“Stands Scotland where it did?” Well, compared with a week ago, the Union is slightly firmer on its feet. Because Nicola Sturgeon is such a cold creature – not so much a sliver of ice in the heart as a few scraps of tissue clinging to an icicle – people have tended to overrate her abilities. But she is not a statesman in waiting, merely a tricoteuse waiting for a tumbril. She thinks that she can become the Stone-heart of Destiny. All she deserves is a bit-part in a Tale of Two Cities.
Anyway, as if to justify a reduced political valuation, La Tricoteuse has demonstrated that it is not only the PM and the Chancellor who make political mistakes. She had an opportunity, which she turned into a problem. The opportunity was Article 50 and all the references to a hard Brexit: in Scotland, the Remainers won a majority. Yet Miss Sturgeon had a difficulty. Around a third of Nat voters were in favour of leaving. Among the most unrealistic and perverse characters to be found outside a lunatic asylum, most of those had moved over from the primitive Marxist wing of the Labour party. They are miserable, because the organisation which they would like to join is no longer available: the Warsaw Pact.
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