Love Bites: An Ode to Oor Nikki Sturge

This month’s columnist explores why exactly they dig Scotland’s First Minister

Article by Kenza Marland | 16 Jun 2021
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Sturge… Oor Nikki... Big Nikki Sturge.

Nicknames are used to either tease someone or to show them affection (or both!). In Scotland, when it comes to the First Minister, it often seems that the latter is the case. I grew up in London, and then moved to Edinburgh nearly a decade ago. Nicola Sturgeon is a part of why I’m proud to call Scotland home.

I don’t think the SNP are some kind of perfect party, or their policies aren’t flawed. But I do reckon that Sturge is both incredibly competent and genuinely cares about the people of Scotland.

I like that she is a respected female leader who takes no shit. I like how much she loves reading novels, and I use her Twitter to keep up-to-date with the best in Scottish fiction. I like how she isn’t afraid to call out the misogynistic bullies with whom she is forced to work (including our own Prime Minister). I like how articulate she is. I like that she seems really just quite normal. I like that she called Jayda Fransen a fascist and a racist to her face, and I like that she called out the UK Home Office after the Pollokshields protest. I like her open promotion of diversity, tolerance, immigration and equality.

I like that prescriptions are all free in Scotland, and so is university. I like that Sturge leads a country that doesn't want to leave the EU. And, I like that everyone expecting a baby is sent a big box full of newborn essentials – including a poem written by the mixed-race Scots Makar, Jackie Kay, called Welcome Wee One.

In among Westminster’s sea of corruption and xenophobia, what a breath of fresh fucking air.