We have to control our leaders

Nicola SturgeonWe punters must be vigilant: we have to control our leaders, not the other way round.
There is a serious danger in any human being having a great deal of power. People with power are told the information that pleases them, rather than the truth that will sting them; they are told that their own ideas are the best ideas; that their own character is beyond compare; that their own actions are just the ticket. If you are in that position, it goes to your head – ask any corporate chief executive. When you have power you tend to see all who question or disagree with you as idiots.
Alex Salmond was at his best when he was running a minority government. He was not in a position to ignore unpalatable facts (except that until we get full fiscal autonomy the Scottish government does not have to face the responsibility for ensuring we create wealth as well as spend it). As the leader of a minority government he had to listen to people who disagreed. After he was given an (unlikely) overall majority things got rougher.
Nicola Sturgeon convinced me to vote Yes, on the grounds that we would have the possibility of getting the responsive government we wanted; but she now faces a problem that most people have failed to deal with successfully – think Stalin, Mao, Mugabe, Hitler, and, even in a less violent, democratic system, Thatcher and Blair. She will, if the polls are right, have a lot of power and standing in Scotland, and few dissenting voices, which will be easy to ignore.
We have to hope that the fact that the SNP will be at best a minority partner in a loose coalition in Westminster will keep her feet – and Alex Salmond’s – on the ground.
We punters must be vigilant: we have to control our leaders, not the other way round.

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