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It still all looks pretty good. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon continues to dominate Scottish television screens with matriarchal messaging on Covid; the pandemic provides an almost custom-built cover for the massive SNP failures in schooling and healthcare; and the opinion polls consistently register public support for independence as a petulant response to Brexit. Many SNP supporters can hardly be blamed for exuding complacency.
Behind this reassuring facade, however, all is not well with the separatist cause and especially with Nicola Sturgeon. Veteran Sturgeon-watchers note the facial expressions and body language in unguarded moments. The strain is getting to her and it is not principally the stress of handling the pandemic, but rather from the Sword of Damocles hanging over her political career. For Nicola Sturgeon has fallen foul of the Curse of Salmond and the clever money is on it terminating her leadership of the nationalist government and movement.