Power list

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So our First Minister has come out as number one on the Radio 4 Woman’s Hour 2015 Power List. Since rising to the top spot in the SNP government it is undeniable that Nicola Sturgeon has had great profile not only in Scotland, but also in the rest of the UK during the general election campaign, and more recently on her visit to the USA.

She is undoubtedly a most effective operator, with a much more engaging personality than her predecessor, and has a public approach that contrasts favourably with the sometimes boring “men in suits” variety of politician.

Yet let us not forget that she is first and foremost a politician and should largely be judged by her record. In that regard the gloss is definitely starting to come off.

Whether it is the continued poor delivery in education or the Scottish NHS, or in clumsy new laws like the named person legislation, which seems set to be as universally disliked as the poll tax, our First Minister is proving to be far less sure-footed in practical delivery than her slick PR performances in Scotland and elsewhere.

Keith Howell

West Linton