by Colin Campbell
ON Monday we reported that a publisher had come up with the ultimate offering of Sturgeon worship by producing a book dedicated to speeches she’s made from 2014 until now.
This volume from Inverness-based Sandstone Press was surely only for the most fervent members of the cult.
There’s no break from her holding forth on television in the BBC’s daily Nicola Show and the papers are awash with her words of wisdom.
How entranced by The Great Leader would you have to be to spend spare time reading her bloody speeches?
Even cult followers of Chairman Mao, who had by decree to carry around with them a Little Red Book of his speeches at all times, must have felt like taking a break from him now and again.
Now it emerges this offering to cult followers of Nicola Sturgeon has run into controversy.
It’s been reported: “Sandstone Press will publish a book titled Women Hold Up Half the Sky – a quote from Mao Zedong, who ruled China from 1949 until his death in 1976 – a hardback which will include a collection of addresses from Nicola Sturgeon “given between November 2014, when she took office, and February 2020, after Scotland’s exit from the European Union,” according to the publisher.
“Edited by Robert Davidson, founder of Sandstone and an active SNP supporter, the book is scheduled to be published on May 10, four days after the Scottish Parliamentary elections.
“The independent publisher has received more than £410,000 since 2006 in grants from Creative Scotland, a Scottish government body funding the arts, according to The Times.
“The book’s synopsis says it is being published ‘independently of the SNP and the Scottish government’ and the collection focuses on the importance of good government and Scotland’s place in the world.’
“It added: ‘The speeches were delivered in locations between California and Beijing, in venues as different as the World Bank in New York and the Pearce Institute in Govan. Taken together they show a side of Nicola Sturgeon that is too often missed in public discourse. Thoughtful, progressive, compassionate, as well as passionately committed to the cause of Scottish independence, she is as pragmatic on matters of economic strategy as she is progressive on social issues.”
So the publisher of this tome has received £410,000 from publicly funded – by the SNP Government – Creative Scotland in recent years. Certainly Sandstone Press is far from being alone in receiving largesse from Creative Scotland, which in recent times seems to have been rolling in cash and chucking out money in all directions.
No doubt Sandstone Press believes there are sufficient Sturgeon followers out there to make this a commercial success. Although the mood surrounding the Great Grievance Monger does seem to have soured somewhat of late.
However she undoubtedly will be pleased to see her legendary speeches enshrined forever between hard covers.
And also with that glowing description: “Thoughtful, progressive, compassionate, as well as passionately committed to the cause of Scottish independence, she is as pragmatic on matters of economic strategy as she is progressive on social issues.”
Well there’s no argument about her obsession with independence. However her level of “pragmatism on matters of economic strategy” is wide open to question.
When waxing lyrical about the virtues of Scotland being independent to audiences in California, New York and wherever else, did she offer any hint of an explanation as to what currency an independent Scotland would use, or how she would tackle the huge spending deficit, or how she’d make up for the loss of £2,000 extra public spending we receive for every man, woman and child north of the border, as compared with folk in England?
If she did, they heard it there first.
But she probably thought such minor, boring details were unworthy of her sweeping oratorical flourishes. As still is the case now.
When we wrote about this strange new book of Sturgeon speeches earlier in the week we did not realise the title was based on a quote from Supreme Cult Leader, Chairman Mao.
How fitting that seems.