– in the Scottish Parliament on 13th January 2022.

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Photo of Audrey Nicoll Audrey Nicoll Scottish National Party

Does the First Minister agree that the unmasked disdain that the UK Government has shown in the past 24 hours for its own colleagues in Scotland—including by dismissing the Scottish leader as “a lightweight”—makes it crystal clear that Scotland needs to become an independent country so that we can escape the sleazy, corrupt and criminal Westminster system for good?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

As we have just seen, I have big political differences with Douglas Ross, but even I am not as derogatory about him as his own Tory colleagues. The comments that he is “not a big figure” and “a lightweight” are not just personal insults directed at the leader of the Scottish Conservatives but say something much deeper about the Westminster establishment’s utter contempt for Scotland. If they cannot even show basic respect for their own colleagues, what chance do the rest of us have?

Westminster thinks that Scotland does not need to be listened to and can be ignored, and now we are being told that we have to follow a Prime Minister whose own colleagues think he is not fit for office. Independence is fundamentally about empowerment and aspiration, but an added benefit of being independent is that we will no longer have to put up with being treated like something on the sole of Westminster’s shoe. Today, I suspect that even Douglas Ross finds that a really attractive proposition.