Vocable (All English)
Nicola Sturgeon was the first female politician chosen to lead the Scottish Nationalist Party in 2014 and the first woman to become Scotland’s First Minister. She has been politically active since the age of sixteen, as a longtime supporter of independence and more autonomy from the UK government. Born in the working class town of Irvine, she is a politician that keeps strong links to her base of support, local issues and people’s interests. Here is a resume of her journey so far. 1 A young activist
Nicola Sturgeon was born in Irvine, Scotland on July 19, 1970. As a teenager, she was a pop music fan. She would sing along to Wham and the Blow Monkeys, especially when they were lambasting the Conservative PM, Margaret Thatcher. In her working-class town, Nicola, the daughter of an electrician and a nurse, witnessed the ravages of the austerity of Thatcherism of the 1980s. She was a timorous but good student, even skipping school to demonstrate against factory closures and nuclear power.
activist supporter (of creating change) / to lambast to criticise vehemently / PM = Prime Minister / workingclass proletarian / nurse person who cares for patients in hospital / to witness to observe, experience / to skip here, to not be present at / to demonstrate to protest / factory place where goods are manufactured/ produced / closure shutting down, definitive closing down.
2 Enrolment in the SNP
At the age of 16, she was recruited by the dustiest of movements at that time: The Scottish National Party. She saw the SNP, considered old-fashioned, as the only party capable of standing up to the Conservatives who dictated their laws from London. And, for her, independence was the answer. Sturgeon continued her party involvement when she arrived at the University of Glasgow in 1989 to study Law. Then, she met her political mentor, Alex Salmond, in 1990.
enrolment registration / dusty here, of another age / old-fashioned outdated, behind the times, passé / to stand, stood, stood up to to resist, oppose, confront / involvement participation.
3 A politicians’ family
She met her future husband, Peter Murrell, the current Director General of the SNP at a meeting. He was the ideal son-in-law for Joan, Nicola Sturgeon’s mother, a pro-independence activist and local politician herself.
4 A desire for autonomy
In 1999, she was elected to the first Scottish Parliament. Eight years later, the First Minister, Alex Salmond, made her his right-hand woman. Propelled to the position of First Minister in 2014, she vowed to change the minds of the Scots. She rolled out social policies, transformed her oil-rich region into a champion of renewable energies and took advantage of Brexit to reawaken the desire for autonomy, convinced that Scotland had a place in Europe.
right-hand close associate, person who helps and supports the most (at work) / to propel to project, push / position job, function, post / to vow to promise, pledge / mind way of thinking / to roll out to deploy / policy (political) measure, strategy / champion defender, advocate / to reawaken to renew, reactivate.
5 Fighting sexism
Nicola Sturgeon is used to sexist clichés. The tabloids have mocked her for her poor cooking skills and for the fact that she has no children. At the time, the press also said she never smiled – something rarely said of male politicians. She was called “a nippy sweetie” – Glasgow slang for a sharp-mannered woman.
tabloid populist newspaper / poor inadequate / skill aptitude, capacity / slang informal language / sharp-mannered with a sarcastic attitude.
6 The covid-19 crisis
The Covid-19 pandemic has made her popular. Unlike Boris Johnson, she quickly grasped the scale of the situation, communicating daily on her measures and apologising for the excessive number of deaths in retirement homes.
to grasp to comprehend / scale degree of importance / to apologise to say sorry / retirement home care facility for the very elderly.