The Scottish National Party’s (SNP) political capabilities have been a target of criticism recently, with former Justice Secretary of the Scottish National Party, Kenny MacAskill, labelling policies led by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as “timidity [rather] than radicalism”, according to The Scotsman.
On October 13, Sturgeon announced that an Independence Referendum Bill would be published for consultation this week. Following the rejection of the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014 and the recent approval of Brexit, this has not come as a surprise.
According to The Telegraph, Mr MacAskill stated that “a glorious defeat would put the dream back catastrophically”, hinting at beliefs that staging a second referendum so close to Brexit will likely fail because too many people are unsure about how Scotland would stay afloat on its own.
Additionally, many citizens have expressed concern over whether Scotland would be accepted back into the EU independently.
The Scotsman reports that MacAskill went on to state: “The SNP has become a formidable electoral force, replacing the old Labour machine – able to win elections, but seemingly unsure what to do thereafter.
“Action to make Scotland a more prosperous and better place is needed as well as mitigating the worst excesses of the Tory government and trying to avoid the harm Brexit will cause.”
He points to the ‘danger’ of Sturgeon’s government, believing it may “end up simply managing, not leading, the political agenda; much indeed, as Labour did in years before devolution.”
MacAskill further criticised ‘the risks’ of Sturgeon shifting her party further left, according to The Scotsman.
The Scotsman also reported that despite the negative comments, defence for Sturgeon has come from a spokesman for the First Minister who stated: “Our electoral success has been built on a record of competent government and standing up for Scotland against Tory austerity.”
The SNP claim to have made “necessary, and radical, long-term reforms” in areas of society such as health, schools and police.
Yet senior SNP MSP, Joan McAlpine, stated that another rerun of the Scottish Independence referendum has been put on the backburner by Sturgeon, according to the BBC.
The Telegraph reports that in response, Jackson Carlaw, Scottish Conservative Deputy Leader, said that this should serve as a ‘reminder’ to Sturgeon on what her priorities should be and that “while radical elements of the SNP membership want to prioritise another separation vote, the First Minister would do well to ignore this.”
Image: Scottish Government