THERE are times when I can almost believe in cosmic justice.
All her political life Sturgeon has presented herself as better than everybody else.
She has always spoken and behaved as though there is only one way to do things — Nicola’s way.
If you disagreed with her there was something wrong with you.
In the Scottish Parliament she ruled with unbelievable arrogance.
She had so much control in her own party that she would dismiss difficult questions from other parties as if they were flies.
She acted as though it was obvious she was right and her critics wrong and that the only thing that could explain their actions was malice or stupidity.
Just last summer she attacked the former leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Ruth Davidson, by saying that Davidson “doesn’t want to have any of the scrutiny or accountability” of political office and that she wasn’t someone who “commands much respect or legitimacy, frankly”.
That’s a typical Sturgeon stiletto.
Similar high-handed dismissals were dished out all the time.
Mainly to Conservatives, but also to anyone who came from the dreaded lair of Westminster.
For whatever the problems that existed in the world, in Sturgeon-land all problems come from Westminster.
It was a great distraction tactic, frankly.
Because all the time Sturgeon presided over a country which was declining in every meaningful way.
During her time in office it appears that the NHS in Scotland has got worse, educational standards in the country have declined, life expectancy has gone down and Scotland consistently had the highest number of drug deaths of anywhere in Europe.
So while it was comfortable for Nicola Sturgeon to feel she had zero accountability, it was clearly not good for Scotland.
Nicola and her chums could run the country into the ground while all the time escaping criticism and blaming “Westminster”.
Just one of the results of such arrogance is that you think you can get away with anything.
The police investigation into the SNP’s finances is very interesting.
Whatever the final decisions on who might face prosecution, one thing is clear.
Sturgeon had far too tight a hold on her party’s finances.
It should have been the biggest warning-light of all that her husband just happened to be the chief executive of the SNP.
Between them, the couple had more control than anyone over the money box.
Was it appropriate for a married couple to be accountable only to each other on matters of party funding?
Party in a mess
It would seem not. Not least because both Sturgeon and her husband, Peter Murrell, have now been taken into police custody and questioned.
The SNP has to account for £600,000 which were apparently misspent from an independence campaign.
But there is a bigger lesson in the downfall of Sturgeon, which is that the way she behaved, and others behaved towards her, is exactly the reason why she and her party are now in the mess they are.
The cult of Nicola meant the First Minister got away with things she should never have got away with.
And the cult was not just in the party. It was in the media too — and not only the fawning Scottish media.
Sturgeon almost certainly stood down earlier this year because she knew the bad news that was coming for her, though she denies this.
Yet when she stood down it was marked by most of this country’s media as though a giant had just passed.
The BBC described it as a “bombshell” sending “shockwaves” through Scottish politics.
Everywhere people praised the way she bestrode politics. She was lavished in praise.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen such fawning political obituaries.
All for a woman who failed on every measure to make life better for the people of Scotland and who singularly failed in her lifetime’s ambition — to create an independent Scotland.
I criticised her many times here for the real failures of her time as First Minister.
But too much of the media and her colleagues treated her like a saint.
And even if she had been a saint nobody would do well under such blanket praise for wholly imaginary virtues.
From Covid policy to foreign policy, domestic spending to the way we are ruled, Sturgeon always pretended she was better than everyone else.
And it’s an important rule of thumb this. That everybody who assumes that attitude turns out to be the person least suited to actually hold it.
BIT TOO MUCH PRIDE
I AM so fed up of “Pride”. The sheer overdoing it is the worst thing.
Gay people in this country have full rights. So there is little need to have a day of “Pride” protests, let alone a month-long party with cynical corporations force-feeding us rainbow flags.
The American military celebrating Pride shows how it’s all about corporate cynicism[/caption]
It’s the corporate cynicism I hate most. The American military and Major League Baseball in the States are among the people to jump huge into Pride month.
But I well remember when the American military would fire gay people serving their country. Simply because they were gay.
And I’m not sure there are enough out gay sportspeople for sporting organisations to pretend they have “pride”.
And what about all those Hollywood actors and studios going huge on “pride” when they are the industry most intent on making sure gay stars remain in the closet.
It’s all hypocrisy I tell you. Which is an ugly thing of its own. Like pride.
SILVIO HAD STYLE
SILVIO BERLUSCONI has gone to the great bunga-bunga party in the sky.
Obits for the former Italian Prime Minister are already focusing on his colourful personality and, ahem, hobbies.
But I hope they will also note that he was a serious political figure.
He managed to dominate Italian politics for three decades and served four times as Prime Minister.
In a country which many people think is ungovernable, Berlusconi showed it could be done.
With a bit of style and humour too.
Let’s not rush to Terminate all use of AI
WE hear a lot about the downsides of AI.
In fact, hardly a week goes by without a new round of fears that we are about to be wiped out by an army of AI-controlled cyborgs.
But we should also focus on the things AI is doing which will actually improve our lives.
In hospitals in this country, for instance, AI is already transforming the way and the speed that doctors can make diagnoses and treat patients.
So yes, let’s be wary. But let’s not shut down something which could do great good if it is directed in the right way.
IS TRUMP WORSE THAN THE OTHERS?
NICOLA STURGEON and Donald Trump didn’t much get along as politicians.
But perhaps they can console each other now that they both find themselves quizzed by the law.
Because the former US President is facing another round of legal woes.
Already this year he has faced an indictment over hush-money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels.
He has also been found guilty by a New York Court of sexually assaulting a woman in a New York department store two decades ago.
But neither of these cases have made any impact on his polling.
Many die-hard Trump supporters have already built into their opinion of him the fact that he’s not a total gentleman.
Others still think all of this is a set-up, like the Russiagate claims that dogged Trump throughout his presidency and were all a big fraud.
It is understandable that many of Trump’s supporters agree with him that there is a witch-hunt going on.
Unfortunately, the latest charge against him is much more serious.
It is that Trump took boxes and boxes of highly classified documents with him when he left office.
A number of those documents detailed in recent days are of serious national security importance.
Trump’s defenders are busy pointing out that lots of people have been found to take documents after leaving office, that the rules are unclear or that honest mistakes can be made.
Goodness knows, President Biden was found to have taken documents he should never have taken when he left office as Vice President in 2017.
Now Trump and his supporters are saying there is a double standard at play. And in one way they are correct.
Both Hillary Clinton and President Biden have done things which should warrant serious investigation by the authorities.
But neither of them have been probed.
It is only Trump that the authorities keep on coming after.
And here lies a difficulty for America. To prosecute Trump would look like political persecution worthy of a banana republic.
Yet all these politicians breaking the rules is pretty banana-y too.