September 25 2014: Nicola Sturgeon, a shoe-in for First Minister

The Evening Times opinion column, September 25 2014

Who knew a pair of shoes would lift the referendum comedown and get a whole country talking again?

Such was the power of footwear choice of Angela Constance, the MSP, who made waves at Holyrood earlier this week with her fawn sculpture, cherrytopped court shoes.

Some people were worried the dainty Bambies were being crushed, while others put the Irregular Choice footwear – that’s the designer, not a dig – on their shopping list.

But we all agreed they brought a smile to our weary faces, after the emotional rollercoaster of the previous months.

It was Nicola sturgeon who brought the country’s attention to the shoes when she tweeted about them.

Sorry in advance for this pun, but I reckon she never puts a foot wrong.

Whether she’s indulging in a light hearted tweet or addressing the country at tense times, Nicola always makes the right judgment.

The Glasgow southside MSP launched her bid to become party leader and the country’s first female First Minister yesterday – and it is almost certain she will take over when Alex salmond steps down.

It speaks volumes that potential rivals, including John swinney, Alex Neil and Humza Yousaf, threw their weight behind her bid.

There is no doubt Alex salmond changed Scotland – he is the politician who, in my lifetime, has been the most formidable. But he wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. You either love or you hate him.

Although Nicola is well-liked, she is not a pushover. I have interviewed her and she never makes a gaffe. she always seems to have scotland’s interests at heart, whether its fighting for shipbuilding or supporting our NHs.

Nicola is a role model.

She was brought up in Dreghorn near Irvine and went to Glasgow university to study law. Nicola was a solicitor at Drumchapel Law Centre before becoming an MSP in 1999.

Nicola joined the SNP aged 16 and must know the party inside out – as well as racking up several years of experience as an MSP.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the majority of people in Glasgow backed an independent Scotland.

She has shown herself to be a champion of her city. That was particularly evident to me in the wake of the tragic Clutha helicopter crash.

There was no political point-scoring from anyone, but her address to the city comforted many people.

During her bid yesterday she said: “I am not Alex salmond. His are big boots to fill but if given the opportunity to lead, I will wear my own shoes and they will have higher heels.”

I look forward to seeing what Nicola’s footwear brings to our country.

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