JAN MOIR: Nicola Sturgeon has spent a lifetime being rude to English Tories only to bristle like an offended hedgehog when Liz Truss hit back
Nicola Sturgeon says Liz Truss quizzed her about how to get in vogue when they met last year.
Liz meant how could she get in the pages of the glossy magazine called Vogue, not how to become popular and attractive to fashionable people, because surely that is not Nicola’s area of expertise?
In the minds of many, the average SNP voter is someone crimson-faced and bald, wearing a small wiry moustache and a stained anorak while shouting about Scotland’s oil as they load bargain biscuits into an Asda trolley. The men are even worse.
Oh to have been a fly in the ointment Chez Sturg when Truss, speaking at a Tory leadership hustings in Exeter last week, labelled the First Minister an ‘attention seeker’ and told the audience that ‘the best thing to do with Nicola Sturgeon is to ignore her’.
Uh oh, I thought, reaching for the popcorn and setting my Krankie Krakatoa stopwatch to countdown mode, just waiting for the eruption.
Would Nicola surprise us all with the dignified bearing of the true stateswoman, rising above the comments and getting on with her self-appointed job of running Scotland into the ground?
The First Minister told an Edinburgh Festival event today that Ms Truss quizzed her about how to get in vogue at Cop26, the environmental summit held in Glasgow last year.
Or would she put important matters such as the ferries disgrace, education attainment and the shocking numbers of drug deaths on her watch to one side and stick the fishwife knife in? We didn’t have to wait long to find out.
Speaking to a half-empty hall at an Edinburgh Fringe event on Wednesday, the Scottish leader told how Truss had badgered her at the Cop26 conference last year — not about carbon emissions or anything important, but over her recent appearance in Vogue.
That’s all she wanted to know about, apparently! And when the subject was exhausted, conversation between the two women ‘dried up’. Not before Nicola told Liz she had actually been in the glossy magazine twice, at which news Truss ‘looked a little bit as if she’d swallowed a wasp’.
A bit rich, coming from someone who looks like she breakfasts on toasted wasps spread with waspish jam and washed down by a pot of hot wasp tea every waspy morning. But that’s the thing; it’s all double standards with Nicola.
She has spent a lifetime being rude and dismissive to English Conservative politicians, only to bristle like an offended hedgehog when anyone treats her with even a shred of similar scorn.
Over the past few years, she has reserved a particularly bitter contempt towards Boris Johnson, but when those feelings are reciprocated, her reaction is very revealing. Vogue! Wasps! Ignore! She said it first! I’m telling Mum!
Some might think this is a petty conversation unworthy of two senior female politicians; a dialogue over supposedly jealous feelings about a fashion shoot that does a disservice to all women everywhere. And tragically, there is merit in that.
To be honest, neither woman comes out of it well. I was rather surprised at Truss’s blunt truculence in the first place. Say what you like about Sturgeon, but she is a democratically elected political leader and to dismiss her and those who vote for her as irrelevances seems crass.
Such an attitude might go down well with the gurgling true-blue Tories in the English shires, but it plays right into the Scottish Nats’ hands, to the detriment of all. How poor, beleaguered Conservatives north of the border must have despaired at her words.
However, to get your own back, as Sturgeon did, by revealing details of a private conversation and weaponising what was clearly only polite small talk as a political gain? Pathetic. The first and last resort of the charlatan.
The Tory leadership favourite last week branded Sturgeon an ‘attention seeker’ and said the best thing to do is ‘ignore her’ – sparking fury with the SNP who said they and the Scottish people were ‘insulted’
While the SNP boss really let the sisterhood down there, it is not the first time she has pulled this trick. During a television debate in the 2017 Election campaign, Sturgeon accused the then Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale of telling her — in a private conversation — that following the Brexit vote she would stop opposing Indyref 2, something Dugdale denied.
And what is this all over? Nothing more than getting tarted up for a glossy magazine.
The First Minister has always professed her distaste for the London-based media. But how interesting that she makes a lavish exception for Vogue and the opportunity to pose outside Bute House in an oatmeal wrap coat and trash Boris Johnson by saying he had a ‘fragile male ego’, because he was too scared to engage with her in person.
The terrible joke is that despite what Nicola thinks, it is no great badge of honour for any female politician to be in Vogue.
To be soft-soaped and patronised by the fashionistas; included along with the supermodels and the perfume ads not because of your achievements but because of your sex — how sexist is that? Squeezed into unlikely finery, female politicians in Vogue almost always end up looking like gauche country girls at a society wedding.
This includes Theresa May in a £1,200 jumper telling Vogue how she was criticised for wearing a £1,000 pair of trousers in a newspaper photo shoot in 2016. ‘I think it’s important to be able to show that a woman can do a job like this and still be interested in clothes,’ she said, proving that nothing could be further from the truth. Meanwhile, in last September’s issue, Diane Abbott wore black cherry lipstick to tell Vogue all she wants to do is ‘change the world’ if not her own bad habits. Did she still buy M&S tinnies of alcohol? ‘Yes, occasionally,’ she cheeped.
Anyway, here we are, two smart female politicians mud wrestling in the lower reaches of the glossies when they should be shooting at the stars. Nicola wishes Liz all the best and, in a parting shot, simpered, ‘I’m sure she’ll be in Vogue before too long.’
Somewhere south of Edinburgh, with steam issuing from every fissure, Liz Truss is muttering, if I be waspish, best beware my sting.
This isn’t over yet. Bzzzzt!
Weddings are a nightmare for the mother of the groom. Especially if she happens to be a world-famous dress designer like Victoria Beckham. Wedding watchers have been wondering for months why VB didn’t design the bridal gown for Nicola Peltz when she married Brooklyn Beckham earlier this year. Apart from anything else, it would be very out of character for a Beckham not to maximise and monetise such an event.
So what happened? Nicola told Variety magazine that, um, she was going to wear a Posh dress but that, at one stage, Victoria ‘realised that her atelier couldn’t do it, so then I had to pick another dress.’
Nicola added: ‘She didn’t say you can’t wear it; I didn’t say I didn’t want to wear it.’
Hmm. That sounds like the Posh wedding dress actually existed at some point, and I am cruelly imagining a kind of one-shouldered white nightie with a droopy hem and bad boobage. No wonder Nicola went to Valentino Haute Couture instead. What smart bride would go for VB when she could have Valentino? It’s like choosing ‘chef’ Brooklyn over Escoffier to make your steamed spinach lunch.
VB or not VB? Nicola’s awful wedding dress dilemma. Wedding watchers have been wondering for months why VB didn’t design the bridal gown for Nicola Peltz when she married Brooklyn Beckham earlier this year
Animal rights activists have urged the mayor of Leicester to rename the city’s Pork Pie Roundabout
Crocodile tears and porky pies from PETA
Animal rights activists have urged the mayor of Leicester to rename the city’s Pork Pie Roundabout. Campaign group Peta wants to call it Vegan Pie Roundabout instead — but why?
Because — after waving an organic onion under their eyes — they say they are ‘concerned’ about rising obesity rates. No they’re not. They don’t give a damn about the health and weight of anyone, only that they stop eating meat. So stop telling porkies.
Jerry and Rupert have ‘amicably’ divorced and ‘remain good friends’, according to their lawyers. Oh my aching sides. Still, there was something enchanting about their late-life romance, because even billionaires need love, too.
It was a quick wedding, a quick marriage and an even quicker divorce. After only six years was Jerry hoping for a huge settlement? In the end, she got that dreamy house in Henley, plus a wodge of cash — and freedom from the ghastly Murdoch clan for ever. What a fabulous deal!
Why Wills and Harry shouldn’t have veto on Diana documentaries
Weeks before shooting the new series begins, The Crown is frantically searching for a lookalike Prince William.
Can there really be a national shortage of balding blokes in chinos and desert boots, bumbling around behind their purposeful wives? I don’t think so. Meanwhile, with a slew of new Diana works in the pipeline — including a four-part Channel 4 documentary, Investigating Diana: Death In Paris later this month, plus another Panorama documentary on Sunday based on the discredited Martin Bashir interview — many are wondering if William and Harry should be consulted over such projects.
Yet television and film producers must know that all but the most worshipful and hagiographic films would be instantly turned down by the brothers. And as it is a courtesy rarely afforded to other families whose bereaved loved ones are the subjects of films and documentaries, should special privileges be given to royals?
I’m afraid it’s a no from me.
The boss of John Lewis has said that the one million mostly over-50s who left their jobs during the Covid pandemic should be encouraged back to work to tackle the labour shortage that is pushing up inflation and wages.
Dame Sharon White said that she had never seen such a difficult economic situation facing businesses.
The outlook is glum, although it was cheering that, for once, a downturn was not being blamed on Brexit.
But hang on a minute — who the heck are all these people who can afford to retire at 50?
The era of the €10 flight is over, said Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary, pictured, this week
The era of the €10 flight is over, said Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary, pictured, this week.
But the hold baggage charge, the carry-on baggage charge, the early boarding charge, the £3 cup of tea charge, the seat charge and the six-quid paniniare here to stay.
But the hold baggage charge, the carry-on baggage charge, the early boarding charge, the £3 cup of tea charge, the seat charge and the six-quid panini are here to stay