Has Boris Johnson saved the union?

As the threat from Covid perhaps starts to wane, Christmas 2021 may come to be seen as Boris Johnson’s masterstroke, writes Mary Dejevsky

Thursday 06 January 2022 17:29
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<p>Boris Johnson’s instinct is to gamble, to live and let live, and not to spoil his own and other people’s fun</p>

Boris Johnson’s instinct is to gamble, to live and let live, and not to spoil his own and other people’s fun

Did you, I wonder, catch Nicola Sturgeon addressing the Scottish parliament’s special session this week via Zoom? If you don’t live in Scotland or have no plans to travel there, there is no particular reason why you should. If you did, though, perhaps you felt, as I did, that some sort of line had been crossed.

All right, so remotely conducted meetings, including parliamentary debates, tend not to flatter the participants, either in sound quality or appearance. Even granting these now familiar limitations, the change in Scotland’s first minister was nonetheless striking.

In the first year of the pandemic, Nicola Sturgeon had a cool, calm and commanding presence. She put herself out there, as befits a leader; she was the front-person for Scotland’s anti-Covid effort, spelling out with impressive clarity the rules that responsible Scots should follow. And she needed less persuasion (though she did need a bit) to sack her chief medical officer for rule-breaking than Boris Johnson did over Dominic Cummings.

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