Nicola Sturgeon bows out with bra-less banter at the coffee morning from Hell

·3 min read
Nicola Sturgeon on Loose Women - Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
Nicola Sturgeon on Loose Women - Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

Nicola Sturgeon steps down in a week, and who doesn’t deserve a good time in their last days in office? Hop on a coach; go to London; give a speech; see Cats.

Oh, and there was a special guest appearance on Loose Women, where she was treated with the reverence usually reserved for Ginger Spice. One has to admire the way daytime chat shows move seamlessly from a contest to win a Mercedes, to interrogating Sturgeon on SNP policy, to asking if she’s tempted to go bra-less on a Monday.

“Who’s to say it can only be a Monday?” replied the First Minister, trying to be game.

“When I do that,” said a fellow panellist, “they drag on the floor.”

Nicola had found herself at the coffee morning from Hell. Not that she showed it.

Consider her composure, her clothes, her air of Puritan authority. Isn’t this the Scottish Thatcher? Later at the Royal Society of Arts, she said that if she met “the 16-year-old” Nicola, she’d tell her to “have a bit of fun ... don’t leave it till you’re 53.” Alas, one suspects her idea of fun is chairing an EU inquiry into the subject – that after all these years of being so disciplined, letting go will be hard.

For now, she seems wistful. Sturgeon regretted how bitter politics has become – nothing to do with the SNP! –and how stressful is the job of running a country into the ground. She had watched Jacinda Ardern step down and thought “I wish that was me,” which proves she is human after all. Who among us didn’t watch Jacinda resign and think, “I wish that was Nicola Sturgeon”?

Then she described to the Loose Women audience the trauma of her miscarriage – and this sketch writer regretted every cheap gag he’d made. Politicians deserve compassion. When the mask slips, one sees sensitivities and goodness, and no doubt Sturgeon has both.

She popped the mask back on. The fracas around the SNP’s membership numbers is only “growing pains,” she said, an odd choice of words given that the SNP has shrunk. And considering the disaster she has made of education, it took guts to declare: “I’m proudest of the steps we’ve made forward for children” – adding, “there’s lots more to do!”

Indeed. Tune in tomorrow, folks, when our guest on Loose Women will be a bull who has spent eight years running a china shop. “Lots more to do,” he will say, as he plucks a piece of Ming vase from his hoof.

Sturgeon leaves behind a terrible record, but she’s made her mark – as demonstrated by a Freudian slip in the Commons. When the SNP’s Alison Thewliss attacked the Tories’ asylum plan, Suella Braverman said she would take no lectures from the Nats on refugees: “for her own nation royally fails to take ... sufficient numbers into Scotland.” One of Braverman’s colleagues looked uncomfortable.

I’m afraid that in the subconscious of many English Tories, the Scottish nation has become synonymous with the SNP – an error that plays right into their opponents’ hands.