Confront Nicola Sturgeon, don't bribe or appease her

Independence rally in Glasgow, 2014
Independence rally in Glasgow, 2014 Credit: Paul Hackett/Reuters

It perplexes me that the Government seems to exercise caution only where it is not merited, yet proceeds with utter recklessness where disaster is inevitable. Thus it wilfully abandoned a manifesto pledge only to have to back down a week later, occasioning its humiliation and wrecking the credibility of the Chancellor of the Exchequer – and in the process alienating its core vote, many of whom start to feel it has little clue what conservatism is.

Yet when a political target offers a bullseye – as in Nicola Sturgeon’s continuing fantasy that she controls an Independent Scottish Republic, and that challenging her rule is tantamount to an illegal occupation by a foreign power – the Government can’t think radically. Faced with a demand for a new referendum, it reminds the Scots that 2014’s was a once-in-a-generation vote, and thus they must wait for another. As I wrote here a fortnight ago,...

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