Why not Scotland? That, as Nicola Sturgeon put it, was the key to the nation’s future. With a list of ten comparative nations on the lectern before her, she said her intention was to ask the voters of Scotland: if others can do it, why not us?
And as if to forestall the inevitable response (why now? Or indeed why at all?), she adopted a brisk and almost conversational tone. Gone was the barely concealed scorn she tends to reserve for hostile questions: the shake of the head, the chuckle of contempt. This was an accommodating, even equable first minister. She was actually charming to the correspondent from The Daily Telegraph, whom she invited on the journey to independence, lest he was left as “the