Nicola Sturgeon: Commentator outlines ‘hypocrisy’ from leader
First Minister Ms Sturgeon is currently grappling with a rapid increase in coronavirus cases in Scotland. She is said to be considering more extreme measures to curb the virus’ spread, as 2,464 new cases were recorded. Writing on Twitter, she told Scots: “All decisions just now are tough, with tough impacts.
“Vaccines give us way out, but this new strain makes the period between now and then the most dangerous since start of pandemic.”
Many have hit-out at Ms Sturgeon’s position of the pandemic as being below par.
Writing for The Scotsman, former Scottish Labour politician Brian Wilson said the First Minister and her Government were “dodging key questions” about how they had mishandled the situation.
“Dodging questions” appears to be a characteristic that critics of Ms Sturgeon and the SNP have repeatedly highlighted in previous years.
Nicola Sturgeon: The First Minister has been accused of jeopardising human rights in Scotland
Coronavirus: Sturgeon’s handling of the coronavirus has been slammed by her critics
Since 2015, when the SNP won a historic landslide general election victory north of the border, she and her party have exercised almost absolute control over Scotland.
Professor Adam Tomkins from the University of Glasgow and an MSP for Glasgow, in a 2015 The Conversation piece said this level of “unprecedented control” has put the human rights of Scots in “jeopardy”, adding that to the SNP, “the freedom of the nation matters much more than the freedom of the people who inhabit it”.
He said this had manifested in the form of pressure on institutions like the BBC when reporting on the SNP for fear of being branded anti-Scottish, and a tightening on academic freedoms.
Discussing how the SNP had shrunk Scotland’s police force to one which is accountable to a board appointed “directly by Scottish ministers”, Prof Tomkins said: “A similar move is underway with regard to Scotland’s universities, where SNP ministers are seeking to exert unprecedented controls.
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General election: The SNP enjoyed a landslide victory north of the border in 2015
“Wither academic freedom in Scotland?
“With angry mobs descending on the BBC when the broadcaster dares to run news stories critical of the SNP administration, political freedom in Scotland can feel precarious.
“SNP ministers may say they oppose any attempt to alter the UK’s human rights laws but, at the same time, the human rights of Scots are repeatedly jeopardised by SNP policy.
“Very little of this is understood outside of Scotland.
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BBC: Adam Tomkins said the BBC is faced with ‘angry mobs’ when it reports negatively on the SNP
Scotland schools: The education system in Scotland has suffered a decline in recent years
“From elsewhere in the UK, the SNP leader, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, looks the consummate social democrat.
“Poised, elegant and polished – and passionate in her rhetoric and commitment to social justice – Sturgeon is indeed a great performer.
“But underneath the act lies an altogether different reality, of an illiberal and centralising government that would rather sit on its hands than use its powers to transform Scotland for the better.”
Ms Sturgeon has signalled that she plans to push on with her bid for an independence vote this year, despite claiming her “focus” remains solely on the pandemic.
Sturgeon politics: The First Minister became leader of the SNP in 2014 following the referendum
Holyrood’s spring elections take place at the beginning of May, with the SNP keen on using the ballot to gauge the national sentiment for independence.
As things stand, according to several polls, Scotland would vote for independence if a referendum was called today.
Senior figures say that if Ms Sturgeon wins a majority in May, it will give her the precedent to demand Prime Minister Boris Johnson to grant MSPs the power to call a referendum.
Mr Johnson, however, has repeatedly refused to entertain the idea of an Indyref2.
Indyref2: Support for an independent Scotland have soared in recent years
He and other Westminster MPs refer to the SNPs claim that the 2014 independence vote was a “once in a generation” opportunity for Scotland.
The “No” side won in 2014 by 55 percent to the “Yes” camp’s 44 per cent.
Opinion has significantly changed since then.
Steven Fielding, Professor of Political History at the University of Nottingham, told Express.co.uk: “It might be too late” to save the union.