The Poisonous Feud Threatening Scotland’s Independence Drive
For a decade, they were inseparable couples who pushed forward Scotland’s quest for independence, giving their party – and themselves – to power along the way.
But in politics some friendships last forever, and that is First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, And his predecessor and mentor, Alex Salmond, have not aged well – to the point that its breakdown threatens the independence movement, when its prospect seemed most bright.
Two Scottish National Party veterans are locked in a bitter feud against Mr Salmond to deal with the charges, which culminated in 2020, when he was charged with and found to be more than a dozen sexually abused Not guilty in all cases.
So vicious that some believe it can rest on a dispute about the fate of Scotland’s 314-year union with England What did Ms. Sturgeon know about the allegations, and has she told the truth.
“This is very serious for the SNP,” said James Mitchell, professor of public policy at the University of Edinburgh, who pointed to the Scottish Parliament elections in May, and Ms Sturgeon to justify demands for a second Scottish referendum Expected profit from him. .
Professor Mitchell said, “This has happened at the point where the SNP’s election results are good and when independence support is at its highest level.” “Under those circumstances you would expect the party to unite, while in fact it has not happened in decades.”
The case is explosive because Mr Salmond says Ms Sturgeon misleads Scottish MPs There is no true description of his role and how he handled the charges against him. If true that would lead to his call for resignation.
Ms Sturgeon denied the claims and said those close to her former friend and mentor Conspiracy conspiracy theories are Making contradictory claims against him.
But like all the worst arguments, it is a personal one.
Mr. Salmond feels the allegations against him have destroyed his reputation, who had returned as minister for the first time before 2014, and included an allegation of attempted rape.
Some of her supporters believe that Ms. Sturgeon threw her to the wolves During a botched internal probe In 2018 (before joining the police), in her zeal to show zero tolerance about sexual harassment.
Others wanted him out of the way to prevent his return to politics as an active opponent.
Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson has spoken of “a cover in the heart of government” The controversy embraced SNP Chief Executive Officer Peter Murrell, Who also marries Ms. Sturgeon.
Along with two separate inquiries, it is being claimed that the evidence is being suppressed and Legal battle over press freedom – According to John Curtis, an expert and professor of politics at Stathclyde University, the horrific complexity of the case and the endless twists and turns of the case so far have not had a significant impact on public opinion.
In reference to claims of a conspiracy, “the donkey is not tailed,” he said.
However, he also mentioned that support for independence has stabilized in recent weeks. Professor Kurt said, “It has long been clear that the SNP is the most serious risk for the SNP to succeed in the May elections.”
This is partly because the incursions have divided the SNP into warring camps, exposing other divisions within a party once famous for Ironclade unity – for example, in search of a second independence referendum How are you patient
In a reshuffle this month, Joanna Cherry, a high-profile jurist in the British Parliament, was stripped of her role as spokesperson on domestic affairs and justice, Seen by many as a faction Those important of Ms. Sturgeon.
Ms. Sturgeon’s critics also include Jim Sailor, a veteran of the independence movement who once clashed with Mr. Salmond, but now sees his successor as a problem.
Mr. Silar said, “The highest mentality of the SNP is like the divine right of kings: they feel that no one can touch them.”
He said, “This power has been going on for 14 years, they have enjoyed the pleasure of power, they do not want to leave it. “” He felt that Salmond might be a threat and so he decided to do it. “
Things were going well for Ms. Sturgeon, after a succession of public opinion polls led to a majority of Scots favoring independence. His approval rating in Scotland is higher than UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose high-class English manner is thankful with the Scots.
And although the coronovirus crisis has been as severe in Scotland as in England, Ms. Sturgeon’s sincere manner and polished presentation have won over her models Unlike Mr. Johnson’s blunt personality, especially in the early stages of the epidemic.
Many of Ms. Sturgeon’s skills were learned from Mr. Salmond, a fast, formidable, sometimes acerbic debater, a two-time leader of the SNP, from 1990 to 2000 and from 2004 to 2014.
After a constitutional change was instituted in 1999 following a constitutional change, Mr Salmond transformed the SNP’s transformation from a powerless gaggle of lawgivers in Westminster to a major political force in Edinburgh.
Scotland’s nationalism was re-developed as progressive and inclusive, and the party leaned somewhat in favor of European integration, which it once opposed, and welcomed the immigrants of the Blog.
When she was a student, Mr. Salmond first noticed Ms. Sturgeon’s talent; As he once said, “He believed in me long before I believed myself.”
In 2004, Mr. Salmond refused to contest a leadership battle she was sure she would lose, and instead returned to the top position with Ms. Sturgeon.
Ms. Sturgeon’s next opportunity came in 2014, when the Scots disapproved of independence in a referendum, leaving Mr. Salmond as the first minister and SNP leader. By then, Ms. Sturgeon had established herself as his inevitable successor.
But after winning re-election to the British Parliament in 2015, tensions between the new leader and his predecessor increased.
Nor did they fall short when Mr. Salmond lost that seat again in the 2017 general election and found new ways to stage a one-man show at the Edinburgh Fringe ceremony and host a TV chat show on RT, Previously known as a network. Russia Today.
“He can’t let go, and he won’t get him a role,” Professor Mitchell said. “She is a control freak in the way she conducts the party, the way she was. They are also the same; there was always going to be a problem.”
How big this problem will prove to be remains to be seen. Professor Curtis thinks there is a possibility that Ms. Sturgeon will ride the storm and oppose any call for resignation. Given her strong handling of the coronovirus epidemic, she might have survived, even if she was deemed to have broken some ministerial rules.
But Professor Mitchell believes that Ms. Sturgeon may be at a great disadvantage by quarreling with Mr. Salman, who is beginning to change public perceptions.
Professor Mitchell said referring to the increasing scrutiny of Ms. Sturgeon’s account of the incidents, saying “things are starting to shift in Scotland”. He said that Mr. Salmond “was the villain of this piece, but now people are asking questions.”
Professor Mitchell said that for Mr. Salmond, he may have ended politically, but he is on a mission to restore his reputation, and is a dangerous enemy.
“The problem for him,” Professor Mitchell said, “is that he has nothing to lose.”