On September 19th 2014, in his resignation speech Alex Salmond failed to call for the country to unite and move on from the divisions of the referendum. Had the result been in favour of the `Yes’ campaign I am sure one of the first things he would have appealed for would have been reconciliation, to move forward together and forget our differences.
Shortly afterwards, in her inaugural speech, his successor Nicola Sturgeon famously said she would be “First Minister for all of Scotland,” yet significantly she stopped short of appealing for unity. And in the five years since she has yet to do so.
Scotland must move on from the debris of the failed independence bid. If only Nicola could step outside her SNP bubble into the real Scotland and witness the fallout and bitterness which still runs deep in this country. This is the Scotland of Salmond and Sturgeon – and it really breaks my heart what they have done to the country they claim to love.
People fell out with their siblings and best friends fought each other, with many of those rifts unhealed to this day. SNP activists talk of an `exciting’ lead up to the referendum whilst the reality was a bitter and lasting legacy, the wounds of which the Nationalists are determined not to allow to heal.
Ms Sturgeon is one of the few people who possesses both the talent and - arguably - the popularity to unite the nation - but she clearly has no intention of doing so.
She could go down in history as someone who united a divided nation or more likely as a leader who chose to exploit those divisions for her own party’s benefit.
Ms Sturgeon is First Minister of a divided nation and frankly does not seem to care. Any leader worth their salt would surely make uniting the country a priority.
Scotland is crying out for a First Minister who will take us forward TOGETHER and put the past behind us. Come the next Holyrood election I will vote for the party leader who pledges most to unite the nation. At this stage I have no idea who that will be, but one thing is certain – it won’t be Nicola Sturgeon.
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