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t’s Groundhog Day in Holyrood. Amid criticisms about her administration’s underwhelming ‘Programme for Government,’ Nicola Sturgeon has returned to her favourite hobby house: Scottish independence. Much like ABBA’s reunion, the First Minister combined some new tunes with her greatest hits, declaring that May’s election was an ‘undeniable’ mandate for such a plebiscite by the end of 2023 ‘once the Covid-19 crisis is passed’.
Steerpike is not surprised at Sturgeon’s choice of priorities, preferring to have her civil servants devote their energies to indyref2 rather than letting Scots take their masks off when sat on a train. The SNP and its acolytes have had no compunction in undermining the Union at every opportunity throughout the pandemic; a strategy that has been great for poll numbers but has led to almost half of Europe’s top 20 Covid-19 hotspots being located in Scotland.
Much more noteworthy is the lack of interest in Sturgeon’s announcement. Westminster was admittedly distracted with Boris Johnson’s tax shenanigans but even north of the border there was a far more muted reaction to the First Minister’s pronouncements then her previous statements. The Scottish editions of both the Times and Daily Telegraph for instance relegated the news on their front to a nib; BBC Scotland similarly buried the announcement on its homepage.