Health, education and the economy are all taking a back seat
Nicola Sturgeon says the general election ‘once again’ gives the people of Scotland an ‘opportunity to reject the Tories’ narrow, divisive agenda, as well as reinforcing the democratic mandate which already exists for giving the people of Scotland a choice on their future.’
Over the weekend, the Daily Record concurred, declaring the election a ‘chance of a lifetime’ for the SNP to get the mandate they seek for a second independence referendum.
Compare this then with Sturgeon’s comments to the Scottish TUC yesterday, in which she declared that the forthcoming election ‘won’t decide whether or not Scotland becomes independent. We got a mandate for a referendum in the election last year so this is about Scotland’s voice is heard and Scotland’s interests are protected.’
It was, as Sturgeon declared about the prime minister’s decision to hold this general election, ‘one of the most extraordinary U-turns in recent political history’.
Scottish voters must not be deceived by an SNP which is seeking to change the goal posts away from their original intention to use the election to seek a mandate for a second independence referendum, spurred on by the party being spooked by polling suggesting the Conservatives north of the border could make considerable gains in the election.
But then again, u-turns are not confined to May and Sturgeon since, in the wake of the EU referendum last year, Ruth Davidson warned that the Prime Minister should not block a request by the First Minister to hold a second vote on independence.
The reality is that an election which matters so much in Scotland has been hijacked, with voters being used as political pawns between the Conservatives and SNP for whom stoking up grievances around the future constitutional settlement for Scotland matters more than bread and butter issues such as schools, hospitals and the state of the economy.
Just for the record, according to polling published today by Kantar 55 per cent of those Scots questioned said they did not back independence, compared to just 37 per cent who did.
Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor at Left Foot Forward
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