Nicola Sturgeon steps down as Scottish leader – and gets blasted by Trump

Nicola Sturgeon made a surprise announcement that she is stepping down as the first minister of the Scottish parliament.

“First, though I know it will be tempting to see it as such, this decision is not a reaction to short-term pressures,” said Sturgeon, who has been facing increasing tensions with the UK government in London over Scottish independence, as well as Westminster’s decision to block a Scottish law intended to allow trans people in Scotland to change their legal gender without a medical diagnosis.

Wednesday’s shock announcement led to breathless speculation over Sturgeon’s timing, particularly as she had only recently pledged to make the next British general election a de-facto second referendum on Scottish independence.

While Sturgeon underlined that she felt she didn’t have enough left in the tank to perform her duties, her list of political headaches has grown. The SNP’s polling has dipped, making a dent in its grip on Scottish politics. The independence movement has stalled, with no real chance of a referendum on the cards any time soon.

She has lost support in her party since she attempted to introduce the controversial bill on gender identification, with some polls suggesting a majority of Scots supported the decision of the UK government to use its powers to block the proposal. And her husband was caught in a scandal at the end of last year, after it was reported he had personally loaned the SNP £100,000.

In short, having dominated Scottish politics for eight years, wielding the independence baseball bat and regularly using it to batter the UK government, Sturgeon might have decided to quit before her legacy is tarnished by failure.

Donald Trump took the occasion to slam her.

Former President Trump on Wednesday celebrated Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon’s surprise announcement that she’s stepping down after eight years in power, saying “good riddance” as she leaves the first minister post. 

Why would Trump get so hot and bothered about an internal UK political matter? On the surface, it seemed to be about her stance on transgender issues because under her leadership, the Scottish parliament passed a law that allowed trans people in Scotland to change their legal gender without a medical diagnosis, a measure that we blocked by the UK parliament. This has been characterized by right-wingers as a symbol of ‘woke’ politics, their catch-all phrase of disapproval now that ‘political correctness’ seems to be running out of emotive steam.

“Good riddance to failed woke extremist Nicola Sturgeon of Scotland! This crazed leftist symbolizes everything wrong with identity politics,” Trump wrote in a release.

The anti-woke and anti-transgender stance seems to have become the Republican platform which seems to have gone gone all in on thinking that culture war issues are its ticket to power. But I found it hard to think that even that would stir Trump to such passion against someone who was not a US politician or the head of another nation. And sure enough, I suspect that the real reason is that she worked against his petty financial interests.

The former president knocked Sturgeon for her work to expand transgender rights in Scotland — and for allegedly stymying Trump’s push to build golf properties in the country. 

“I built the greatest Golf properties in the World in Scotland, but she fought me all the way, making my job much more difficult. The wonderful people of Scotland are much better off without Sturgeon in office!” Trump wrote.

With Trump it is always about him and his money.

Sarah Silverman, this week’s rotating host of The Daily Show, explains what woke means to her and what it means to right wingers.


  1. Silentbob says

    Notorious transphobic bigot J K Rowling has called Nicola Sturgeon a “destroyer of women’s rights”, for her support of gender recognition reform (which doesn’t actually affect women’s rights in any way). Can you imagine the amount of cognitive dissonance it must take to see Sturgeon -- with a long history of feminism -- on one side of an issue, and Donald fricken Trump on the other, and convince yourself Donald “grab ’em by  the pussy” Trump is the champion of women’s rights?!

    How anyone cannot see that transphobia is deeply reactionary conservatism -- and deeply unfeminist -- I can’t understand. All transphobia has it’s roots in misogyny. It depends on the male supremacist idea that men and woman are naturally utterly distinct -- natural opposites -- who, by nature, exist in a hierarchy. Once you accept the feminist and scientific reality that in fact we are the same beings, with some hormonally driven differentiation; once you accept the feminist view that social roles are arbitrary, not ordained; then there is simply no rational reason to object to the half a percent of the population who are happier and healthier hormonally changing their bodies and living as a different gender doing so.

    It’s no wonder -- even in deeply transphobic Britain -- it’s mostly women who support trans rights. Ultimately trans rights and feminism are simply the same thing.

  2. Silentbob says

    … Oh, and before someone says, “BuT MeN In wOmEn’s sPaCeS!”…

    That right-wing talking point has been thoroughly debunked for years. Study after study shows no threat to women from laws allowing trans people to use spaces appropriate to their gender.

    Most assaults are by people who know the victim. Of those by strangers in public spaces, they are in spaces open to men -- attacks in “women’s spaces” are very rare. Where they do occur, they are almost invariably by undisguised cisgender men who felt no need whatsoever to pretend to be trans. They just sneak in. Nowhere have laws protecting trans people lead to an increase in violence against women. In fact, cis women are statistically more likely to be attacked by another cis woman in a women’s space than by a trans person or a man pretending to be trans. It makes great propaganda, but simply isn’t a real problem.

    (Also, gender recognition reform is Scotland has nothing to do with access to spaces anyway.)

  3. says

    …I suspect that the real reason is that she worked against his petty financial interests.

    That, plus: a) the Scots actually stood up to him; and b) now she’s down, so he has to kick her when she’s down, because she has less power than the people he’s trying to kick in his own country. He really is that petty — finding someone to pick on is more important than his financial interests.

  4. Holms says

    There is more to the money issue than that brief paragraph, Mano. The SNP has money missing from its financial reporting to the tune of ~600,000 pounds. Her husband is responsible for the party’s finances as he is its chief executive officer. Bear this in mind when thinking about his ~100k donation. Also bear in mind that Nicola claimed not to recall details of the donation when it came up in question time, an incredible answer given her role as party leader, her husband’s role as chief executive, and the donor being her husband.

  5. Ichthyic says

    “Didn’t have enough gas left in the tank”

    now that’s interesting. our PM just recently resigned and said the exact same thing.

    coincidence? unlikely.

  6. Dunc says

    @6: Although I’ve seen the phrase used in commentary, I don’t recall Sturgeon actually using it herself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *