While the UK readies itself to emerge, blinking, from lockdown, spare a thought for those of us trapped north of Hadrian’s Wall. Scotland is in the grip of a personality cult that has elevated a mediocre solicitor from a modest background into a cross between Joan of Arc and Hillary Clinton. A Boadicea in beige stilettos and block colours.
Nicola Sturgeon is lauded in the artisan coffee shops of Glasgow’s West End as Scotland’s Jacinda Ardern. Breathless London commentators swoon at her ability to memorise a brief and speak in coherent sentences.
Even her political enemies, inside and outside the SNP, appear mesmerised by the confidence trick she has pulled off. She has taken nationalism – a divisive, reactionary creed – and re-branded it as progressive politics fit for the early days of a better world.