Throughout the year and on various occasions, our first minister stubbornly stood on her ground on the right to “continue to steer the country through a global pandemic” without the interference of her peers in the opposition. And I promise you, we will hear a lot more of that.
For me, I have no craving to be steered by any political steersperson, preferring to place trust in our great doctors and scientific experts. The numbers and statistics do not lie and the role of politicians should be to ask for forgiveness and justify, rather than assert essentiality.
Our first minister’s particular disapproval was to answering brilliant and legitimate questions following her session at the Holyrood committee, while she had some serious work to do saving the nation from further disaster. With one leap, she should be free.
On the other hand, I cannot describe her performance better than on one of my friend who characterized it as a masterclass in obfuscation and diversion. More than eight hours is not long when most of them are back with her own voice responding to the three most obsequious knobheads in the SNP’s ranks, not bringing up the conservative Margaret Mitchell.
I strongly believe that Alex Salmond’s stack of evidence put his successor under immense pressure. But I was helplessly wrong. After the rumble, Ms. Sturgeon craftily added little except retraction or absent-mindedness. Her assessment of the situation remains that too few people are interested in detail to bother her. And, helplessly I must admit that she was right.
On the contrary to what others thought, her not-so-bright strategy was to re-run the trial of Mr. Salmond, this time in the court of public opinion which works on much lower standards of validation than the High Court of Justiciary, relieved by a jury which hears witnesses and forms an opinion.
The committee was not established to re-try Mr. Salmond or to repeat his accusations but to find out how our government wasted £1 million on a case it was definitely doomed to lose – defending the indefensible. On that matter of public interest, Ms. Sturgeon presented zero clarity.
The rationale behind actions is a separate question from the defensibility of those actions. Alex Salmond strongly believes the two were interlaced. The first minister attacked that assertion with zest. It is a bitter controversy between them and almost nothing to do with the committee’s assignments.
At this point, there are three key issues that Ms. Sturgeon made no effort to address them. First of all, why was the person appointed to inquire into accusations from two civil servants so disbarred that the Scottish government was found by Scotland’s highest court to have behaved in a way that was biased, unlawful. Ms. Sturgeon has no answer to that.
The second important question is that, did the first minister deceived the Scottish Parliament about her true knowledge of events? She denies it but, well, of course, she did. There are now three accounts of the “March 29th” meeting – first, it didn’t even happened; then it became a brief encounter. Now, in its third loop, this brief, forgotten meeting gave away – by her own account – the true nature of allegations against her former guru and pal, as well as his agonizing condition. Sudden? Forgotten? unintentional? Space does not allow a recap on why it matters and much else flows from it.
The last but not the least crucial issue is why so much evidence and facts have been hidden from the committee for so long.
Finding an answer to these questions is crucial because it reveals the corruption of institutions as well as the evil schemes of individuals.