Human being exits stage left

Edward Case
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Well no one saw that coming. Not even her party. Just a couple of weeks after saying she had “plenty left in the tank” in response to Jacinda Ardern’s decision to quit, Nicola Sturgeon, the Jimmy Krankie of politics, shocked everyone on Wednesday by resigning as leader of the SNP.

For a few minutes there I was almost ready to accept that the mental toll of not getting her own way – attempting to rerun a referendum on independence until a result she finds acceptable finally presents itself, trying to get a law passed which would allow children to change their gender without even medical consultation and who knows what would have been next – had become too much to take.

But I just don’t buy it.

No one truly knows what struggles someone else is going through but this is Nicola Sturgeon, the definition of driven and the “I’m also a human being” routine doesn’t explain away how someone so utterly determined to be the thorn in the British government’s side, the woman who would still be fighting the Battle of Culloden if she could, can suddenly walk away from leadership.

Wee Jimmy is likely to find not being a leader much harder to take than the alternative. Leetting someone else take charge is not her style at all.

I suspect something else is going on here which may yet become clearer over the coming weeks.

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Readers of last week’s column will know that I planned to talk about Roger Waters and his, let’s call it eccentric, decision to re-record the Pink Floyd album The Dark Side Of The Moon without the contributions of his former bandmates.

But the curmudgeon in chief has been at it again this week, responding to an article in The New Statesman by Stuart Maconie, but not in the way one would expect.

Having only recently said of guitarist David Gilmour and keyboards player, the late Richard Wright that they couldn’t write songs, were not artists and had no ideas: “not a single one between them” (a puzzling thing to say as he appears to have completely forgotten that The Great Gig In The Sky – the album’s high point – and the beautiful music for Us and Them were composed by Wright) he has now taken umbrage at what he calls a “grubby little article” written with an “unearned condescending authority”.

But this time, rather than continuing his ongoing decades long feud with Gilmour, which has reached a new level of rancour lately, he jumped to the guitarist’s defence – although the offending sentence: “Parts of this will involve him removing, as quoted in Spain’s El Pais newspaper, Gilmour’s horrible guitar solos,” is not Maconie – an established, much lauded music writer and broadcaster – expressing his opinion. It’s much more likely that he was mocking the Spanish publication that said it.

But ever the contrarian, Rog has waded in with insults aimed at the writer and an assurance that he loves Gilmour’s playing on Dark Side.. and on Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall and even The Final Cut.

I don’t know which is more disturbing, that two men pushing 80 can harbour such hatred towards each other after what they created together 50 years ago, or that someone with such a high opinion of his own unarguable talent doesn’t do irony.

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To whichever speech writer managed to sneak the word “wherewithal” into Liz Truss’s speech to Parliament on Monday I would just like to say, bwavo sir or siress, bwavo.

Stupid TV quiz answer of the week

Q: The name of which country means land of the Franks?

A: Germany

Tipping Point:

Q: Which queen was on the British throne at the beginning of the 20th century?

A: Queen Elizabeth II

Q: Which monarch was on the throne at the beginning of the 21st Century?

A: Victoria

Edward Case

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