by Colin Campbell
NICOLA Sturgeon is said to be “hanging on by her fingernails” following the revelation that a committee of inquiry into the Salmond affair will publish a report stating that she gave inaccurate information and misled them.
But her fingernails are made of tungsten steel, and hang on she will.
The Tories at Holyrood have warned they are giving Sturgeon “a last chance” to resign before they force through a vote of no confidence in her on Tuesday.
She will scorn that because they have zero chance of dislodging her. Sturgeon commands majority support at Holyrood from the SNP and the Greens and, no matter how their individual MSPs feel about the way she has behaved, they’ll dutifully back her to the hilt, and their confidence in her will of course be boundless.
Two other inquiry reports are also due out next week in what, again according to media reports and speculation, will be “a pivotal and decisive” week for Sturgeon.
But regardless of what these reports say, it is 100 per cent certain that Sturgeon has already decided how she will respond to these decisive reports, and she has decided she is going nowhere.
I’d bet the house on her refusing to resign under all and any circumstances. Six weeks before the Scottish Parliamentary election, that’s not going to happen.
These attacks on Sturgeon’s honesty and integrity are damaging her, however.
According to the most recent polls support for the SNP is falling and, from a position where a couple of months ago they were expected to win a clear majority, they may now just scrape one or fail to achieve a majority altogether.
No campaign literature has landed on my doormat as yet. But a relative in the south received a glossy folded poster through his letterbox from the Tories and was somewhat disappointed to see every square inch of it was devoted to opposing another referendum.
He was annoyed because it looked like the Tories had been sucked into, or suckered into, following an agenda set by the SNP. They have dubbed this the “independence election”. That’s how they want to portray it and present it. But there’s no reason why either the voters or the opposition parties have to go along with that.
Admittedly the tempo is rising and it would be particularly good this time to see the SNP get a bloody nose, but it’s still just another Holyrood election. In Inverness Fergus Ewing is certain to secure a win for the SNP. I don’t know the names of and haven’t read a single word from or about those from other parties challenging him (if they actually exist), which is a pretty poor effort from them. But no matter how the SNP try and spin it, not everyone who votes for Ewing will want another referendum or independence, far from it. After 22 years as an MSP many will support him for personal reasons, and nothing much else.
Rather than a single issue anti-referendum stance, why aren’t the Tories also getting across the most positive message of our times, maybe of our lifetimes, namely the success of the vaccination programme, secured by the Westminster Government? By all means depict Nicola Sturgeon as discredited and desperate and hanging on by her steel-tipped fingernails. But they also should be emphasising to the fullest extent the massive success of vaccination here which puts us far ahead of any other European country.
The foresight and financial muscle of UK Government ensured we had the vaccine before any other country in the world. The SNP/nationalists, including Sturgeon, may try and downplay or simply ignore that Great British Success but it’s very likely it has played a significant role in ensuring rising support for the Union.
Compared with where we were a year ago the vaccine has brought a transformation which is impossible to understate.
Nicola Sturgeon will not resign, come what may, and will lead the SNP into the May election. The outcome in these extremely volatile times is wholly uncertain.
But what is certain is that before long everyone who wants it will have received one dose of the vaccine and many of us will be fully vaccinated. For people like me the outcome of the election is very important, very important indeed, but being vaccinated and fully protected from this cursed virus still matters even more.
As Sturgeon hangs on by her fingernails, the vaccine programme triumph may be what finally brings the arrogant SNP and their leader down to earth in a very painful fall.