Putin will be rubbing his hands in glee thanks to interventions by SNP and Greens
IT’s not every day the leader of Scotland’s devolved government is accused of backing a plan that could wipe out humanity.
That is the strange position in which Nicola Sturgeon now finds herself after claiming a Ukraine ‘no fly zone’ should be considered.
The idea has been dismissed by military strategists because it would lead to the West having to shoot down Russian planes, possibly sparking nuclear war.
Colonel Tim Collins summed up the First Minister’s absurd stance in yesterday’s Mail, saying it could trigger global conflict, ‘heralding the extinction of life on Earth’.
It was just another day’s work for Miss Sturgeon and her comrades in the Green Party, two of whom are now, unthinkably, members of the ruling administration.
They have gone from bleating on about the need for more loft insulation to making reckless interventions on Ukraine that must have Putin rubbing his hands in glee.
Inadvertently or otherwise, they are coming to the aid of a tyrant by attacking Nato and reiterating their opposition to the nuclear deterrent — morphing from Sturgeon’s sycophants to Moscow stooges.
Lorna Slater, the Green minister for the ‘circular economy’ among other things, ventured into the realm of geopolitics in a BBC interview on Sunday.
She made clear that her party has a ‘philosophical objection’ to Nato due to its nuclear policy, even though it’s done a pretty good job so far of preventing nuclear war.
The Greens are pro-independence, which is why they are in government, despite more than half of their voters being opposed to separatism, so naturally the minister was keen to talk about life after the end of the UK.
An independent Scotland should leave Nato, she opined, while maintaining that there have been no attacks on Russia thus far because of a ‘failure of Nato’, and the fact that ‘global Armageddon is not worth the risk’.
Miss Slater said: ‘We could do more to help Ukraine if we weren’t afraid of escalating the conflict’- though one has to wonder what precisely does she have in mind?
The notion that nuclear weapons are inhibiting a fully-fledged military response to Russia’s savagery in the Ukraine is an odd one — avowed pacifists seem to be hankering for a spot of old-fashioned warfare between the West and Putin’s rogue state.
The SNP is, of course, in favour of Nato membership, but without Trident nuclear missiles in Scotland — it wants them shifted elsewhere in the UK, so that presumably we’d benefit from their protection while fulfilling a long-held Nationalist manifesto pledge.
Rear Admiral John Gower, a former assistant chief of defence staff, has said the SNP’s plan to expel Royal Navy nuclear submarines from an independent Scotland would imperil European security.
He said ‘seeing the departure of nuclear weapons from an independent Scotland might be seen as an easy gimme, a cosy feel-good, risk-free by-product of independence for many Scottish voters’.
But chillingly he added there would be ‘consequences to the security of the Nato alliance and broader European security’- and it’s by no means certain that Nato would welcome a non-nuclear country into the fold.
Miss Slater and her follow Green minister Patrick Harvie have also taken time out of their busy schedules to agitate for a second independence referendum.
Mr Harvie, the minister for ‘zero carbon buildings’, claimed at the weekend that holding another vote by 2023 is ‘entirely feasible’.
Ill-advisedly, he compared the situation to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and said the UK should not ‘abandon’ its democratic principles by blocking a vote on the Union.
He said: ‘The world is so furious and anxious about the profound threat to democracy that’s taking place in Europe at the moment.’
The Greens’ co-leader warned against abandoning ‘those democratic principles’, adding: ‘This is not a time to say, “We dare not ask the people of Scotland what choice they would make about their own future”.’
It’s light years away from saving the whale, but don’t they realise that by continuing to push for the break-up of Britain they’re doing Putin’s work for him?
There’s nothing he’d like more, beyond victory in Ukraine, than the disintegration of a nuclear power that is now one of his greatest enemies.
It shouldn’t shock us that there is common ground between the objectives of Putin and the those of the SNP and its supporters.
After all, Alex Salmond — a man many still regard as spiritual leader of the independence movement — fronted a chat-show on RT, the Kremlin-backed television channel, until the early days of the Ukraine crisis.
Back in 2014, Mr Salmond had warm words for Putin, praising him for restoring a ‘substantial part’ of Russian pride — and it seemed the feeling was mutual.
In Moscow, the Russian president’s powerful press secretary at the time, Dmitry Peskov, told the Mail that Putin’s government ‘agreed with the viewpoint’ of Mr Salmond, who was then First Minister.
Mr Peskov was seen as the Alastair Campbell of the Kremlin, though whether Mr Salmond welcomed his words of encouragement is another matter, as at the time he faced a major international backlash for comments that went some way beyond ill-judged.
It came only weeks after Putin’s illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.
Indeed, Michael Ostapko, who at the time was Scottish chairman of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, wrote to Mr Salmond to condemn his ‘crass words’.
Meanwhile, in 2017, Mr Salmond signed-up for RT — formerly Russia Today.
A report by the UK’s Intelligence and Security Committee in 2020 cited examples of how Russia spreads ‘disinformation’ and runs ‘influence campaigns’, including ‘use of state-owned traditional media’.
It said: ‘Open source studies have shown serious distortions in the coverage provided by Russian state-owned international broadcasters such as RT and Sputnik.’
Despite these disclosures, Mr Salmond continued in the role, while Miss Sturgeon sought to cultivate up to £5billion worth of trade links between Scotland and Russia, a relationship that came to an end when the UK expelled Moscow’s diplomats following the Salisbury poisonings in 2018.
No one doubts the SNP and its environmentalist cohorts are appalled by the sheer barbarity of Putin’s regime — but these useful idiots are putting us all at risk by providing succour to a megalomaniac who dreams of smashing apart the UK.
- This column appeared in the Scottish Daily Mail on March 15, 2022.
- Follow me on Twitter: @GrahamGGrant