NICOLA THE BRUCE
Robert the Bruce was a Scottish king. He is famous for two things, one of which involves a spider. The other involves thumping the English.
Robert lost a battle against the hated English oppressor. According to legend, he sought refuge in a dark cave and was pretty depressed.
He saw a spider trying to make a web. The spider would keep falling off the wall of the cave, but kept on trying, until it finally wove a web.
Bruce was inspired by the spider. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” he said and picked up his massive sword. Later, he hammered the English at the Battle of Bannockburn, made Scotland independent, and became a national hero.
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, had her Robert the Bruce moment today.
She announced the first step towards a second independence referendum for Scotland.
Lest you forget, Scots voted to stay in the UK in September 2014. The success of that poll went to David Cameron’s head, leading ultimately to Brexit.
The Brexit vote is the pretext Sturgeon’s SNP needed to try again. She’s warned that taking Scotland out of the EU on the basis of an English vote would resurrect the centuries-old independence debate.
Her Scottish National Party exists to win independence but this is not a guarantee that a second referendum will happen.
Sturgeon said she would trigger the vote if it is the only way to protect Scotland from being taken out of the single market – the “hard Brexit”. UK Prime Minister Theresa May has been firm in saying the “once in a generation” 2014 vote will be just that.
But Sturgeon’s announcement heaps pressure on May, a staunch unionist, at a time when the pound is plunging in value.
Will she capitalise on that to extract concessions from Westminster such as greater devolution of powers to Scotland? Or pull the trigger on #indyref2 and an uncertain future?
Whatever happens, at least we didn’t mention Braveheart.
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