The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has given notice of her resignation.

Foremost among her political objectives and that of her party, the Scottish National Party, was to gain independence from the United Kingdom!

Nicola Sturgeon. Resigned as Scotland’s First Minister.

Scotland and England have been in Union since 1707, by personal union of the Crown as far back as 1603. So aspiration was high, clear-headed thinkers might say unrealistically so, for a population the size of Sydney or Boston.

Her predecessor, Alex Salmond, won handsomely in the 2011 election, a result sufficient to pressure Westminster for a referendum on independence in 2014.

The YES Campaign of that referendum was led by Ms. Sturgeon and resulted in a majority of Scottish residents rejecting a breakaway from the United Kingdom.

Damaged by the implications of that result, it was Mr. Salmond who ended his decade-long leadership of the Scottish National Party and the lacklustre performer, Ms. Sturgeon, was elevated to the top job.

This past performance should have been the harbinger of her subsequent eight year premiership.

Her failure to replicate Mr. Salmond’s 2011 result meant securing a second referendum was always going to be fraught. It didn’t help that her predecessor left the Scottish National Party to lead another pro-independence party, Alba, in 2021.

Now in coalition with the Scottish Greens, she had the Scottish Parliament declare a referendum date after political maneuverings and repeated petitions to Westminster failed. The brazen, ultra vires move was struck down by the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court as recently as November 2022 and Ms. Sturgeon was grasping for want of a workable strategy thereafter.

In pursuit of her pet project to regress to a Middle Ages scale state,
much was neglected in Scotland.

When she inherited the role of First Minister in 2014, educational performance was second to none in all Europe. Today, Scottish educational authorities have long-ago ceased participating in most international standards, and the one they still do clearly shows a regression in STEM performance compared with England.

The Scottish Enlightenment of Robert Burns, David Hume and Adam Smith, all achieved within the United Kingdom, seems a proud historical footnote for a country now in decay.

Signs of the malaise are everywhere under Ms. Sturgeon.

Stagnant company formations in a land known for its astute business people and rampant job losses are another two glaring markers of failure. The prolonged, nationwide covid-lockdowns only reinforced the government-is-the-solution errors.

What we can say about Ms. Sturgeon is that she had a vision for Scotland as an independent nation. Achieving that was always going to be remarkable. It is not surprising she has lost her political energy. In this, at least, one can understand her plight in contrast with recently resigned New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, who coupled an expressive froth and bubble veneer with authoritarian tendencies.

In the end though, like many who believe in the collective power of government, Ms. Sturgeon’s fitful dream turned into an everyday, dreary reality of decline.

Maybe soon, Scotland can start the journey back to its former glory. The secret to achieving that is for its government to step out of the way!

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