Nationalism is still not the answer

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Nicola Sturgeon has greeted the election of Jeremy Corbyn as the new Labour leader by saying it will hasten the call for another crack at the failed bid for independence, as Labour’s internal politics will, she assumes, preclude them from facing up to the Tories.

Surely the emergence into mainstream British politics of a leader who agrees with the vast majority of what the current SNP supposedly believes in (namely the scrapping of Trident, the rolling back of welfare state austerity, enhanced rights of workers and raising taxes on higher earners) would be greeted by nothing but positivity.

But the SNP is a party with a one-track mind, no matter what their sophisticated machine of advisers, pollsters and analysts will spin the Scottish public into believing.

They will take any opportunity to shift their shape if it aids the path towards their only true motivation: the breaking up of the United Kingdom. So if you believe in that goal, by all means support the party and vote in their favour.

But if you are voting for them because you think their main aim is to stand up for the working poor, scrap Trident, show compassion towards refugees, or any number of other policies which dominate their spin office output and social media accounts, then think again.

The SNP stands for one thing and one thing only, and will happily tell the people of Scotland – in many cases the poorest and most vulnerable parts of society, who will best respond to hope of a better future – whatever they think they want to hear to achieve that aim. We all want a better future, but nationalism is never the answer.

Peter Buchanan

St Baldred’s Road

North Berwick

Has Nicola Sturgeon overplayed her hand?

As Jeremy Corbyn triumphs, Ms Sturgeon desperately tries to grab media attention, keeping her core supporters on side with more second referendum 
rhetoric.

As ever, the First Minister must perform a balancing act: not lose the radical Left to Corbyn’s genuine socialism while keeping the rest of us happy with vacuous claims that the SNP is the only true party to stand up for Scotland.

By speaking out in a tone more strongly than before in favour of an early referendum, Ms Sturgeon must be careful not to put at risk the decisive Holyrood majority she craves next year.

Finding your way through the SNP’s slick media spin is often challenging but arguably the one significant point made in Ms Sturgeon’s recent TV documentary is that she will demand a referendum only when she strongly 
believes she’ll win.

Then the Edinburgh Agreement and all those “once-in-a-generation” promises will be conveniently forgotten.

Martin Redfern

Royal Circus

Edinburgh

The First Minister has declared, on the matter of another referendum, that “this is driven by and decided by the people of Scotland”. Has she not spotted that it already was, and that the answer was No?

Nicola Sturgeon clearly finds it necessary to go on about it, for she has no other demonstrable raison d’être…none that one can spot, anyway.

What is her plan for making Scotland an attractive place in which to inspire and motivate traditional Scottish inventiveness and enterprise, to invest and do business, to create jobs and wealth, and to bring up a family in an 
atmosphere of neighbourliness and co-operation, a nation at peace with itself?

As long as she and her followers continue banging on about this subject – which has been decided – Scotland will become more divided than ever.

But there is one ray of hope: Saturday night’s television broadcast of The Last Night of the Proms, with the festivities and celebrations on Glasgow Green, showed a happy, friendly, boisterous crowd, some waving the Union Jack, some the Scottish Saltire, and others waving totally different flags.

No problems, no skirmishes, no fisticuffs: just good, clean fun in a vast gathering, enjoying each other’s company.

That’s how Scotland is at heart. That is the heart which this woman is consistently bending her efforts to break.

Tony Tucker

Leslie Place

Edinburgh

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