Jackson Carlaw: Here’s how to force Nicola Sturgeon to hit reset button on independence

In 2017, Nicola Sturgeon was forced to shelve her hopes for Scottish independence and this general election is a chance to put the SNP back in its box, writes Scottish Conservatives leader Jackson Carlaw.

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 6:00 am
Jackson Carlaw is leader of the Scottish Conservatives (Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire)

These last weeks have illustrated perfectly why Scottish voters need to send Nicola Sturgeon a strong message at the polling stations tomorrow.

While she has been touring the country lecturing people about her selfish desire for another independence referendum, public services have fallen into crisis.

We’ve had the latest scandals at the flagship Queen Elizabeth hospital in Glasgow – a hospital the SNP planned, built and now runs – with the deaths of children being linked to contaminated water.

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Our schools continue to perform poorly in comparison in others in the western world, with statistics last week revealing Scotland’s nosedive in maths and science is almost unrivalled on a global scale.

And the watchdog which is supposed to scrutinise and hold to account the country’s police force is now looking for its third chair in almost as many years, after Susan Deacon resigned citing the fact the Scottish Police Authority was “fundamentally flawed”.

All of these are areas over which the SNP has had sole control for more than 12 years.

The nationalists, and no-one else – no matter how vigorously they point the finger at others – are to blame for these failings.

But the only response we get from this SNP government is denial.

Denial that our education standards are slipping, denial the police force the SNP centralised is in a mess, and denial that – under Nicola Sturgeon’s control – the NHS is in crisis.

We’ve all had enough.

And tomorrow, it’s our chance to make that impatience with the First Minister known at the ballot box.

Ms Sturgeon’s tactics have been entirely predictable; she pleads for Scotland to back her, talks about forming a ‘progressive alliance’ then, when it all calms down and the votes are in, claims every single one of them as a mandate for the break-up of Britain.

There’s only one way to stop this dismal trend.

Whether you’re a Labour voter, a Liberal Democrat sympathiser, a Scottish Conservative, or even none of the above, the course of action is clear.

Only the Scottish Conservatives can stop the SNP and its insatiable desire for a second independence referendum.

We put paid to their plans in 2017 with 750,000 votes, forcing Nicola Sturgeon to press the “reset” button. We can do so again this week.

Putting the SNP back in its box allows Scotland to finally move forward. To leave referendums behind us and focus on things that really matter.

And to ultimately elect a Scottish Conservative government in 2021 who will genuinely prioritise devolved matters like health, education and justice.