Nicola Sturgeon claims to represent Scotland, but is she listening? - asks Emily Carver

It is a relief that the Scottish people do not want a referendum next year

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Are Scottish voters beginning to see through Nicola Sturgeon?

According to recent polling by IPSOS, less than a third of Scots now support Nicola’s plans for a referendum next autumn.

The biggest proportion - 30 per cent - believe there should never be another referendum.

You’d think that this might make her think twice.

When even SNP voters don't back her referendum plan for next year, surely it's time to put an end to the endless plotting for constitutional chaos.

But no, she continues to bang the drum, using any platform and opportunity to continue her tone-deaf obsession with breaking up Britain, tearing up the Union, and splitting our country apart.

Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of people living north of the border would rather their leader concentrate on other issues.

55% think that the First Minister has spent too much time on the issue – you can say that again.

At the same time, just 15% of Scots think another referendum is something Holyrood should be focused on right now.

Nicola claims she speaks for Scotland, but is she listening at all?

Unsurprisingly, the economy, health and education top the ranks as the public’s main concerns.

Yet, in a press release issued to mark a year since the SNP Green coalition, she shamelessly promoted “the development of an independent Scotland and the delivery of a referendum” as one of their four top priorities, missing out the cost-of-living crisis altogether.

Sturgeon is not stupid. She knows a referendum is Westminster’s call. She knows it’s not what the Scottish people want right now. Yet she continues to press ahead with her unlawful referendum plan.

The irony, of course, is that without Westminster to blame for her failures, she’d finally be accountable.

Accountable for the fact Scotland is the drug death capital of Europe, accountable for the countless allegations of corruption and incompetence against her government, and accountable for the SNP’s abysmal record on education.

We’ve seen how Scottish nationalists whip up anti-English sentiment, and the venom they spit towards Scottish Young Conservatives and journalists, like the BBC’s Scotland Editor, who was called a ‘traitor’ and ‘scum’ by a mob of Scottish nationalists.

James Cook's predecessor Sarah Smith was relieved to leave her job after enduring what she called the misogynistic “bile and hatred” of covering Scottish politics.

Of course, Sturgeon tries to distance herself from this, with weasel words.

But she's the one responsible for whipping up division.

She talks of Scotland being treated like something on the sole of Westminster’s shoe, she talks of the Tories undermining Scotland, and how Scotland must defend its parliament against the UK government. We all remember how Sturgeon blamed "travel across the UK" for the number of Covid cases in Scotland. What did she want? A Trumpian-style wall?

It’s hardly surprising that with this kind of rhetoric and the division she's sown between ‘unionists’ and ‘nationalists’, that the xenophobic extremes of the nationalist movement feel emboldened to behave in such a thuggish way.

It is a relief that the Scottish people do not want a referendum next year.

It is a good thing that people are becoming more and more aware of the plain nastiness that grips some of SNP’s most loyal supporters.

Yet Sturgeon’s obsession with independence persists.

Nicola claims to represent Scotland. But is she listening?