“It is the verdict of the American people and we must respect it.” That was SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon’s comment on Donald Trump’s ‘surprise’ victory in the US presidential election.
How fascinating it is to see this person who has proudly flown in the face of not one but two democratic decisions suddenly discover the need to respect the will of the people where another country’s affairs are concerned.
Sturgeon has clasped at every opportunity to disregard the “verdict” given to the SNP by the Scottish people in 2014 when they voted to remain members of the United Kingdom. The Brexit vote two years later gave her the golden chance when Scotland voted to remain. But there were plenty of areas that did the same; all of them are integral parts of the UK just as Scotland chose to be, understanding the long term consequences that might have.
She is a leader that is more than willing to disregard both democratic exercises for the sake of advancing her own personal vision for an independent Scotland. So why, when America produces a result she finds similarly distasteful, does she feel the need to ‘respect’ it?
The obvious answer is that there’s nothing she can do about it.
It’s also interesting to see her highlight Scotland and America’s bonds of “family, culture and business”, instead of the shared values of liberty and democracy that other world leaders made reference to. Perhaps Scotland under Sturgeon no longer shares those American values.
This is, of course, just the latest in a long line of ridiculous ideas that have come out of Sturgeon’s SNP. Last year it floated the idea of banning common household appliances like washing machines, while a little before that it banned its own MPs from criticising the party.
Sturgeon’s Trump comments offer a fascinating insight into the way Britain’s most authoritarian leader operates. She’s not remotely interested in respecting democracy; she’s out to achieve her own vision for a socialist Scotland with or without the support of the people, and keeping up good relations with America’s new leader is an essential part of that project.
It wasn’t the result she wanted, but it’ll play into her hands anyway, just like the other two votes that didn’t go her way.