NICOLA Sturgeon must have the biggest smile on her face as she lands the Scottish Green Party hook, line and sinker, simply to try and force through an unwelcome and enormously destructive second independence referendum.
Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater, the two co-leaders of the Greens, have found the lure of a government post (and all the trappings that go with it) simply irresistible and have taken the bait.
This is, I suppose, hardly surprising, bearing in mind that at the last Scottish elections, they failed to win a single constituency seat, garnering just 1.3 per cent of the constituency vote, totalling 34,990 votes.
This equates to a fraction over 50% of the capacity of Murrayfield Stadium.
It is also clear that the vast majority of the Scottish electorate did not vote on the basis that the incumbent government might be influenced by a Green Party so predicated on an anti-business mentality intent on destroying 100,000 North Sea oil jobs.
The Greens’ blind desire to sit at the table of power will come back to haunt them, particularly when they realise that should Sturgeon get her second referendum, the SNP will dump them quicker than a blink of an eye into the swamp of political obscurity.
Richard Allison, Edinburgh.
WE’VE all heard of the halt leading the blind. Now we’ve got the illiterate leading the incompetent.
Peter D. Christie, Glasgow.
SNP-GREENS DEAL IS A MATURE STEP
THE usual suspects have rushed to condemn the agreement between the SNP government and the Greens.
Power-sharing approaches to government are not exactly unknown in other parts of the world, and bear in mind that the UK had a coalition government not so long ago.
What is wrong with a sensible, workable agreement between two parties that have similar outlooks, especially on such crucial global issues as the environment? With Scotland due to host Cop26, having the Greens co-operating with the ruling party is a mature and sensible proposal.
S. Hardie, Glasgow.
GREENS MUST NOT PUT THEIR CAREERS FIRST
IN the 2016 Scottish parliamentary election, at a time when the prospect of a second referendum was deeply unpopular, the Scottish Green Party adopted a policy of opposition to it until there was clear public support.
Partly on this basis, their representation at Holyrood increased from two seats to six, while the SNP lost their overall majority.
Finding themselves with the votes to provide the SNP with a majority, the Greens promptly held a special conference to reverse their electoral promise on a new referendum.
This led to about four years of Green campaigning for and support for SNP initiatives and motions calling for just such a referendum, before opinion polls eventually started to indicate support for another one ‘at some point’.
At the 2021 elections, the Greens felt able to commit ‘unambiguously’ to calls for a second referendum.
Their success in this election in increasing their representation to eight seats was probably largely based on the ‘concessions’ they claimed to have obtained from the SNP, principally obtaining additional funding for public services.
This was funding that the Scottish Government claimed to have been fully committed when called for by other opposition parties, but in reality it was held in reserve to ‘buy’ Scottish Green support for their independence agenda.
Of course, support from the public for another referendum and independence has proved to be temporary, with only one of the last 18 opinion polls showing support and none since the election.
So with the co-operation deal between the SNP and Greens apparently allowing the Green MSPs to decide whether they will support an SNP motion for another referendum, the question is whether the Greens can be trusted to act in the public interest.
It is suggested that there will be two Green Scottish government ministers, but it is difficult to see that they will have any power.
For those of us genuinely interested in green issues, we can only hope that the Scottish Green MSPs do not put their political careers above meaningful progress in environmental policies.
Chris Smith, Inverness.
NONSENSE ON THE ENVIRONMENT
SO the Scottish Greens are formally to prop up the minority SNP administration at Holyrood, thereby and circumventing Nicola Sturgeon’s annual humiliation of having to accommodate the demands of the pro-nationalist, far-left Greens at every budget.
Not very long ago, Ms Sturgeon was passionate about slashing air passenger duty in Scotland in order to attract significantly more aircraft into Scotland.
This was done in full knowledge of the consequential environmental impact.
Now, ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, we’ll undoubtedly be treated to an equally passionate Ms Sturgeon claiming that her new relationship with the Greens is a tangible demonstration of her environmental credentials.
Fortunately, most of us are able to see through such nonsense.
Martin Redfern, Melrose, Roxburghshire.
THE IMPORTANCE OF FINANCIAL TRUST
THE nationalist response to the latest GERS figures is astonishing.
Scotland spent £99.2 billion last year, of which only £62.8 billion was raised here – £36 billion came from the UK Treasury. An independent Scotland would be bankrupt before it started.
Yet the SNP now dismiss this as of no consequence.
The SNP and their acolytes claim that because the UK can run a deficit, so could they. They miss the importance of fiscal trust.
The reason that the UK can borrow is because the international markets trust that their interest will be repaid based on the reputation of the Bank of England.
The reputation of the Bank of England stretches back 300 years. You cannot replicate that overnight.
The nationalists seem to have forgotten that it was the UK Treasury and the Bank of England which responded when RBS told Alistair Darling, the then Chancellor, that the Scottish bank “was about to run out of money”.
As Professor Ronald MacDonald has written: “There can be little doubt that the current GERS figures again highlight the sheer folly of the SNP’s independence plans and the huge costs and disruption that they will impose on the Scottish economy in any transition to an independent country”.
William Loneskie, Lauder.
A NEW TOPIC OF CONVERSATION
THANK you, First Minister, for, at a stroke, solving the problem of having to listen to you telling us that we in Scotland did not vote for the Tories in Westminster and did not vote to leave the European Union.
At last she has placed herself and her party in the position where we can, at last, say we didn’t vote for a coalition of the SNP and the Greens (which of course every intelligent person knows that’s what it is) .
And we can go on about this ad nauseam – as she does about a certain something else.
Walter Paul, Glasgow.
WE AREN’T THE WORLD’S REFUGEE CENTRE
NICOLA Sturgeon at every opportunity monotonously attacks the UK government.
This time she decries plans to resettle 20,000 vulnerable Afghans, saying that this number was not nearly enough.
Is this the same Nicola Sturgeon who said she would take a Syrian refugee family into her home and then did nothing?
Britain cannot be the World Refugee Centre.
The UK has already experienced unprecedented demographic change since 2001, with nearly seven million out of the total population rise of eight million population driven by the massive and uncontrolled influx from all parts of the world.
There is already a housing crisis and the loss of green space.
Our National Health Service is not the World NHS.
We should only allow in more refugees/asylum seekers/economic migrants if politicians, and those demanding unlimited immigration, agree to personally finance, house, feed, clothe, educate and pay their medical bills, and not the taxpayer.
Surely this is a reasonable request?
Clark Cross, Linlithgow.
I AGREE with Alasdair Fyfe’s letter about the SNP proposal to make the emergency Covid proposals permanent (letters, August 20) and have already written to my MSP on the issue.
I would encourage others who have the same concerns to raise the issue with their MSPs too.
J. Murray, Glasgow.