Nicola Sturgeon has quickly went from somebody who proudly welcomed her “Fellow Nationalists” to the SNP annual conference to somebody who now appears ashamed to be labelled a “Nationalist”.
The wider public, however, will not be fooled by her rhetoric as it fails the duck test: “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.”
Like Nationalists around the world, Nicola Sturgeon likes to blame others for the problems we face. Trump blames Mexicans (and others!). Farage blames the EU. Sturgeon blames the rest of the UK. All three use the basic Nationalist trick of blaming others as an alternative to tackling the hard choices we face as a nation if we want to improve education, healthcare and welfare.
Like Nationalists around the world, Nicola Sturgeon repeatedly accuses anyone who dares to question her record in government as “talking Scotland down”. Again, this is boilerplate nationalism.
Like nationalist the world over, the hardcore in the SNP ranks engage in conspiracy theories and label legitimate news sources like the BBC as “fake news” – Trump would be proud! Ask them where they get their news and they will quickly tell you “Facebook” or “Russia Today” (the propaganda arm of the Russian state). The SNP elite sit quietly as bitterness is stoked by stories of secret oil fields and the streets of London being paved with Scottish gold.
The hardcore of nationalists in Scotland are now torn. Should they back their leader, or continue to be proud nationalists? I have noticed that some have started using the term “patriot”, to describe SNP members – the irony is, of course, lost on them!
I almost feel sorry for them. Nicola Sturgeon did not have to put them in this position. What’s wrong with being a proud nationalist? Just take a look at what nationalism has achieved in Scotland and across the world.