The ‘will she, won’t she’ question that Sturgeon has left hanging in the air

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Nicola Sturgeon likes to tease us, doesn’t she?

Everyone realises her party’s number one raison d’etre is separating Scotland from the rest of the UK. So having failed to do so in September 2014, Ms Sturgeon told us the May 2015 general election was about austerity, not constitutional reform. Yet within hours of the result, she threatened another referendum if David Cameron didn’t cave into her every demand. Then Ms Sturgeon admitted it’s all about opinion polls - she’ll disregard her “once in a generation” promises if the polls consistently show 60 per cent in favour of separation. At last October’s SNP conference, she ruled out including another referendum in this May’s Holyrood manifesto, then the New Year kicked off with the referendum apparently very much on the Nationalist leader’s agenda. An SNP “insider” quickly stated a referendum wouldn’t be in the manifesto, which Ms Sturgeon now denies, saying it isn’t written yet.

Nicola Sturgeon makes clear she doesn’t intend to abide by the Edinburgh Agreement nor our ballot box decision in September 2014. Instead she relentlessly plays with the electorate and the Scottish economy. And it’s us, the people of Scotland, who suffer the consequences of her obsessive constitutional manoeuvring.

Martin Redfern

Royal Circus, Edinburgh

“Senior SNP figures”, we are told, are briefing journalists not to expect a second referendum on independence in their Holyrood manifesto. And Nicola Sturgeon, in issuing what Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward (authors of All the President’s Men) would have described as the classic “non-denial denial” only fuels speculation further when she tweeted [It’s] “News to me! Manifesto not finalised yet.”

Well, if we are to believe Nicola I still have time to bet her £500, the price of a Holyrood deposit, she doesn’t promise us a second referendum.

And if she doesn’t she is in effect telling the nation that the short-term interests of the SNP are more important than the long-term goal of the wider independence movement.

This is a critically important time for the independence movement – a movement, incidentally, that does not belong to the SNP, nor include only Nationalists – as our right to self-determination is compromised by Westminster’s ability to prevent that second referendum. Without a powerful democratic mandate from the Scottish people, Westminster will not grant us that vote. Even with it they will fight the idea, but they will be on much weaker ground.

Rise – Scotland’s Left Alliance- will be fielding candidates in all eight regions on the promise of a second referendum within the lifetime of this Parliament at a time of our [i.e. the wider independence movement’s] choosing. We are determined to secure self-determination for Scotland as soon as the polls indicate there is a consistent majority for it. We fully understand the need for such a mandate in May and we are asking all independence supporters to give us their second vote and elect Rise MSPs on that basis.

Colin Fox

Scottish Socialist Party and Rise