This is not a good week to be a supporter of the Scottish National Party or its two-faced leader.
She and her party, turned, turned and turned again over whether to vote on the Tories’ forthcoming vote on repealing the fox hunting ban. Does anybody know what the SNP’s current position is? Will MPs vote, despite it being an issue that doesn’t affect Scotland, or will they abstain – despite the fact that this makes them worse than the Labour Party the SNP pilloried for abstaining from votes that were much less important in comparison?
Last Friday we discovered that the Cabinet Office had ruled that a memo, suggesting she had lied about wanting to support a minority Labour government led by Ed Miliband – because he’s not “prime minister material” – and would prefer David Cameron to continue, was not a fake but was real, and the civil servant who wrote it believed the information in it to be correct (although he did express reservations as to whether his informant had correctly understood what she was saying).
Yesterday (Tuesday), she U-turned again – this time on her claim that the Charter for Budget Responsibility, which Labour supported, would require that party to support £30 billion of government spending cuts during the 2015-20 Parliament.
This blog made it perfectly clear that the Charter itself requires no such thing – and, now that Labour has been defeated, it seems Ms Sturgeon feels the coast is clear enough for her to admit the same.
The Times is saying she has reversed her opposition to the Charter, and the Financial Times states: “Nicola Sturgeon said the Conservatives’ own ‘charter for budget responsibility’ contained enough flexibility to allow higher-than-planned spending while still reducing the UK’s deficit.”
Here’s Patrick Wintour of The Guardian:
The difference is written clearly in the graphic at the top of this article. On April 7: “Cuts that are required… £30 billion”. On May 26: “Flexibility to increase spending.”
Clearly, young Nicola owes the Labour Party – and former Shadow Chancellor (now ex-MP) Ed Balls – a rather hefty apology.
Of course, this doesn’t just show that Sturgeon was lying when she lambasted Labour for showing the same support for the same Charter that she’s showing now.
It shows that she was lying when she claimed the SNP would support a minority Labour government. She and her party did everything they could to ensure that such a government would never be elected – in this case, casting doubt on its financial reliability.
And that, of course, makes it all the more likely that she really did say she wanted Cameron to continue as Prime Minister, in that oh-so-hotly-disputed conversation with the French ambassador.
The SNP’s most ardent members and supporters will never admit this, of course. They hate any criticism (as has – again – been noted by this blog; read the article and the comments) and refuse to pay any attention to rational arguments.
But the evidence is clear for everybody else. It seems the Tories have another set of 56 new allies in the House of Commons.
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