Michael Shanks wins Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election
Earlier this week, Time Magazine published Humza Yousaf on its front page describing him as a…checks notes…”trail blazer”.
It is hard to know which trail he is blazing, but after Thursday night we can certainly agree that Humza “Useless”, as he is commonly known, is literally torching the last remnants of the SNP’s reputation wherever he goes.
In truth, it is less Time Magazine and more time is up for the most toxic party in British politics.
Let us not kid ourselves. As much as Labour would like to claim this was a great victory for them, the truth is it was a defeat for the SNP.
All Starmer has done (very wisely) is to stop Labour’s flirtation with an independence referendum and make Unionist Conservative voters feel safe tactically voting Labour again.
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Essentially, what we are seeing is the conclusion of the toxic legacy of Nicola Sturgeon – Yousaf was her handpicked successor who has tried to just continue her failed, destructive policies.
This has been a long time coming and Labour’s recovery will herald a new era of politics in Scotland.
It is worth looking back to 2007, when the SNP seized power with Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon at the helm to see the seeds of what was to follow.
That Holyrood victory was based on a series of lies including a promise to replace the council tax and pay off student debt among other things. Of course neither happened.
What followed was a process of intimidation of political opponents and critics mainly through the infamous Cybernats becoming Britain’s first organised political internet trolls.
As a journalist in Scotland I had death threats, people seeking my address and car number plate and my windows smashed seven times.
It was like reporting from a cold banana republic.
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There was also the vilification of those within the party who stepped out of line.
Just in the last two weeks the shameful decision to suspend Fergus Ewing, a principled man who was literally born into the party, and the harrassment of MP Lisa Cameron has underlined the spite and nastiness at its heart.
But worse was the adoption of har- left policies by Sturgeon, carried on by her puppet successor Yousaf.
The trans ideology legislation was opposed by a majority of Scots, the constrant drive for independence deliberately dividing the country, the high taxes, the destructive climate change policies which have ruined Scottish industry.
The whole aim of the Sturgeon project was to create an independent Woke State as a beacon to the rest of the world.
Historians will realise she was aping the Presbyterian John Knox who tried to make Scotland the world’s leading Calvanist state in the 16th century – a different misguided extremism for a different time.
After 16 years of division, lies, the school results dropping down the league table, weird social experiments and intimidatory tactics it seems that many Scots are now waking up to the truth of the SNP.
It helps that Sturgeon and her husband are among high-profile SNP figures being investigated for corruption.
As one Scottish Labour person who texted me after Thursday night said: “It was the campervan that did it.”
In reference to the campervan bought on SNP funds sitting on Murrell’s mother’s driveway.
The SNP should have elected Kate Forbe as leader, someone who would have moved the party away from the toxic legacy of Sturgeon.
She could have rebuilt the case for independence on a centre right view of prosperity and industry.
But the hard-left and the SNP are now so closely intwined such a move was impossible last year.
It may be though that time really is up for Humza and Sturgeon’s worldview and the SNP will move forward sooner rather than later.
For now, thanks to Sturgeon and Yousaf, the future of the Union of Scotland in the United Kingdom is safe.
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