Scottish Nationalists Take Advantage of Labour Upheaval

With Labour in disarray, the only alternative to Tory rule is Scottish independence, the nationalists say.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon of Scotland gives a speech in Tweedbank, September 9
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon of Scotland gives a speech in Tweedbank, September 9 (Scottish Government)

Nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon told Scots on Saturday that with Labour in disarray, her party was the only thing standing between them and “another decade of Tory government.”

In doing so, she may have reignited the debate about Scottish independence that Britain’s ruling Conservatives had hoped to put to rest with a referendum last year.

At a conference in Aberdeen, Sturgeon, who also leads the region’s devolved government as first minister, reasserted her Scottish National Party’s status as a “credible” social democratic party as opposed to Labour. Its failure “to meet even the basic requirements of effective oppositions — to be united and credible as an alternative government — should make them deeply ashamed of themselves,” she said.

Labour may have thrown away its chance of removing the Conservatives from power when it elected the radical Jeremy Corbyn as leader in September. His far-left economic and foreign policy views threaten to split the parliamentary party and are wholly unacceptable to the majority of British voters.

In the last election, most leftwingers in Scotland abandoned the Labour Party in favor of Sturgeon’s SNP. In England, it was defeated by Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives.

55 percent of Scots voted against independence in a referendum last year. But surveys show that support for breaking away from the United Kingdom has increased since Cameron won the election in May.

In her least ambiguous remarks about independence since losing the referendum, Sturgeon argued this weekend that Labour’s inability to challenge the Conservatives had brought into “sharp focus” a “fundamental truth.”

The only real and lasting alternative to Tory governments that we don’t vote for is independence for our country.

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