How Donald Trump's victory has wrong-footed Scotland's self-righteous first minister

Donald Trump’s victory is awkward for all sorts of people, says Merryn Somerset Webb. Nicola Sturgeon especially.

161109-trump-2-b

Trump's victory is awkward for all sorts of people. However of all the politicians in Europe my guess is that it is Nicola Sturgeon who is having the worst day.

Her predecessor Alex Salmond was once one of Donald's besties, but is now in the middle of a nasty public feud with him over his business interests here (Salmond at one point raised all our hopes by promising to move to Antartica if Trump won the US election). But the current Scottish government hasn't exactly been particularly diplomatic when it comes to Trump either.

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Become a smarter, better informed investor with MoneyWeek.

Transport minister Humza Yousaf told a Question Time audience last year that he'd punch Trumpif he came across him as president (this was the practice question before the cameras started rolling, but it was to me at least still pretty shocking). Talk about populism! Humza is one of several ministers who supported a petition to ban Trump from entering Scotland.

And Sturgeon herself? Last year she stripped America's president-elect of his role as a business ambassador for Scotland. He was, she said at the time, "no longer fit" for the position. She has also broken with protocol by publicly backing Hillary Clinton, and made it clear over and over that she just isn't that into Trump.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

So what now that the US population have decided that while Donald Trump might not be good enough for Nicola Sturgeon he is good enough for them? There's major back-tracking ahead. But with any luck the Scottish government will have learned something of a lesson too.

Running countries isn't like having a social media account. Self-righteous virtue-signalling is meaningless on Facebook. But it comes back to bite you if you are a first minister with a real parliament and real responsibilities.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/investments/investment-strategy/income-investing/601115/heres-how-to-hold-on-to-some-dividend
Income investing

Here’s how to hold on to some dividend income

Companies are cutting their dividends. But the truth is that you don’t have to give up all of your dividend income, says Merryn Somerset Webb. Here’s …
6 Apr 2020
Visit/economy/uk-economy/601079/how-the-coronavirus-pandemic-is-killing-cash
UK Economy

How the coronavirus pandemic is killing cash

Covid-19 is making a huge difference to the way we live, work and do business. One of its less obvious effects, says Merryn Somerset Webb, is to accel…
31 Mar 2020
Visit/investments/stockmarkets/601068/buy-stocks-for-the-long-term-but-buy-very-carefully
Stockmarkets

Buy stocks for the long term, but buy very carefully

After the wild ride of the last couple of weeks, equities are no longer expensive. But if you do decide to buy, be very, very careful indeed, says Mer…
30 Mar 2020
Visit/economy/uk-economy/601063/the-uks-bailout-of-the-self-employed-comes-with-a-hidden-catch
UK Economy

The UK’s bailout of the self employed comes with a hidden catch

The chancellor’s £6.5bn bailout of the self employed is welcome. But it has hidden benefits for the taxman, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
27 Mar 2020

Most Popular

Visit/investments/property/601110/house-prices-and-covid-19
Property

House prices and Covid-19

The housing market is in deep freeze – what happens when it thaws out?
5 Apr 2020
Visit/economy/global-economy/601114/whos-going-to-pay-for-the-war-on-coronavirus
Global Economy

Who’s going to pay for the war on coronavirus?

Central banks and governments are throwing money at coronavirus to stem the pandemic and prop up their economies. But who's actually footing the bill?…
6 Apr 2020
Visit/investments/property/601065/what-does-the-coronavirus-crisis-mean-for-uk-house-prices
Property

What does the coronavirus crisis mean for UK house prices?

With the whole country in lockdown, the UK property market is closed for business. John Stepek looks at what that means for UK house prices, housebuil…
27 Mar 2020
Visit/investments/property/601081/three-things-matter-for-the-uk-housing-market-now-and
Property

Three things matter for the UK housing market now – and “location” isn’t one of them

The UK housing market is frozen. And when it does eventually thaw out, the traditional factors that drive prices will no longer apply. The day of reck…
1 Apr 2020