At the top    

Image:Jonathan Mitchell Images/Shutterstock

IT’S often been said that political careers almost never end well.  They do after all generally finish with someone losing an election (and that’s when they don’t end in a call girl scandal/expenses probe/tabloid expose). 

And the reason for that is perhaps one of the most human of all; hope. Which of us, after all, ever quits while we’re ahead?   

But- like her or loathe her- that’s what Nicola Sturgeon appears to have done.  

Yes, there are whispers that her abrupt resignation as Scotland’s first Minister had more to do with avoiding a campaign funds investigation than simply a change of career.  But let’s assume- both for legal reasons as well as for the sake of not being cynical- that she genuinely walked away while broadly still at the top of her career. 

Let’s also assume that the exact reasons she gave for resigning were sincere- that the “brutal” (her words) world of politics genuinely does take its toll. 

Certainly New Zealand’s prime minister until just weeks ago, Jacinda Ardern, gave similar reasons. 

If they are both telling the truth then, does this say more about the state of modern politics or about them as individuals? 

If true, it does at least show an element of self-awareness that you would presumably like to see from anyone within sniffing distance of nuclear codes.    

If their jobs really were so tough though, does this tell us what grit both had for sticking it out for so long, or that they ultimately weren’t the right people for the job? 

The latter is a much easier issue to resolve; there are already plenty of people waiting in the wings to battle it out for Sturgeon’s role.   

But if the issue is the political atmosphere itself then we have a much bigger problem. 

After all, if the pressures of 24-hour rolling news cycles, constant public scrutiny and an increasingly volatile global backdrop  mean we ultimately lose our best candidates, then who are we left with? 

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories. Remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.   

FacebookTwitterRedditWhatsAppTelegramLinkedInEmailCopy Link
Go Back
Written by

Sally Underwood

Sally Underwood is a former aide to several former cabinet members and now contributes her views on Parliament’s ever-changing shape in her column for the Euro Weekly News.