The British, perhaps a gullible people, have always managed to admire politicians who – while presiding over a complete mess – can give the impression that they are remarkable and merit unequivocal respect.
Think of Disraeli and Lloyd George, and also more recently Boris Johnson. Few, however, have carried off charlatanry better than Nicola Sturgeon, who will shortly cease to be First Minister of Scotland after the announcement last week of her intention to resign as leader of the Scottish National Party, after more than eight years in the post.
Always highly articulate and ready to exhibit her uncanny plausibility in televised addresses to her people – she appears permanently podium-ready – she was unquestionably energetic, and brilliant at turning on the common enemy (the English) to divert attention from her ever-lengthening catalogue of failures. Now, she has jumped before her supine party eventually realised it would have to push her.
Read more: Nicola Sturgeon’s dreamland is over – Scotland faces a painful reckoning