Supreme Court independence referendum ruling: Nicola Sturgeon fostering sense of grievance to keep fractious SNP together – John McLellan

Not a colony, not oppressed, but apparently Scotland is being held hostage by the United Kingdom, according to one poor down-trodden SNP MP who must suffer the ignominy of serving in the Palace of Westminster. Against his will, presumably.

Nicola Sturgeon plans to use the next general election as a 'de facto' referendum on Scottish independence (Picture: Peter Summers/Getty Images)
Nicola Sturgeon plans to use the next general election as a 'de facto' referendum on Scottish independence (Picture: Peter Summers/Getty Images)

The last opinion poll on Scottish independence, even at the height of recent turmoil in Downing Street, showed that 51 per cent of the Scottish public did not feel oppressed, imprisoned or otherwise abused by the evil British state and opposed independence, and last month only 35 per cent of voters said they wanted another independence referendum in October next year.

The unanimous ruling by the Supreme Court that the Scottish Parliament does not have the authority to legislate for a constitutional vote only tells First Minster Nicola Sturgeon what she was already being told by her legal officers, but it has cost Scottish tax-payers a reported £150,000 to establish what the vast majority of those with even a passing knowledge of the devolution laws knew to be so.

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Even though a needless distraction has been prevented next year, it changes nothing apart from bolstering the already prodigious sense of grievance which binds an increasingly fractious SNP together. The First Minister is also bound into her Plan B of a “de facto” referendum at the next General Election, which might keep her troops together but will do nothing to improve the way Scotland is governed in the next two years.

“Our voice cannot and will not be silenced,” said Ms Sturgeon after the ruling. That was never in doubt.