A friend of mine who I know has very very good instincts and political judgement, an SNP member, has been a little annoyed that Nicola Sturgeon used the SNP website to express her support for Hilary Clinton in yesterdays American Elections. Nicola accepts on the website that she was breaking with tradition by publicly backing Hilary Clinton over Donald Trump.
Nicola noted she would welcome the first female President of America, that her election would send a powerful message on gender equality to the world and that she would be a role model all around the world while accepting that no politician is perfect. Personally I believe that Hilary Clinton would turn out to be as bad or possibly even worse than Donald Trump but at the end of the day it was up to the American people to decide. They did, they voted for Donald Trump to be the 45th President of America which was their right to do and good luck to them.
However, Nicola Sturgeon used the SNP website to publicly endorse Hilary Clinton over Donald Trump. I agree with my friend, the SNP website was not the platform to express her personal opinion, the website should be the platform for policy discussion , announcements, government action and consultation etc. I also think that the First Minister of Scotland should not have publicly endorsed Hilary Clinton, who like Donald Trump is no friend of Scottish self determination, but is also a woman of very questinable character as equally questionable as Donald Trump. The fact she is a woman did not make her the better candidate in my opinion, for what it’s worth that was Bernie Sanders all the way but the American election system is what it is, not perfect very much like our own.
I’m not that bothered if Donald Trump is an ally to Scotland or not, probably he is not, and what will be will be. Nicola Sturgeon though in making her personal opinion public, like Kezia Dugdale going to campaign for Hilary Clinton the other week, has made an error of judgement that the First Minister of Scotland, leading a party seeking independence cannot afford to make. Who really cares what Kezia Dugdale does, but we do care about what the First Minister says and does and on this occasion she got it wrong.
Nicola Sturgeon has been an excellent First Minister, doing the best she can with the limited powers at her disposal while fighting our own right wing nightmares on three sides with the yoon parties, but Nicola also cannot afford to make this kind of judegement often. We are about to enter a very interesting political period that will shape Scotland’s future far beyond my lifetime, if we lose like we did in 2014 then there is no hope, no coming back. Let’s hope that Scottish Government Minsters leave the poilitics of other countries to them and keep their personal opinions to themselves in future and not use the party platform to express them.