SNP’s Scotland is no progressive paradise, says Guardian letter writer

Sturgeon Docherty Hughes and O'Hara 4Some London-based progressives have mistakenly connected with Nicola Sturgeon’s politics of national identity, says Mike Cowley, and Charles Warlow disputes the idea that the independence referendum was acrimonious.

Suzanne Moore should take her own advice and try moving to Scotland (Johnson v Corbyn? I’d rather vote Sturgeon, G2, 26 November). She will find an SNP government that has almost tripled Westminster austerity cuts to local government funding, leading to a collapse in services.

The “grownup” Sturgeon allows a nasty seam of anti-English xenophobia to simmer unaddressed within her party; is overseeing crises in Scotland’s devolved NHS and social care systems; and teachers and further education and university lecturers have taken extraordinary strike action over the last year. Sturgeon may be a competent bureaucrat, but she leads a single-issue party whose myopic ambitions limit it to sustaining a culture of grievance against anyone who disputes the emotive case for an independent Scotland.

In hock to corporate lobbyists and with a record of voting with the Scottish Tories on everything from progressive taxation, outsourcing and against public ownership of rail, the SNP nonetheless appears to have convinced many London-based progressives that the politics of national identity have somehow alchemised north of the border into a vision they can connect with.
Mike Cowley
Edinburgh North & Leith constituency Labour party.

There were no insults, says Professor

I don’t recall the 2014 Scottish independence referendum being particularly “acrimonious”, as Suzanne Moore says. It was certainly robust and there were strong disagreements, but it was far better informed than the EU referendum, and engaged an astonishing number of people. As an Englishman living in Scotland I might have expected a few insults, but there were none. Maybe that is one reason why, during the campaign, I moved from a definite no to a very tentative yes on the day.
Professor Charles Warlow

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