As I See It

Sturgeon’s finest hour, now let’s hear it for the economy

Terry smiling headWe are now entering the peak of the awards season and if political prizes were dished out for determination and conviction Nicola Sturgeon would surely win an armful.

Like her or loath her – and what she stands for – there can be no disputing that her address to the SNP conference was probably her finest.

Complete with a forceful body language and exquisitely-timed delivery it was almost a ‘coming of age’ speech from a party leader who continues to mature into the role.

In an age of bumbling and bombastic tub-thumping it is little wonder that Ms Sturgeon commands her party and the country’s political landscape.

Of course, it’s what is said, rather than how it is delivered that really matters and the Brexit battle has become a battleground for argument and has cruelly exposed those struggling to make their case.

Ms Sturgeon today left us in doubt where she stands and where she sees weaknesses in the opposition. If her previous attacks were optimistically-lobbed grenades, today she fired a few guided missiles that struck at the heart of what she sees as a dithering Tory party and government.

It must be said that Ms Sturgeon is always better when she is on the attack than when she is trying to defend. Firing salvoes at a troubled opposition – in this case a Prime Minister trying to unite her party around some difficult issues – is easier than being on the receiving end.

To that extent Ms Sturgeon was pummelling a weakened government in the gaze of an adoring audience and this gave her the added benefit of avoiding answers to the more difficult questions about her own government’s performance.

On Saturday she promises to address key issues on business, health and education. It will be interesting to see if she offers a similarly robust case for tackling those matters that are within her gift, instead of focusing on broader concerns that Theresa May would rather she left Downing Street to resolve.


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