Nicola Sturgeon should know not to talk about matters she doesn’t understand

Remember this image, and the Tory smear campaign going with it that won them the general election in May? Now Nicola Sturgeon is helping them undermine Jeremy Corbyn. She's exactly the kind of opposition politician that David Cameron wants.

Remember this image, and the Tory smear campaign going with it that won them the general election in May? Now Nicola Sturgeon is helping them undermine Jeremy Corbyn. She’s exactly the kind of opposition politician that David Cameron wants.

Oh dear. Nicola Sturgeon seems to be embarking on a career as Scotland’s answer to Edwina Currie.

The error-prone Tory once grossly overexaggerated the possibility that people could catch salmonella from eggs, creating a serious backlash against egg production in the UK. She later admitted she never stopped eating eggs herself.

Now the SNP leader is trying to convince voters that Jeremy Corbyn is weak with a claim that he has been “overruled by his senior colleagues on Trident” in the run-up to major votes on policies of austerity. Here’s the Graun:

She told the Observer: “This week is a key test of Labour’s credentials under Jeremy Corbyn – and it is a test they dare not fail if they are to be taken remotely seriously as an opposition.

“If Labour do not vote against the Tories’ spending proposals, all of their anti-austerity rhetoric will be exposed as empty bluster and will confirm the SNP as the only serious party of opposition in the Commons.

“Jeremy Corbyn has been overruled by his senior colleagues on Trident, and he cannot allow that to happen on austerity too.”

Source: More than 50 Labour MPs to defy Jeremy Corbyn in vote on Syria | Politics | The Guardian

Ms Sturgeon was referring to the fact that delegates at the Labour conference chose not to have a debate and vote on whether the party would renew the Trident nuclear missle system, when it comes back into office, and her mistake comes from a misunderstanding of how matters are handled by Labour.

It’s called democracy.

This is exactly the kind of behaviour that will delight David Cameron. Ms Sturgeon famously protested that she didn’t want Hameron to be Prime Minister after the election, yet he successfully used her to encourage the electorate to vote for him and now she is, again, supporting his propaganda.

As for Labour’s anti-austerity credentials – perhaps Ms Sturgeon should look closer to home and explain the spending (or lack of it) of her own Scottish government.

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27 thoughts on “Nicola Sturgeon should know not to talk about matters she doesn’t understand

  1. Helen Turner

    Whilst at the general election i really wished we had someone to vote for with her policies and capability to get the message across,i realize we now have.she is obviously worried that corbyn will win back labour voters.many of her voters want nationalism because they see it as the only way to get rid of tory policies in scotland. it is a great shame that because of this the two parties cannot work together for a common aim of anti austerity.

    1. mohandeer

      Nicola Sturgeon represents the Scottish people who are sick and tired of right wing governments dictating how they will live under them, first Blair and then Conservatives(the Lib Dems don’t count – they stood for nothing much at all). Sturgeon used the Tories to get what she wanted and will use the divisions in Labour – people like Tom Watson who made no mention until AFTER he got the deputy Leadership vote because he knew he wouldn’t get it if he voiced his pro Trident views before the vote, to best advantage. It’s called politics. Part and parcel of democracy, like it or not, they’re all dirty dealers, conniving and scheming. Poor Jeremy is not going to survive the right wing within Labour who it turns out have more than just 50 MP’s who were pro Trident before the Labour Party Election. They will not allow any debate on NATO or take a stand against anything Blairite if they are elected in 2020. Anyone who thinks otherwise is naive at best. Why should Sturgeon help JC when while he is at the helm, Labour could win back some of their votes? He will be allowed to stay in power until he has served his purpose, then gotten rid of. If the Scots have any sense they will not be lulled into a false sense of rightness, it isn’t going to happen, many are already sharpening their knives waiting for the right time. Love her or hate her, Sturgeon is no fool.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        Wrong. Sturgeon was used by the Tories to get what they wanted. If she attacks Labour, then she’s still doing the Tories’ work for them.
        Everybody knew that the Parliamentary Labour Party was stuffed with right-wingers – it was a Blairite (I think) policy to parachute those people into seats. But the Labour Party is overwhelmingly behind Corbyn and it is time for MPs to get behind him or get out of the way.
        Who will not allow any debate on NATO or stand against anything Blairite if they are elected in 2020? Labour MPs will do what the party demands. Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn’t understand how the party system works.
        Sturgeon is in a very tricky position and doesn’t realise it yet. If she attacks Corbyn, she is doing the Tories’ work for them (as I said before). If she supports Corbyn, she’ll lose support because she’ll look hypocritical. Her best bet is to leave him alone altogether, but she has chosen to attack anyway. So, what were you saying about Ms Sturgeon and foolishness, again?

  2. AndyH

    If Sturgeon is anti-austerity, then why has she never risen taxes?

    And yes, as you say it’s called democracy. Corbyn is not Robert Mugabe – people do not disappear if they disagree with him. I’d sooner have MPs disagreeing than kowtowing to the chief whip.

  3. Ron Wilson

    Mike, I’m disappointed in your flimsy analysis of the FM’s position & your interpretation of it.
    Firstly, your assumption that it was fear of the SNP that lost Labour votes in England is a nonsense – the data tells us Labour lost because UKIP voters ‘came home’ to the Tories in order to stop Miliband, see here
    Second, your dig at the Scottish government’s spending – or lack of it – betrays a lack of understanding as to how Scotland’s budget works. The Scot Gov can not borrow, only spend a set amount ‘gifted’ by London (already massively cut). That Finance Sec John Swinney has exercised due diligence in funnelling savings into front line public services AND kept money back for unforeseen eventualities demonstrates the smack of good governance that has been the hallmark of this SNP Scottish Government. A record that led to a majority government & which, according to current polling, may deliver another majority administration.
    Thirdly, Ms Sturgeon is absolutely right to call Corbyn out on key issues that seem to suggest that Corbyn has become a prisoner of his Cabinet. On the economy, Osborne’s policies are “austerity of choice, not austerity of necessity” – Corbyn & Labour have to decide what side of the debate they are on.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’m disappointed that you’re trying to persuade me by pointing at Wings over Swindon.
      UKIP voters didn’t ‘come home’ to the Tories – that party received four million votes – more than two-and-a-half times as many as the SNP, representing a 9.5 per cent increase in that party’s vote share (against a 3.1 per cent increase for the SNP). Voters were going to UKIP, not the Tories, who did increase their vote, but only by 0.8 per cent – less than Labour’s 1.5 per cent.
      On Scottish government spending – you are right that Holyrood cannot (yet) borrow money and can only spend grant funding from London. The fact that the SNP recklessly withholds that money when people in Scotland are desperate for the help it can provide is a disgrace. Your services have been cut.
      Finally, Ms Sturgeon does not know anything about the inner workings of the Labour Party. She simply found a stick with which she thought she could attack Labour – showing yet again that she is a pawn of the Conservative Party.

      1. Ron Wilson

        Mike, I suspect your knee jerk dismissal of WoW tells us more about your approach than first meets the eye. The study WoS highlights – here – cannot just be ignored because you dislike WoS.
        The Scot Gov is not ‘withholding’ money from anybody, this is money that is rolled over into the next financial year (unlike when Lab/Libs were in power & they gave it back to the Treasury). Services will be cut because our budget has been cut by the Tories – just as Labour promised to do as well if they had been elected.
        Regadless of the so called ‘powers’ coming Scotland’s way, the Scot Gov will not have the necessary full fiscal levers to effect real change, nor the Welfare powers to stop Osborne’s attack on the poorest. May I remind you that it was Labour, holding hands with the Tories, who refused to countenance meaningful financial powers or Welfare responsibilities heading North.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. The study you cite admits that it cannot quantify the effect of the Tories’ scaremongering about the SNP. That is why it hardly mentions it.
        The Scottish government is withholding money. Holding it over until the next financial year is preventing it from being used in the year in which it was intended to be used. Your claim about what Labour promised to do to the Scottish budget is now neither here nor there as that was under the previous leadership. Labour is now anti-austerity – properly anti-austerity, unlike the SNP, that just pays lip-service to the idea and withholds money from those who need it.
        No, you may not ‘remind’ me of anything that suggests Labour has been “holding hands with the Tories”. The very idea is arrant nonsense of the most childish kind.

      3. Ron Wilson

        To be honest, if you are going to be bandying about charges of being childish I think you’ve lost the argument. Good solid financial management of Scotland’s finances – and that includes keeping money back for unforeseen events – is at the heart of the SNP’s credibility and popularity. You’re entitled to your opinion but no more than anyone else and most Scots voters would rather stick with Mr Swinney than people demanding the budget was spent with nothing left over for the financial emergencies every family will recognise.
        As for Labour being anti Austerity – screaming this from the roof tops don’t make it so. Let’s see if Corbyn’s talk matches his walk on Wednesday – if Labour vote in favour of Osborne’s ‘fiscal mandate’ Corbyn’s claims, and his leadership, will be exposed as a sham. As will yours.

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        The claim that Labour was “holding hands with the Tories” is childish nonsense. You may not like it, but saying it won’t lose me any arguments.
        Solid financial management of Scotland’s finances means using the money for the purposes for which it was provided; as the SNP is not doing that, you cannot lay claim to that either.
        You may be right that most Scots voters would rather stick with Mr Swinney – at the moment. Will they feel the same after the Scottish government is told to reveal more of its financial behaviour? That’s debatable.
        You’re right that screaming a claim that you are anti-austerity from the rooftops doesn’t make it so – we have the example of the SNP to prove that. Don’t try to argue – you’ve already admitted the SNP is pro-austerity by admitting that party has held money back.
        Taking all of the above into consideration, you really don’t have an argument. So there’s no reason anybody should pay attention to your opinion about Labour’s vote on Wednesday. But for the record, supporting Osborne’s ‘fiscal mandate’ – the Charter for Budget Responsibility – won’t make Labour pro-austerity. It will put the Tories into a situation they cannot win. Incidentally, your own Nicola Sturgeon supported this very same fiscal mandate right after the election.

      5. Ron Wilson

        Dear god. How can ‘holding money back’ – rainy day common sense to most folk – be construed as ‘pro Austerity’? Your political blinkers are a thing of beauty. Anyway, we’ll see on Wednesday whether the English Labour party & its Scottish branch of one will vote with the Tories on Austerity. My money is on them folding, accepting Osborne’s economic prospectus & demonstrating that Labour is the sham party we in Scotland are already fully aware of.
        I look forward to your excuses on Wednesday Mike.

      6. Mike Sivier Post author

        Political austerity is holding money back. Didn’t you realise that?
        You have ignored everything that you’ve been told. The SNP’s own leader backs the Charter for Budget Responsibility so it would be hypocritical in the extreme to attack Labour for doing the same.
        The charter does not support austerity – it merely demands that the government of the day (Conservatives) take appropriate steps to eliminate the deficit by the 2019-20 financial year.
        Labour would do this by investing in the economy, boosting the tax take by applying progressive taxation to the richest in society and collecting unpaid taxes.
        What would the SNP do? Withhold more money – like the Tories?

      7. Ron Wilson

        Mike, you need to take a breath as you are in danger of coming across as disagreeable and arrogant. If you spoke like you write in a Glasgow pub you’d get a sore face. Manners, please.
        Holding money back from a static budget for unforeseen eventualities is not Austerity, most people understand that well enough. You disagree, well there you go.
        The crux of the matter is that both Labour & the Tories agree that the deficit ought to be eliminated by 2019-20. This is a shared ideological target that the SNP opposes. You ask what the SNP would do – rather than vicious cuts it would be far better to pare down the deficit & debt whilst allowing up to an additional cumulative £150bn of investment across the UK by 2019-20, leaving the deficit at a manageable 2% of GDP.
        Why are Labour allowing the Tories to dictate the terms of the debate? Why the fixation with ‘eliminating’ the deficit by an arbitrary date?

      8. Mike Sivier Post author

        We’re not in a Glasgow pub. Are you suggesting that I would modify my words for fear of violence? In that case, whoever was arguing against me would already have lost, violence being the resort of people who cannot win an argument in a civilised manner.
        The fact that YOU have suggested this sort of behaviour speaks volumes about your own manners. Grow up, please.
        I don’t think I’m going to convince you that your SNP government is pro-austerity. I didn’t think I would but at least I was able to put the argument out there again. Someone will have read it and understood, I hope.
        Who says Labour agrees that the deficit needs to be eliminated by 2019-20? The Charter for Budget Responsibility calls for that, but the Tories are in office. Labour is saying to the Tories: “Go ahead and try. You won’t succeed, and any methods you use are likely to turn voters away from you. Then it’ll be our turn.”
        If you’ve been paying attention, you will know perfectly well that Labour has always been in favour of investing in the economy to build it up. What you say about the SNP, while accurate to the best of my recollection, misses the fact that it would have imposed greater austerity than Labour – even the Labour Party of Ed Miliband, before Jeremy Corbyn was elected. That is provable fact – ask the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
        Your question about Labour allowing the Tories to dictate the terms of the debate is strange. The Tories have brought forward the Charter for Budget Responsibility, for debate and approval. Labour is simply responding to government proposals.

      9. Neilth

        I truly despair of the ignorance of the British electorate. This one I blame on Thatchers approach to Economic Theory.

        I’ll explain it simply. National Economics do NOT work the same as your household budget. For one thing the government controls the money supply unlike the majority of fixed income households.

        “Borrowing” doesn’t work in the same way either. The deficit isn’t like your mortgage and isn’t paid back in the same way.

        Thatcher made the cynically misleading comparison to justify attacks on wages etc in the 80s and the right has been continuing the calumny ever since in order to justify cuts in living standards and supports that are entirely unnecessary.

        Most countries carry a ‘deficit’ and have done for decades. It’s not a problem nor even an issue except when major financial institutions get out of control and cause financial meltdown due to ridiculously risky speculation as happened in 2008 precipitating the global financial crisis.

        This was largely resolved by the actions of Brown et al which arrested the crash and started the recovery over the next 2 years. This recovery, recognised by most of the world and credited to Gordon Brown, enabled the coalition government to appear to be fiscally responsible. In fact their actions which are continued at an accelerated pace by this asinine government is putting the recovery at risk due to lack of investment.

        What money is around is accumulating to a small minority of financial institutions and individuals who, through lack of investment combined with tax dodging, is removing money from general circulation and choking off recovery.

        Far better to increase the amount of money in circulation which will allow people to buy more, which supports all our industries and strengthens recovery. Increasing money in circulation can easily be achieved by improving wages etc as this money is spent rather than horded and keeps industry moving. Austerity, in which the finances of the poorer parts of the community is squeezed, is the exact opposite to what is needed. I believe it’s called fiscal churn.

        Incidentally, this is exactly why we need to encourage immigration. The young fit, hardworking immigrants put far more into the economy than they take out and keep the money circulating.

    2. Neilth

      I canvassed for a time in Milton Keynes during the last election.

      Coming from Wales I was shocked by the number of people who said that they would have voted Labour but didn’t want the SNP to be in control.

      Sadly no amount of logic could shift them as they had read it in the papers and ‘Everyone knows ‘ .

      Sadly you can’t beat that for an argument…

      Interestingly my impression was that these morons split almost evenly between the tories and UKIP

      1. AndyH

        I support the idea of having more coalitions – the lib dem/ conservative coalition was the first government we had in years, which composed of parties elected by the majority of the electorate.

  4. Joan Edington

    So, Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t understand democracy. I assume from the post that you refer to democracy within the parties? The SNP already had a policy where every member had an equal vote, long before Labour adopted it, so allowing Corbyn to be elected. It would never have happened before.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I don’t know whether anybody has run the figures according to the old system. Since it was changed to reduce the perceived power of trade unions, I would speculate that Corbyn’s majority would have been even greater under the old system.
      As far as Nicola Sturgeon’s understanding of anything is concerned, there’s an old saying: “Handsome is as handsome does”. She has just demonstrated a failure to understand a democratic decision. We may draw our own conclusions.

  5. ian725

    I would much rather be anti -tory than anti-snp . The SNP cannot affect the voting in England and can never out vote English MPs. As far as I see from my position in Rank Tory Shropshire. Sturgeon is OK even though Labour and Corbyn is my choice. We have 4 of the same opinion in our small street . Although the rest have been and likely always will be Tory. Its perhaps more interesting that 3 of our 4 are pensioners. We were all impressed by both Sturgeon and Certainly Gentleman J . Corbyn. I believe that they all deserve some more latitude. Concentrate on the Tories its they who are crucifying our Country.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I agree that the SNP could be a strong, positive political force – but only if they drop the Labour-bashing and support their own policy claims with suitable action.

  6. ian725

    Yes Mike agreed that has to be a fact. Still lets hope the 2 Parties do at least work against the Tories along with some of the others.

  7. mrmarcpc

    The tories will think and use any dirty trick they can think of to attack Labour and if that means using the SNP to do it, then they will do just that, whether the tories like the SNP or not!

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        I’m about to write an article on this, although I don’t think I’ll be agreeing with your appraisal.
        So the line is “Labour are all over the place” now, is it? By my reckoning, it’s the SNP who are all over the place, trying to attack Labour, whatever they do.
        But remember, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has said she thinks the Charter is a good idea. Here’s a nice link for you:
        Or perhaps you’d like an image to post elsewhere: Nicola Sturgeon on the Charter for Budget Responsibility, before and after the general election.

  8. Ron Wilson

    You’re putting words in my mouth Mike – I said that your patronising & at times rude interaction would be dangerous in a Glasgow pub, it wasn’t a threat but an observation, as you know full well.
    Lets see on Wednesday what Labour is made off. Labour, for reasons best known to themselves, have shackled themselves to Osborne’s deficit timetable. You say not, Wednesday will tell. I do hope you are right, but I suspect Labours Austerity posturing will be revealed for all to see, ‘though perhaps not you!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Let’s compromise: It was a threatening observation.
      I hope other readers will compare your words here with your later comment.

Comments are closed.