Scottish independence: Liz Truss deserves our thanks for destroying the myth of UK as ‘a partnership of equal nations’ – Steve Cardownie

We really do owe Tory Prime Minister hopeful Liz Truss a debt of gratitude.

Liz Truss told a Tory leadership hustings event in Exeter 'the best thing to do with Nicola Sturgeon is ignore her' (Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Liz Truss told a Tory leadership hustings event in Exeter 'the best thing to do with Nicola Sturgeon is ignore her' (Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

In one fell swoop, she has exposed her contempt for the people of Scotland and its democratic institutions.

Speaking to the Tory faithful at a hustings event in Exeter on Monday night, she said that “I think that the best thing to do with Nicola Sturgeon is to ignore her”. Accompanied by rapturous applause, she went on to say that “she’s an attention seeker, that’s what she is”.

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So, she has firmly nailed her Union Flag to the mast to the great delight of her Tory audience who obviously also believe that the best thing to do with the First Minister of Scotland is to “ignore her”. Such is their view of democracy!

It’s more than a little bit rich coming from someone who is bidding to become Prime Minister of the UK on the back of votes cast by only Tory party members.

It is reported that there are approximately 170,000 members of the Conservative party, which means that 0.3 per cent of the population will determine who is to be the next Prime Minister. Hardly a democratic mandate!

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Also when she was asked whether or not she would support another independence referendum if she became Prime Minister she responded with a “no, no, no". This despite a majority of MSPs in the Scottish Parliament supporting such a move.

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Surely this demonstration of contempt for Scottish democracy aptly lays bare the Conservative leadership’s thinking? That this excuse for a politician can write off Scotland and its democratically elected First Minister and Parliament in order to attract attention for her bid to become Prime Minister shows the calibre of the person we are dealing with.

It would be a mistake, however, to write this off as just another one of her gaffes. The Tories in the audience certainly did not think so. No, this is more an unguarded moment that has alerted the Scottish electorate that idea of the UK as ‘a partnership of equal nations’ is no more than a myth.

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For that, we should be grateful to Liz Truss!