staggering defeat for the separatists’. In fact, it is an astonishing result given that the yes campaign had been polling below 30 per cent for up to two years prior to the referendum. The independence issue will not go away, and recent polls appear to indicate increasing support (above the crucial 50 per cent mark). It seems that Scotland is destined to separate within the next fifteen years.

          • ProudScotInUK

            45% nationwide ???? Astonishing result ????
            Go back and check the maths.
            37% of those eligible to vote actually voted for separation.
            Nearly 2/3 of Scots DID NOT vote Yes.

          • It is a staggering defeat as the separatists lost the referendum, 55 is bigger than 45!

          • Rocksy

            The Quebec Neverendum would suggest otherwise.

          • RolftheGanger

            Yes well, Scots are Scots. Not Quebecquois.

          • ProudScotInUK

            Correction. You achieved 37% of the voting population in Scotland. Nearly 2/3 of Scots did not vote for separation.
            We shall see how many renew their memberships of the SNP when they have sobered up.

          • RolftheGanger

            There is everything sour in not also mentioning that Sturgeon apologised to Holyrood for a lapse of judgment and overdoing her willingness to represent a constituent.

          • Still waiting on the apology over the lapse of judgement when she spent tens of millions of £’s of taxpayers money on an airport for Donald Trump to park his private jet on.

      • JPJ2

        The SNP are lucky in their opponents who are virtually devoid of the powers of reason and logic as your delusional utterances prove 🙂

  • John Carins

    Unionist’s need to get a grip. The inter party bickering between LibLabCon during the referendum debate was inexcusable, despite all 3 parties being in support of the Union. Alistair Darling seemed always reticent to support Tory views and vice-versa. It was really a golden opportunity to unite behind the idea of a United Kingdom. They failed and the reckoning is yet to come. To fight back against the SNP an independent body that promotes the Union so that knowledge and information can be used to counter the insane SNP arguments is needed.

    • Oil is at $75 a barrel, we wont be hearing any calls for a further referendum till its back up to the $115 + mark.

      • Blindsideflanker

        Indeed, that the British establishment are remaining silent about it explains why the SNP run rings around them.

        • justejudexultionis

          The oil is Scottish oil.

          • John Carins

            Quite a lot of it lies off Shetland. Do not assume that Shetland would remain part of an independent Scotland. If Shetland resisted would Scotland send its gun boat? Remember that most of the frackable gas is probably in England.

          • Auldreekie

            The idea that Shetland would break away from an independent Scotland is ridiculous, wishful thinking, dreamt up in England and given currency by its repetition there. The notion has no credibility in Scotland: in Shetland itself there is no secession movement: only a few eccentrics and English incomers have the suggested the possibility. At the 2011 census a majority of the population of Shetland described their identity as ‘Scottish’: not ‘British’, not even ‘Scottish and British’. The SNP branch in Shetland has increased membership. And a breakaway Shetland could only claim oil within 12 miles of its shoreline, beacuse it would be an enclave in Scottish waters, and no oil has so far been found in that area.

          • John Carins

            I’m sure that Shetland could extend its territorial waters with the help of England. It might even decide to become part of Norway. Your long reply shows that there is truth in the fact that the Shetlanders are not happy with Holyrood. At any rate, Scots seeking independence are wee Scotlanders.

          • MichtyMe

            Ah yes, Shetland and Norway. Viking Kings once ruled in York. When will Scandinavian authority return in the North of England. Shetland, Stavanger, Bradford, united again in their common identity.

          • John Carins

            Ah yes, when can we have the whole of South East Scotland including Edinburgh returned to the Kingdom of Northumbria? The idea of an “independent ” Scotland will not wash. It is part of the UK.

          • Derick Tulloch

            And Shetland – Insse Catt in the Irish Annals – was part of the Pictish kingdoms long long before it was temporarily thieved by hairy Norski fascists. Time we had reparations

          • Tim Morrison

            I am in the Northern Isles – we see our future entirely within a Scottish context. No one with more than half a brain is arguing for independence of the islands. Shetland is not going to ‘resist’ at all.

          • Derick Tulloch

            Fortunately there is neglible support in Shetland for Partition. I know, being from that part of the world

          • Polly Radial

            No, the oil is the property of the companies that extract it.

          • Derick Tulloch

            Yes, we all know this. Taxation however is not.

      • John Carins

        Aye. The oil price is pretty volatile. In will go back up as quick as it came down. However, this volatility does make SNP claims less credible. It is a sad reflection on those who vote for Scottish independence purely on economic grounds which includes the price of oil.

        • RolftheGanger

          Which exempts the majority. The Unionist political lie that Scotland “relies” on oil revenues is being steadily eroded.

      • justejudexultionis

        The economic case for independence does not rely on oil.

        • flippit

          That’s not true. Read the White Paper

      • RolftheGanger

        Due to US efforts to undercut Russia. “Events dear boy”

        This is the latest Unionist misrepresentation ploy. Pretending that oil is the one and only mainstay of the Scottish economy, instead of a nice little earner of an extra.

        • Jimmy from largs

          Rolf, I thought your master controller Mr Swinney played Oil as a crucial item. He declared it to be a component which made Scotland ‘hugely wealthy’ So now it crashes and its of no consequence…..phew…glad we are not independant then eh……. your view of economics I do not share

          • RolftheGanger

            Logic deficincy. A valuable addition to wealth does not necessarily equate to an essential mainstay of the economy.
            The Scottish economy is 14th wealthiest in the world on a per capita basis. Add the oil and you have a very wealthy- but currently extremely badly misgoverned country by Westminster.

          • Jimmy from largs

            So…if the Nationalists had won….we would be about to become independant…….in March 2016.

            Oil crashing through the floor is OK….not a problem.

            We will still be the 14th wealthiest economy.

            MMMMMM…….Yes a logic deficiency………

          • Harryagain

            You missed the vast amount of money coming from England.
            You think that would continue?

            You think you could still use England’s roads railways and ports for free?
            Who’s gonna buy your wind generated electricity.

          • Derick Tulloch

            Sigh. Every time the books have been opened for the last 120 years the fact that Scotland subsidizes the UK financially has been clear. £150bn and counting since 1980

          • Jimmy from largs

            So…if the Nationalists had won….we would be about to become independant…….in March 2016.

            Oil crashing through the floor is OK….not a problem.

            We will still be the 14th wealthiest economy.

            MMMMMM…….Yes a logic deficiency………

          • Harryagain

            A Westminster run by first and second generation Scotsmen.
            Bliar Broon Cameron.

          • RolftheGanger

            Unionist politicians. Or are you adopting the racial principle that place of birth tops all other considerations?

          • Harryagain

            Aha, lose the argument and so bring up the racist word. Heh Heh. Typical socialist ploy.
            Are you saying Scots are a different race to English?
            I brought up the Three Turds (Bliar, Broon and Cameron) to refute the idea that the English are responsible for what;s happened to the Scottish economy.
            When in fact the three turds (Scots) are responsible for what happened in the whole of the UK.
            It will take decades to fix the damage socialism has done to the whole country.
            It will only be fixed when the various debts are paid off.
            SNP = Socialists.

            Socialism = Ruination.

        • Its not an extra its a substantial portion of tax revenue accounting to over 5 billion and 5 billion out of just around 47 billion total is very noticeable when gone but represents less than 1% of UK tax revenue.

          Scottish Government figures to assist you:

          http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy/GERS

          In 2012-13, total Scottish non-North Sea public sector revenue was estimated at £47.6 billion, (8.2% of total UK non-North Sea revenue). Including a per capita share of North Sea revenue, total Scottish publicsector revenue was estimated at £48.1 billion (8.2% of UK total public sector revenue). When an illustrative geographical share of North Sea
          revenue is included, total Scottish public sector revenue was estimated at £53.1 billion (9.1% of UK total public sector revenue).

          • RolftheGanger

            Carefully ignoring that this includes the population charges for many items of expenditure briefly describable as the top heavy overheads of Westminster’s global pretentions. Items that would cease on dissolving the Union. Shares charged to Scotland but spent in the SE and thereby siphoning wealth creation out of Scotland down to the SE.

    • justejudexultionis

      You first need to ‘get a grip’ of English grammar, and the ‘Saxon genitive’ in particular. It is ‘unionists’, not ‘unionist’s’.

      BTW, I wouldn’t bother trying to save your union. Thanks to Margaret Thatcher and decades of Westminster misrule it is finished.

      • John Carins

        Thanks for spotting my typo. Currently, the Union is certainly having a difficult time but it has had hard times before and survived. .

      • Harryagain

        Thanks to a bunch of Scottish war criminals you mean. (Blair Broon)

        • RolftheGanger

          Good little BritNat Unionist criminals, you mean.

  • Blindsideflanker

    I have not been impressed by her at all, she has been lucky to have been in the shadow of Salmond. Where as Salmond could be an avuncular chap, someone like Sturgeon who is wedded to politics makes you a feel decidedly uncomfortable.

    Not that looks should be important, but she looks like a 1950’s throw back of a women going on 65. If she ever goes onto a building site, Health and Safety won’t require her to wear safety gear, for there appears to be more epoxy spread on her barnet than you would find in a yellow safety helmet.

    • Alex Creel

      “Not that looks should be important, but” – is that the new ‘I’m not a racist but’..?

    • Deckers Synchronicity

      “Not that looks should be important but I’m going to make judgements about her based on them anyway!!”

    • rjbh

      None as blind as those that can’t see…eh flanker?

    • RolftheGanger

      A demonstration that threat and fear of change produce weird witterings.

  • Terence Wilkinson

    Reading James Forsyth’s recent articles on Scotland has been like reading one of Marvel’s multiverse stories which occur in an alternate reality. In the Scotland in which I live Nicola Sturgeon is not popular and divides opinion even more than her divisive predecessor. Once the capable Jim Murphy is in place he will wipe the floor with Shouty Sturgeon. Of course according to the nasty Nats and their cultish followers I am not a real Scot but could we have some reporting that was not written by SNP quislings.

    • Jambo25

      She actually has the highest approval rating of any major UK politician.

  • Rocksy

    Sturgeon is a Marxist. The bigger they come, the harder they fall. I can’t wait.

    • Deckers Synchronicity

      Yeah, that cut in corporation tax is straight out of the Communist Manifesto… get a grip.

      • Rocksy

        The Chinese Communist party…just about as Marxist as one can get have a thriving free market system. One they had to come to terms with. Same thing happening much more slowly in Cuba. Happened in India. All of these countries had to face facts.

        • RolftheGanger

          So India was CP run was it? The Unionist ability to rewrite history; instantly

          • Rocksy

            India had a strongly socialist economy until fairly recently at which time, having experienced at first hand the glaring flaws in that system and having to deal with an impoverished country, it made the decision to change to a free market, capitalist system. We’ve seen the results.
            Try to keep track.

          • RolftheGanger

            Jehennum ko jao!!

          • Rocksy

            Keep telling yourself that.
            CCCP ………Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics.

          • RolftheGanger

            Yeah and there is a pop star called Madonna.
            Calling it so did not make it so – witness – the “United” Kingdom

          • Rocksy

            Your argument getting weaker . It may be time to hoist the white flag or would it be the Red Flag?

          • RolftheGanger

            A white flag will do you just fine. Later you can paint a red cross on it and recycle it.

  • Dale

    It must be infuriating for unionists to see the Yes side lose the referendum and then go on to prosper. Lose the battle, win the war.

    • Jimmy from largs

      Dale, How do you feel with Oil Crashing through the floor…..as one of the 45 any view…..

      • Dale

        Scottish GDP would be 99% of the UK average with no oil; having any is a bonus.
        As one of the 55 (I presume) how do you feel that BAE might be leaving the Clyde after all (surprise, surprise)? That Sir Ian Wood’s company (author of the comically pro-union report into the 35 seconds of remaining oil) has been awarded a massive fracking contract? That the three stooges have already distanced themselves from the Daily Record’s “vow”? Or linked it to EVEL?

        • ProudScotInUK

          One of the 55 ??
          You must surely mean one of the 63 or almost 2/3 of Scots eligible to vote who DID NOT vote for independence.
          Club 45 is actually club 37. You should change your logo.
          Get a calculator or even an abacus and work it out.

          • Dale

            Ignored everything else I wrote did you?
            Using that logic you and this other guy must belong to the 46.7% of Scots that voted to remain part of the Untied Kingdom?
            p.s it’s actually 37.8% or 38% to the nearest whole.

          • ProudScotInUK

            Thanks for the correction.
            You do have a caclulator then.
            38% it is then and NOT 45% as we constantly get pushed in our faces.
            THANK YOU.

          • rjbh

            one wonders what percentage of Brit punters do not vote Tory yet end up with one…certainly there is in Scotland a single Tory MP…so approx 2% of Scots MPs give Scotland a Tory government. I will be happy for England to have whoever they wish to govern them…. but the union is already over…it was really Margret Thatcher that brought it about, without her the rise of the SNP and Alex Salmond in particular might never have happened.

          • Harryagain

            Capitalism built the Scottish economy.
            It was socialism destroyed it, not the English or the Tories.

            When it fails, socialists always think the answer is more socialism.
            Eventually you end up with a North Korea. You have to fence the people in.
            How many Scots have fled to England?
            (All the best ones, leaving the dregs behind.)

            Heh Heh. Name a successful socialist country?

          • rjbh

            while 20% of the children born in Scotland are born into poverty..yes its not new..and its not necessarily briught about by the Tory government…afterall the Unionist Labour government…didnt do much to close the poverty gap.

            its the turn now of the SNP..and to do the job they must getproper control of all the economic levers…and for that we need …Independence.

          • Harryagain

            Total drivel.
            What great plan has the SNP got?
            There was nothing but drivel in their manifesto document for independence.
            They are just cravers for fame and power.
            Everywhere socialism has been implemented it has failed. (Unless you consider North Korea to be a success.)

            There is no poverty in the UK, you have to go to a third world country to see poverty.
            There was poverty after the war, I experienced it myself.
            Socialist whingers these days think poverty is not having Sky TV or a mobile phone.
            All the Scotsmen of sense and ability have fled to England.
            Leaving behind the dross like Salmond and Sturgeon.
            You might have to put up a wall (N. Korea style) to keep them in.

        • Jimmy from largs

          All terribly suspicious…but as a member of the 45….these will always be your point of view.

          Nationalists …………….the ends justify the means.

          Quite frightening really.

          • Dale

            They are neither suspicious nor suspicions, they are verifiable facts. The MOD and BAE are “considering tendering” the Type 26 frigate contract to France, search “BAE Clyde France” – the Scotsman article from 9 days ago will tell you more. A company Sir Ian Wood’s company owns really has been awarded a contract to frack most of central Scotland. Miliband’s office have claimed “there was no official version of the vow, it was entirely a Daily Record fabrication”. Meanwhile Cameron was linking extra powers for Scotland to English Votes for English Laws within 12 hours of the result being announced!
            Did you enjoy the result in your recent concillor election(assuming you still live in Largs)?

          • Jimmy from largs

            Dale….I would hardly be surprised that BAE/MOD take these actions. We have no clue where Scotland will be….your part of the group that continue to sow this uncertainty. If Ian Wood finds oil in my garden good luck to him.

            I recall Alex saying there was Oil in the Clyde during the campaign and the evil unionists were hiding in their trousers.

            Boo Hoo about Scotland and extra powers…what a load of nonsense. Scotland has plenty of powers…..your party is stopping at nothing to secure its ends….nothing. The Scottish people are being duped…by Holyrood a political class of people who have never had a proper job…..its nothing short of a disgrace..no Governance just Campaigning clap trap.

            Check your history, thats what Nationalists do…..ends justifying the means.

            If you have a better Scotland as a consequence….best wishes…………I doubt it seriously….I wish you and your family well.

          • Harryagain

            Heh, If you want see how socialism functions, you only need go as far as the the construction of the Scottish parliament building. What a farce that was.

          • Clutha

            But you know that the SNP had nothing to do with that, don’t you? Blame Dewar and the Labour Party.

          • Harryagain

            They’re all socialists.
            Socialism always fails wherever it’s implemented.
            They don’t give a t0ss. They’re spending other people’s money.
            What a heap of expensive sh ite that building is.

          • flippit

            Not frightening, but sad yes. I think nationalists really are pursuing earlier rebellions like that of 1745. They lost then and will again, because they view their goal only from their own narrow position.

          • Tim Morrison

            You mean like changing the goal posts after 25% of votes had been cast as your lot did. Making decisions to go into war right after the ballots closed and making unsubstantiated promises that could never be fulfilled. Oh and then there is the threatened rescinding of the naval contracts/

        • Harryagain

          Dream on.
          Socialism always fails.

      • Tim Morrison

        It will go back up in price sooner or later – there things are cyclical – and there are the new find – – no one is saying its ‘oil that will pay for it all’ in any case. That is an Aunt Sally created by Unionists.

    • Jimmy from largs

      Dale, Its not infuriating at all…more tragic really…history is full of these sorts of events……its more of a tragedy really. I’m not surprised by the SNP surge not all….not surprised by the threat of a second referendum…. Next we will have Salmond in Westminster…being so obnoxious that we will be thrust out of the UK becuase the rest of the UK will be so fed up with us.

      Its all part of the great plan…….ends justifying the means.

      Lap it up and enjoy it…meanwhile Scotland will NOT prosper…and the SNP will not be held accountable.

      • Harryagain

        You’re right.
        Socialism always fails.
        The Jocks will be eating grass in five years.

        • fundamentallyflawed

          No. Any issues with a lack of funding north of the Border will be portrayed at every turn by the SNP as Westminster cuts not their fault.

          Westminster will subsidise any shortfall until the next referendum.

          • Harryagain

            What “next referendum”?

          • fundamentallyflawed

            The SNP are already claiming that they only lost due to devolution promises that are now not being met.
            The SNP are pro-Europe – any anti European movements will be seen as not agreed by Scotland.

            The SNP have a real chance to be in a Labour coalition at Westminster.. What do you think Labour will give them for their cooperation?
            All or any of these 3 will trigger a new referendum question. Rather than answering the question for a generation its thrown it open until they get the right answer (like all good political questions – keep asking till the people agree)

          • Tim Morrison

            To be in coalition with an unpopular Labour Government in Westminster would put the SNP in the same position as the LibDems.

          • Harryagain

            Barking mad.
            They want to “escape from London” and be ruled by Berlin, members of the fourth Reich.

          • Whitegold

            What a strange comment.

          • Harryagain

            Very strange.
            But that’s what the fat man was proposing.

    • flippit

      It’s all a waste of time. If there is another referendum, the result will be the same. The potential for an independent Scotlands economy will be reduced, and the SNP couldn’t convince on that this time. But it is a part of the general protest that incorporates UKIP, the anti-establishment movement going on North and South of the border.

    • CraigStrachan

      The measure of the No victory will be confirmed if Sturgeon shites it off including a commitment to a second referendum in the SNP manifesto for 2016. As she certainly will.

  • rjbh

    Seems to me like the London centric media are starting to catch up with events in Scotland, We like what the SNP do…and we are turning to them in droves to save ourselves from Westminster assholes, drunk on their power and corruption. It’s pretty well over for the Unionist of any stripe….feck them.

    • Harryagain

      It’s Scotsmen foisted on us by the Jocks that f_____d up the whole of the UK.
      Blair, Broon and Cameron.
      Must be the whisky addles their brains, Creates permanent genetic cretinism.

      • rjbh

        It’s noting to the likes of the English Thatcher

        • Harryagain

          Thatcher fixed the economy after the last socialist lot f______up.

          Scotland and the North of England is where the socialist mucked up nationalised industry with restrictive practices and refusal to modernise.
          Too thick to understand that they had to compete with the rest of the world.
          Thought thy could live off state subsidies forever.
          Seems like all socialists you got a short memory.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_of_Discontent

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Scargill

          • rjbh

            Harry had you had the misfortune to live through the Thatcher years in Scotland, or indeed much of the North of England, you may well have changed your mind…

            Yes i do accept the mines had to be shut, but she shut them without a care of what was to happen to the many thousands of jobs that were lost…furthermore..the eviroment was not a concideration in those days. I remember those days well as I lived in and still live in a minning town.

            Needless to say..the result was devistation, and who could forget, interest rates soaring under Thatcher, Morgage repayments at 16%…Thatcher chose to squander the riches of North Sea Oil to shaft the Unions

          • Harryagain

            Socialist drivel.
            More mines were closed during Harold Wilson’s government than by Maggie.
            They closed for economic reasons. Striking just made them less economic.

            Capitalism built the Scottish economy, socialism destroyed it. Here’s a good example for you to read about:-
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Brown_%26_Company

            The USSR funded unions needed shafting. They thought they could overthrow a legally elected government and install a Marxist government instead.

            I lived in North of England at that time BTW

          • rjbh

            cant say Im interested in your links Harry… My opinions for what theyre worth are certainly based on my own life experiences..I have had good cause to like several English people that I got close to…one I consider extra special was a true English gentleman Old Etonian Oxbridge etc was very good to me a Fife painter /decorator .. i worked at his family home and business for a good few months…imat least part English Welsh Scottish and American blood

          • Harryagain

            That’s it. Typical socialist with you head up your ****

          • rjbh

            lol Frankly Harry who gives a feck wat u think…we lost the Referendum… but we will be Independent in a few short years.. ah yes! just give us that old story about us eating grass… believe as you wish.

          • Harryagain

            Maggie is always the excuse that socialists offer up for their failures.
            Just a bunch of loser parasites on the rest of us.

          • Harryagain

            Here’s something to read about one of your great socialist heros.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Scargill#Legal_disputes

  • justejudexultionis

    The SNP should seriously start fielding candidates in the north of England. In places close to the border they could even win e.g. Berwick upon Tweed or Carlisle. The people of the north of England are desperate for an alternative to the morally and ideologically bankrupt Wastemonster parties.

    SAOR ALBA

  • BoiledCabbage

    Lets hope she takes the Scots away in 2016, never to return. That is the best route to an English parliament.

    • RolftheGanger

      The return to self government for England is long overdue. You will do a much better and more democratic job of managing yourselves that the British imperial and imperialist parliament.

  • RolftheGanger

    The article is factually inaccurate. The usual Unionist “loose way with the truth”

    The SNP membership has not “increased by 200 per cent since the referendum”

    SNP membership has gone from 23,000 to above 85,000 and was last reported as increasing by 800 per week.

    In addition, the pro self government Scottish Greens have trebled their membership.

    Labour, the “dominant” Unioist party has somewhere below 13,000 members, a dwindling band of activiist footslioggers and in a UK GE will no longer to bus in activists form south of the border or NI.

    • Derick Tulloch

      92,187 on Saturday afternoon. Out of date now.

  • Jimmy from largs

    I yearn for a Scottish Government at Holyrood who will Govern and not Campaign…….its shameful how the SNP administration get away with not Governing. Also the lack of accountability from them is shocking…. I know of nobody in a business environment who would ever get away with this. Lets see if the new FM is any better than the last. I have serious doubts …….but it would be great to be surprised…..

  • Auldreekie

    “Unlike Salmond, a successful RBS economist before being elected to
    parliament, Sturgeon is a career politician…”

    Poor research there: in Scotland it’s pretty well known amongst those who follow politics that Nicola worked as a solicitor in Stirling and then at the Govan Law Centre – in fact, it’s there for anybody to find out in Wilkipedia. And the her legal career was just about as long as Salmond’s as an economist.

  • Pam Sinniah Selvarangan

    She is as Sly as Alex Salmond!! Scotland has had more rights than us in The Uk down here. !!

    • RolftheGanger

      Quite right.

      Right to be ruled by another country’s choice of government.

      Right to die earlier – at your mid 50s if you live in ‘select’ areas of Glasgow.

      Right to pay in disproportionately larger taxes and watch it squandered in London and the SE – or on foreign ill-organised and worse executed military adventures.

      Right to see your irreplaceable natural resources splashed on the wall, by successive alien ideological idiots.

      Right to be used as a safe dumping ground for risky Westminster toys that may go bang.

      For instance – Dounreay, then nuclear subs, now the possible space port.

      You can skip the background and go to the bottom line. As Westminster always does:

      “Is there still a future for space tourism … and will Stornoway be home to Europe’s
      first spaceport?
      Saturday 08 November 2014
      Archie Bland
      The Independent
      Even a cursory read of the consultation document shows that Stornoway is facing some
      big challenges. It’s difficult to get to, for example – arguably the most remote place
      on the shortlist – and it rains a lot. You can’t take off when it’s cloudy, and anyway
      no gazillionaire worth his salt wants to go to space without a crystal-clear view of
      the ground below.

      On the other hand, Stornoway is in good stead on several more fundamental criteria:
      runway capacity, available airspace, and – a point more resonant than ever – low
      population density, lest the worst should happen.”
      So nice to be valuable, not valued, by the Union.(Switch on your sarcasm detector)

  • Polly Radial

    Salmond, Sturgeon – why are they all named after fish?

    • RolftheGanger

      We arrange Scottish politics entirely on the basis of pandering to southern obsessions with trivialities.

  • somewhereinthesouth

    The idea of a Labour led coalition with Miliband as PM [ perhaps only having got 30% of the vote or even less ] being propped by the SNP and the Lib Dems is truly horrifying. What would the deal likely be? More powers to Scotland? The break up of England up in to regions with no English parliament? { to ensure Labour can rule in the north there only remising fiefdom ] . Keep the Barnett formula ? proportional representation?, House of Lords reform plus PR? No referendum on the EU [ or if there is one, a veto for Scotland? [Not the at England was offered such a luxury on the Scots referendum}.

    You can be sure of one thing any coalition will ignore the wishes of England as a nation and the needs of England as a country wont be a the top of the agenda. The SNP say they wont vote on matters only affecting England [ ironically unlike any remaining Scottish Labour MPs’]. if this is true then a Labour PM might need to rely on a gaggle of parties to get legislation through on English matters [e.g. the Greens , Lib Dems or even UKIP] or more likely not be able to get English legislation through at all. Supporting UKIP and or Labour might therefore result in some unforeseen and very unsavoury results – the mostly likely being a weak or paralysed government . Since the silly parliament act means we can’t have another election we will regret our votes at leisure and even more so when there is a run on Sterling [ and higher borrowing costs] which will follow such as result.

  • Flintshire Ian

    They have had their referendum and lost. If the Jocks get too arsey send the troops in. The SNP do not have the right to break up the United Kingdom without the consent of the English and the Welsh as well as their own minority of voters.

    • “The Jocks”? Really?

      And are you going to lead the charge? Are you on your way now, north of the border to threaten Glaswegians with violence should they again get uppity by not sharing your view?

      Well, of course not. You’re just one more internet warrior racist, whom, if he used this sort of language about other ethnic minorities in Britain, would find himself facing criminal sanction.

      Not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, are you, Ian?

      • Flintshire Ian

        Not being a chav myself, the Christmas tree isn’t bought yet never mind lit up.
        My point is that Scotland has had it’s referendum and the Yes camp lost. The SNP need to understand this result is for a generation at least (as your ex Dear Leader himself said until you lost). A unilateral declaration of independence against the wishes and the best interest of the majority of the UK population should not be allowed to succeed. If that means the use of troops, so be it. It’s our country as well as yours.

        • RolftheGanger

          In your dreams.
          All the referendum did awaken Scotland from the sedation of the social conditioning and mindless torpor instilled by that poisonous combination, Westminster politics and the state broadcaster.

    • RolftheGanger

      What troops? The Yeomen of the Guard?

  • CraigStrachan

    The BQ didn’t collapse after the first Quebec sovereignty vote. They didn’t even collapse after the second. They have collapsed now, though.

  • BigCheddar

    England lost the independence referendum and should’t be afraid of a repeat. Without Scottish MPs, Westminster would be much more representative of rUK and we wouldn’t have to tolerate all this anti English bleating from the Scots.

    I cannot see why we don’t bow to opinion and allow Scots independence with grace and goodwill. Why not support their membership of the EU, why not support an open trade agreement between Scotland and the rUK? If they don’t want the Union why die in a ditch for it?

    I doubt Scotland would thrive outside the Union but I’d be happy for them to give it a go and cannot understand why we wouldn’t want them to succeed. An independent England with Wales and N’Ireland would be prosperous and successful whithout the socialist restrictions that Scotland bring us.

  • michael

    As someone else has mentioned, its SNP in the north and UKIP in the south that are setting the agenda. The British Westminster establishment is collapsing and good riddance to complete rubbish.

  • freddiethegreat

    What’s a large Russian fish got to do with Scottish Politics? I don’t see it….

    • RolftheGanger

      And if that was intended “humour” we don’t see it either.

  • Colin

    “‘She sold out the Hydro arena faster than Kylie Minogue,’”

    The Krankies never really went away, you know…

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