Vocable (All English)

Nicola Sturgeon


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enrolment registrati­on / dusty here, of another age / old-fashioned outdated, behind the times, passé / to stand, stood, stood up to to resist, oppose, confront / involvemen­t participat­ion.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.

 ?? ?? current at present / son-in-law son by marriage.
current at present / son-in-law son by marriage.

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