Nicola Sturgeon deals in dangerous tribalism

With everything else going on in the world, the SNP conference opened in Aberdeen with the party still fixated on Scottish independence. Nicola Sturgeon is keen to use the shaky start to Liz Truss’ premiership and the economic turbulence that followed to bolster the case for separatism.

The First Minister has announced plans for another referendum in a year, but has also sought a court order from the Supreme Court on whether this can proceed without the approval of the UK Government. As the Union is a reserved matter, the final decision in theory rests with No. 10, who has refused permission. But this is being challenged as a breach of national self-determination under the UN Charter.

Arguments are due to take place this week in what will be the biggest constitutional case since the Article 50 hearings in the wake of Brexit, although Ms Sturgeon appears determined to push for independence come what may.

Should the tribunal find a unilateral move by the SNP to pass legislation unlawful, she intends to fight the next election and seek a specific mandate for a referendum. By then the SNP will have run Scotland for at least 17 years and presided over a decline in its economy and public services that the party can no longer attribute to Westminster. But that doesn’t stop Ms Sturgeon from seeking it find scapegoats and blame someone but herself.

She said in her interview that she “abhorred” the Tories and everything they stood for, a grotesquely divisive sentiment which will be noted by the 700,000 Conservative voters in Scotland. Hers is the authentic voice of dangerous, intolerant, tribalistic nationalism.

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