Radio

Listen: the gaffe from Nicola Sturgeon that everyone missed

Plus: what it's like to come face to face with a whale

11 July 2015

9:00 AM

11 July 2015

9:00 AM

It’s not surprising that politicians have such an on-off relationship with the broadcast media. One slip. One casual comment. One lapse of memory. Even the immaculate, armour-plated Nicola Sturgeon was caught out by Jane Garvey last Wednesday as the Woman’s Hour presenter congratulated her on her latest elevation. It had just been announced that Scotland’s First Minister was top of the Woman’s Hour ‘power list’ of the top ten women for 2015 (beating Angelina Jolie and Caitlyn Jenner) and Sturgeon was doing a live telephone interview on the Radio 4 programme from her office in Edinburgh. Garvey then lobbed a question, oh so casually, but oh so deliberately, like a lioness waiting to pounce.

‘The Big Game tonight?’

A long, embarrassingly long, pause.

‘Isn’t it, Nicola? The Big Game tonight?’ (This was Wednesday, night of the World Cup match between England’s women’s soccer team and Japan’s.)

‘What are we talking about?’ Sturgeon was forced to ask eventually, to break the yawning silence.

‘England in the World Cup.’

‘Obviously, yeah,’ said Sturgeon, giggling nervously. ‘Good luck!’

It’s lucky for her there’s no election just around the corner. For a woman who claims to be not your usual style of politician, who listens to her voters, she revealed a surprising lack of nous, of being out of touch with what ‘ordinary’ folk are interested in. How could she not have heard about the match? Had she not realised how big women’s football has suddenly become, headlining the back pages and the news streams day after day in the past few weeks? The biggest women’s story in months, and she was speaking to women on a programme designed for them. It was as if she had come to the microphone without thinking who her audience was going to be.

Sturgeon got away with it, unscathed. Afterwards, there was not a squeak anywhere about her gaffe, blown away by the team’s painful defeat. But it’s there in the archive.

The trouble with politicians (especially those now making decisions about the future of the BBC and its funding) is that it’s hard to imagine them ever listening to anything on the radio, apart perhaps from Today or maybe some football on Radio Five Live, occasionally diving into Radio 2 or Classic FM to find out what music the nation is listening to. The soundtrack of their lives is other politicians talking. George Osborne may be happy to appear on Money Box Live but does he ever listen to it on a regular basis? You might also ask whether John Whittingdale, the culture minister, has ever bothered to tune in to Radio 4’s programme on the arts, Front Row? I rather doubt it. Their portfolios are too immense; their ability to take time out and listen too limited. They don’t know what they’re missing, and that’s the trouble. They don’t think the BBC is worth what it costs, and believe they can pander to voters by speaking out against the licence fee.

Yet it’s not the big cash-heavy events such as Wimbledon, Glastonbury or even the Proms that make the BBC such a special broadcasting organisation but the multiplicity of programmes such as CSI Whale, aired on Radio 4 on Friday morning (and directed by Tim Dee). Whale enthusiast Philip Hoare took us to the laboratories of the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme at Regent’s Park to witness an autopsy on a porpoise that had been washed up on a Welsh beach. There’s something so poignant about stranded cetaceans, Hoare reminded us, as those will know who witnessed the whale who floated up the Thames in 2006, disoriented, flailing about, and increasingly distressed by the noise of the crowd gathering to watch. He reckons it’s because of our collective guilt about what we’re doing to the planet, but also because it’s a symbol of some kind of ‘mortal breaching of the liminal boundaries between us’. The stranded whale becomes one of us on the beach and, just as it does so, perishes.

Hoare confessed that he was frightened of water yet he swims every day. Once, while on holiday in the Azores, he was swimming in the ocean and came across a pod of sperm whales. Suddenly, he noticed the largest of them coming towards him. He was terrified. Would he be swallowed, like Jonah in the Old Testament or one of those fishermen reportedly sucked inside the enormous, gaping mouth and later found curled up inside, their skin bleached white by the whale’s gastric juices?

‘Then I felt, rather than heard,’ Hoare continued, as in a horror movie, ‘the whale’s sonar moving through my body like an MRI scanner. It was literally looking inside my body, diagnosing and describing me, scanning a three-dimensional sound picture of the me-ness of me back to its head, performing its own aural dissection.’

He was close enough to the whale to touch, as it looked at him with its eye, ‘the size of a grapefruit’. He felt it was trying to understand him, just as much as he was trying to understand it. Then it dived straight down through the blue waters into the black. He was safe. Phew!


Show comments
  • davidshort10

    Even though Sturgeon and the SNP make me shudder as all national socialists do, I cannot for the life of me think why she should know about a women’s football match, or indeed a man’s. Not everyone has joined in with this new middle-class obsession with this game now that it has become flooded with money rather than working-class hooligans.

    • JohnMcDonaldish

      Oh, grow up. What’s with the ‘national socialist” nonsense.

      • davidshort10

        Go home where you live with your mother, troll.

        • JohnMcDonaldish

          Your infantile language would suggest you are the “troll”.

      • Chas Grant

        You’re possibly not quite old enough to remember the fun days of the early 1980s when the extreme left liked to label anyone they disliked a “Nazi” or “fascist”.

        • Dominic Stockford

          ? Don’t you mean yesterday?

          • Chas Grant

            I haven’t seen the left wing doing it for a while; it seems to be the right who enjoy calling people “Nazis” and “fascists” nowadays.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Yes, I see what you mean (what passes for the right today)

    • Dennis Webster

      DO

    • disqus_EjgKZ1VUFS

      National Socialist ??? well well ,do you not have the guts to use the word you would really like to use. Grow up,you know you’ve lost the argument when you resort to nonsense like that.

  • Mary Ann

    Talk about a storm in a tea-cup, perhaps she is not the slightest bit interested in football.

    • The_greyhound

      What is the dim yapping liar interested in? Not the health service, given the mediocre performance of Scotland’s NHS, despite the extra money London gives it; not education, given the mess Russell’s interference in secondary education has wrought; not energy security; not Scotland’s economy, given our rising unemployment and depressed business confidence.

      • JohnMcDonaldish

        What crass and ill-educated comment.

        • Wessex Man

          really? why call the honest truth crass and ill-educated, I would say you need to grow up and present a valid reply.

          • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

            Weesex …..Yet another English anti-SNP obsessive……Worry about your own country, what happens in Scotland is none of your business.

          • con

            what happens anywhere IN THE UK is everyone’s business if they decide it is. why is the scottish nazi party so defensive?

      • Maureen Luby

        London gives Scotland nothing.

        • chasdf

          Yes the Barnett formula

      • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

        First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is interested in ending vile bigotry….. The kind of stuff that you spout most days.

        • Geo

          Stalin would be proud.

        • Philsopinion

          You’d know.

          http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bigotry

          ”stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.”

          • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

            Such as yourself

        • Wessex Man

          Ha ha said the Clown.

        • con

          sturgeon and wee eck are masters of it. little else. stir up the hatred, about as basic and dumb as anyone can be.

      • Charles Patrick O’Brien

        You really know very little about what you comment on,suppose the education you received is to blame,or perhaps just ill-mannered.

      • james cormack

        She is anything but dim. Her approval ratings are miles higher than any other politician and Scotland’s NHS is doing quite well, actually. Try discussing the facts and not your blind prejudice.

        • con

          rent a gob sturgeon. puts the same boring over emphasis on every word. i believe she had speech coaching lessons from sometime scott connery. it shows but she hasn’t quite mastered mashing up the s’s.

          • james cormack

            So what are you actually saying? Who really cares how she speaks and who gave her elocution lessons. She is one smart cookie and is massively popular, not just in Scotland but by many progressive-minded people in England too.

          • con

            i think you need to do a reassessment of what is ‘popular in england’. sturgeon isn’t as the general election showed.
            i would like to buy her at my price and sell her at hers / yours.

          • james cormack

            She is not for sale. Don’t try to buy what you can’t afford?

          • con

            at my price i could afford several wafflers.

          • james cormack

            Type in British Politicians: approval ratings, and you’ll find a certain woman at the top

          • con

            hitler had those too. so did tsipras. hate generating nationalist rabble rousers always do.

          • james cormack

            So you rate Nicola with Hitler? Bizarre!

          • con

            i don’t rate nicola at all. i think she’s a gobshyte. history has taught us that so called leaders with ecstatic levels of approval are usually appealing to base instincts and inevitably disappoint.
            as i said, i’d like to buy her at my price sell her at hers / yours.

          • james cormack

            Well, she’s not been First Minister long so your opinion, which doesn’t seem to be based on facts and purely on anti-SNP prejudice and nothing else, simply doesn’t hold much water. Give us a constructive opinion in 5 or 10 years time and then we will be able to judge her better,
            In the meantime words like ‘gobshyte’ hardly make you sound qualified to judge someone. It just makes you look infantile and abusive.

          • con

            you make my point for me. she’s so wonderful and top of the uk popularity list you admit she hasn’t actually done anything yet.
            another most popular uk politician was nick clegg in 2010. that really worked out well didn’t it.
            i’m usually right about moralising hypocrites. i’d put money on how this self adoring harridan will turn out.

          • james cormack

            You are well-named, Con. Self-adoring harridan??? Anyone who knows this woman will tell you she is modest and self-effusing, the exact opposite of your description. Nick Clegg was never popular and that was shown by the LibDems derisory vote at the GE which led to his resignation the day after.

          • con

            i assume you mean self effacing? she certainly doesn’t come across that way.
            nick clegg had huge levels of popularity after the 2010 election debates. he had sturgeon’s advantage of being quite a good actor and being relatively unknown.

          • james cormack

            Nicola s a superb politician and everybody, from all different political standpoints and opinions agree that she is a shrewd operator as time will tell

          • con

            ‘shrewd politician’ can mean anything. she’s a lawyer so talking is second nature. vindictive piece of work i’d say. thoroughly unpleasant.
            the fact she can talk about ‘capitalising on her / snp’s popularity in the rest of the uk’ shows a remarkable lack of self awareness .

          • james cormack

            She has thousands of admirers in England. She is a great woman

          • con

            so does putin.

          • james cormack

            Don’t compare a megalomaniac murderer with a compassionate, moralistic leader. No-one I know in England is a fan of Putin (though maybe in far-right circles they do).

          • con

            no one i know in england is a fan of sturgeon. no one.

          • james cormack

            You should get out more. I know plenty of progressive, social democratic-minded people in England who admire both Nicola and Alex Salmond and their fan club is growing as, at the moment, the only opposition to the extremist Tories and their policy of dividing the nation along class lines (nothing new in that) is causing revulsion throughout our country is from the SNP.

          • con

            the only people dividing the uk are the nasty nicola and the snp. they’re both pretty much hated in england. sorry mate, but we’re not so easily conned by nicola’s bs.

      • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

        What a dim yapping liar you are, and of course a bigoted radical unionist British Nationalist.

        • Wessex Man

          Oh dear the halfwits are out in forve.

          • DollyDog1

            Jock is a well know troll on tinterweb and all that he ever does is accuse anyone who disagrees with eh SNP of bigotry. Thus proving i feel the general criticism of the SNP as a rather bigoted bunch

          • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

            Tinterweb ? Is that a Cyber-BRITNAT hangout ?

            You are a rather bigoted Unionist British Nationalist.

          • DollyDog1

            Joke -a-lapse your comments are not even worthy of a 1970s student. They are laden with infantility and are only irritating insofar as you repeat the same old accusations of bigotry at people who simply disagree with the SNP like a broken record. Your favourite word is “bigotry”. You repeat it ad nauseam in post after post. Problem is it gives you away as the biggest bigot here and an unreconstructed one from the catholic part of Glasgow.

            You disgrace the SNP. Many of whom are decent people who are able to take and answer criticism. You are singularly unable to do this but that said i like you because you are the very best advert for unionism if you are the future of Scotland with the SNP.

          • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

            “Thus proving i feel the general criticism of the SNP as a rather bigoted bunch”

            “Your favourite word is “bigotry”. You repeat it ad nauseam in post after post. Problem is it gives you away as the biggest bigot here and an unreconstructed one from the catholic part of Glasgow”

            ——

            I refer to people, such as yourself, as “bigots” when they have shown this in previous posts.

            The irony in your “It’s they Cafliks that ur bigots” comments will of course be lost on a sectarian knuckle-dragger like you, but at least it will be a source of some amusement to everyone else that reads this.

            YES SCOTLAND.

          • DollyDog1

            There you go again you bring in another key word of the narrow minded tribal combatant: “sectarianism” I never ever ever EVER hear that word in reference to where i live. Only in reference to Glasgow and northern Ireland do you hear that oh so tragic and many levels word. You know why? Because we the rest of humanity have GROWN OUT of it. You need to leave the pub behind, sober up and then try to construct a non aggressive argument Remember that we down south in London where many people live many even from scotland do not identify with your sectarian dispute. we are multi racial and multi cultural. the Scots in london are embarrassed by you.

            another vote for unionises if ever there was one.

            God help scotland if you win. do you not see how old fashioned and regressive your language is and that it betrays your true colours?

          • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

            I appreciate that you are hard of understanding, so I’ll explain again –

            You are a R.C. hating sectarian bigot…… and I’m glad that you are not in this country.

          • DollyDog1

            ‘Sectarianism’ and ‘bigotry’ there you go again. Do you know any other words? is the record stuck? Give the turntable a nudge maybe it will jump onto a tune from the 21st century – you never know?

            you forget one thing: that i am not in your fight, I am not voting in Scotland and I do not care what religion you are. You cannot comprehend this last bit can you? It does not compute that we in England do not give a fig what religion you are because to your tiny mind it is everything. My mother is RC you silly old man

            you are an echo from history

          • one other person is typing

            Finger-pointers are so rarely self-aware

          • con

            why is it that only bigots ever use the word bigot? what do you think jim?

        • con

          ooh, careful jimmy, your t*ts are falling out.

      • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

        You are a pathetic anti-SNP obsessive.

        I have no concern about what happens in England, as it’s none of my business…. Just as whatever happens in Scotland is none of your business.

        YES SCOTLAND

        • con

          wrong on both counts jimmy.

    • John Thomas

      Exactly. I’m very critical of politicians, as a rule, considering them the least-trustworthy people in society, but I see no reason why they should have to be, or pretend to be, interested in everything that their constituents might happen to be interested in.

    • flippit

      She is not the slightest bit interested in England

      • Brian

        And she should be? Why?

        • Geo

          I don’t care what her views on England are, provided that we don’t get it rammed down our throats by broadcasters treating her as a UK politician.

      • Andrew Morton

        Here’s a clue: she’s the First Minister of Scotland.

      • Stephen Gash

        Most English folk are not the slightest bit interested in Scotland or anything Scottish, but we ritually get both rammed down our necks on an hourly basis. The English have never been asked as a nation about English home rule or even whether they want to be in any kind of Union with Ireland, Scotland or Wales. Few English people support the Scottish nationalist Andrew Murray, but it was demanded of us to cheer him during London 2012, despite no athlete being described as English or from England, by the England-hating BBC.

        • Emilia

          I didn’t cheer for him, or for any of them. Some of us, in fact many of us, never watch or read about sport of any kind. It annoys me slightly when it gets onto the front pages of the papers, but otherwise I live in blissful ignorance. My objection is when it spills out onto our roads and we are not allowed to go anywhere because of a few lycra louts. At least most sports people have the decency to go and do it on pitches, courts or whatever.

        • Auldreekie

          Oh boy! You think you get Scotland rammed down your neck! The few more frequent mentions of Scotland which you poor souls in England have had to suffer in recent years are as nothing compared to the 24/7 ramming of England down Scottish necks, and we’ve had it for decades in respect of the mass media, centuries in respect of politics, legislation and involvement in foreign wars ever since 1707, and before that with periodic military invasion – ever since the English monarchy conceited itself, about a thousand tears ago, that it was entitled to rule Scotland as well. Oh my god! You think you get Scotland rammed down your neck!

          • Scottish Heather

            Well said, that man.

          • Stephen Gash

            Typical Scottish self-delusion and twisting of history. The only reason we have a monarchy is because Scotland, yet again, threatened war if the tyrannical Stuart dynasty was not restored. The same dynasty that caused the English Civil War. The Stuarts and Scots in general were detested in England. Far from dancing in the streets, as the Scots like to delude themselves, the English pelted Scots tramping into England with apples etc.

            More invasions came from Scotland into England than vice versa. Flodden Field is in England not Scotland and only Scots could compose a dirge to commemorate the defeat of their invading army.

            Blair and Brown are Scottish and it was they who took us into calamitous wars in recent years and the same is true over the centuries of the Union. It was Scots who gleefully beat down the natives in the British Empire. Scots are the warmongers in these islands.

            However, in stereotypical Scottish fashion Scots enjoyed the benefits of empire, but pass the blame for all things bad about it.

            The ONLY country in the world to have benefited from the United Kingdom is Scotland. Without the Union Scotland’s history would have resembled Norway’s, without the Vikings.

            In the name of God go!

          • Wessex Man

            liar liar pants on fire!

    • Annette Kupke

      Indeed, and that is so refreshing for the many, many people who are also not interested in football. After all, I don’t expect Nicola Sturgeon or any other politician to take an interest in fanfiction, linguistics or Baroque recorder music.

    • Damon

      Indeed, and by her own lights, why the hell should she be interested in the ENGLAND team anyway? I’m an English Tory Unionist, but stuff like this is almost enough to make me vote SNP. I’d rather have a competent politician than one who can recite the latest moronic antics from Big Brother or the X Factor. (Whatever that is.)

    • con

      or english football of any kind, or england. nice one though.

  • Henry Turner

    Since when were ordinary people interested in women’s football?

  • Sausage McMuffin

    Much as I have no time for the SNP, I doubt if anyone in Scotland would see this as a gaffe. There may have been a ‘game’ on but I doubt it was ‘big’ anywhere north of the Border. (Or indeed, many places south of it).

  • JohnMcDonaldish

    Now, if it had been the home team then that would have been a gaffe, possibly.

    • rollo_tommasi

      They can’t possibly be worse than the mens team surely?

      • james cormack

        The men’s team is pretty good, not the best but in the top ten. And that’s from a Scot.

  • Iain Smith

    I think the Nationalists are missing the point, she claims to stand up for womens rights but she didn’t even know the womens world cup was on or how big it was worldwide. Just as an aside, her duplicity on womens issues was all too obvious when her party abstained on the recent women5050 amendment to the scotland bill

    • Maureen Luby

      Nonsense! I follow football to an extent and didn’t know about it. Why should she?

    • Brian

      Why should she know, was it big in Scotland? WTF has women’s rights got to do with football? What indeed has Nicola Sturgeon got to do with Westminster? What has the Spectator got to do with the real world? Thats a bit like blaming Cameron when Ruth Davidson makes an erse of herself.(Which she does frequently)

  • Kirstini

    It hasn’t really been on the telly in Scotland. You know, because we don’t have a horse in the race.

    • Dominic Stockford

      You get a different set of progs on BBC3? No wonder the beeb is going broke.

  • Stefan Slim

    So the English want to take away Scots votes and continue to ignore their needs yet she is supposed to care about Engurlands football team? Away ye go ya mug ye.

    • chasdf

      How would the English take away Scots votes? That is a new one

      • Brian Forrest

        Do try to keep up at the back, chasdf…Evel, although ironically enough the SNP have had a policy over many years of consciously not voting on laws which relate directly to constituencies in England only, is designed to remove the possibility of any Scots MP’s…not just SNP…ever voting on any issue which might be aimed at English constituencies, but which in fact, may well impinge upon Scottish devolved issues, such as the NHS, through a diminution of funds via the Barnett Formula. Personally, I disagree with Barnett, but while it exists, and while we still return MP’s from Scotland to Westminster, it is a ludicrous proposition that they should not be allowed to vote on any issue which may affect their constituencies. Clear enough..? Or should I rephrase it in smaller words for you to understand?

        • chasdf

          So while Scottish MPs can vote on matters which do not affect their constituents in Scotland,(like uni tuition fees) they should be able to go on voting on matters which affect only the English, while of course English MPs (and Scottish) cannot vote on those same matters for Scotland because those matters have been devolved. Good grief , do try and keep up at the back there. Of course Barnett is wrong and so is the WLQ, but at least EVEL is a first step to correcting this. Obviously this is all a bit too much for you, I would go and have a good lie down with a litre of scotch if I was you. Perhaps I could rephrase it in words of one syllable if that would help you to understand. Please feel free to ask for further help when you need it, as I am sure you will.

          • Brian Forrest

            One more time…slowly…SNP MP’s have had a voluntary policy of NOT voting on matters which do not have a direct/indirect effect on Scotland. Evel seeks to remove the option of any Scottish MP’s…duly and regularly elected by the rules…taking full part in Parliament. Read my earlier post again…the SNP have been scrupulously fair in their attitude and approach…they are entitled to the same respect in return. If this is not to be, the logical step is full autonomy for Scotland (ie Independence), when England can have Westminster all to herself…apparently, as they so eloquently begged last September, Westminster does not think this would be a good idea for the UK…I beg to differ. Barnett and the so-called WLQ would be resolved at a stroke, and we could all get along much better as good neighbours without any necessity of either country interfering in the other’s internal politics. I’m sure you’ll agree that this would be the optimal solution, and I’d invite you to join me in a celebratory dram…Slainté!

          • chasdf

            Yes but one more time slowly, whatever the SNP agrees to voluntarily , that is all it is a voluntary agreement. English MPs have no option on voting on devolved matters in Scotland. Do you really think the SNP would have stuck to such an agreement if they held the balance of power. Of course not, they said they would write labours budget which would affect England more than Scotland.
            Also it is not just the SNP that matters. If a large number of Scottish Labour MPs were returned at the next election there is no way they would not vote on English laws just like they did to impose tuition fees on the English.
            I do agree that complete independence for England and Scotland would be the best solution. What Westminster thinks and the English public thinks are two different things and should not be conflated together.

          • Brian Forrest

            Any conflation of English politics and Westminster, I respectfully submit, is Westminster’s doing. It is to the entire detriment of Britain that Westminster…in particular the Conservatives…don’t practice grown up Politics.

          • chasdf

            Well I agree they don’t practice grown up poltics , that is because they care only for themselves, not the english or scottish people.

          • chasdf

            It is the Labour party which did not practice grown up politics with its deliberately botched devolution mess.

      • Stefan Slim

        EVEL. So you haven´t heard then.

        • chasdf

          EVEL is an attempt to rectify the gross injustice of the West Lothian question of which you obviously have not heard.

  • The Spectator: come for the article, stay for the even more hilarious comments.

  • Seumas McCoo

    Dear God, Nicola not knowing about a football match is a gaffe! It wasn’t on the local news or in the local newspapers. It is an example of how far the Spectator has to go to whinge about these difficult Scots. It is the Labour party which is big on football, that was all that Jim Murphy talked about. Headlines Foreign football teams play in Canada! What?

  • PaulusJnr

    What about her absolute refusal to say the words, “Come on England?”

  • Leofric64

    It was a gaffe not knowing about a football game that very few of the population cared about? How many of us tuned in? Not everyone likes football. Just because Nicola Sturgeon believes in equality does not mean she has to become a football fan all of a sudden….and even if she is, why should she be aware of how the England women’s team are faring in a competition being played thousands of miles away? Why should a high profile and busy woman living north of the border know or care about such a subject? It might be a big deal for some people, but it certainly wasn’t for me and lots like me south of the border.

  • Dennis Webster

    What a lot of nonsense. The ordinary voter in Scotland would have that game way down in their list of priorities. So does she. Too busy trying to soften the draconian austerity being imposed on the poorest and most vulnerable in our Country.

    • tartan pimpernel

      While our Police Force crashes and burns.

      • Brian

        Yeah and Police Scotland were caused by the SNP? SNP BADDDD!

        • tartan pimpernel

          Yes. The government in Holyrood thought one police force was a good idea.

          • james cormack

            5 million people. Small country. Makes sense.

      • james cormack

        Where? One error does not a crisis make. Crime is down to record low levels in the SNP=run Scotland and for that we are eternally grateful.

    • Wessex Man

      Where’s that bloody violin gone!

  • Chas Grant

    Does anyone in their right mind seriously believe that more than a very few “ordinary folk” north or south of the border are interested in women’s football? Oh well, anything to give that uppity Sturgeon a kick, eh?

    • james cormack

      Exactly, Chas. That is what you lot have been reduced to when it comes to criticising this very capable and shrewd politician.

      • Chas Grant

        And what exactly do you mean by “you lot”?

        • Muireach MacGilleChaluim

          He thinks you must be a Sassenach since he is unable to detect sarcasm.

  • The Bogle

    Had it been Scotland’s women playing in the World Cup, Ms Sturgeon would have known all about the game. Why should she be interested in how the English team are performing? Would an English female politician have been interested in how the Scottish team were doing?

    Kate Chisholm is at times very lightweight.

    • tartan pimpernel

      It really is a worry. The DT has become infested with these women and I thought The Spectator was the last bastion of good journalism.

      • Jeanne Tomlin

        Right. All the lightweight journalists are female. NOT.

        • Wessex Man

          Don’t you dare drag female journalists down to your level.

          • Jeanne Tomlin

            Try saying something that makes sense.

      • Brian

        I was with you ’til the last sentence

  • flippit

    For heaven’s sake, of course Sturgeon knew nothing about it, she has no interest in England whatsoever! She intends – absolutely, no question – to separate Scotland from the UK and screw every penny out of England that she can. Equality, blah, anti-austerity, blah, it’s all just a means to an end. If there were a Scottish women football team then yeah, she would know about it, make it her business to, because there’s be votes in it, but Englands women, no. That’s why the Womans Hour noodles are just kittens, not lionesses. They think everybody is just so nice, just like them, and they voted for Sturgeon thinking she’s be thwilled. Lol.

    • Maureen Luby

      Tables turned then, after 308 years of Wastemonster screwing billions out of Scotland. Your sweeping generalisations with no back up show you have no clue about how the UKs finances work.
      Tell me, if we’re such a burden on poor old England why were the leaders of the parties in an absolute blind panic when indyref polls showed 51% for Yes. Why were they up here begging and even crying on national TV for us to stay?

      • chasdf

        God knows, the English public couln’t give a damn. we wanted you to go. you make the mistake of thinking the British establishment represent the English, they don’t by a long way.

      • flippit

        They were trying to “do the right thing” and frankly, save you from yourselves. Yes, think on, where would you be now if you’d all voted yes.

    • Jeanne Tomlin

      What a thoroughly sexist, misogynistic post. Try crawling your way to this century.

      • flippit

        Eh? Sexist and mysoginist? Get a grip girl

        • Jeanne Tomlin

          Girl? You claim not to be sexist and misogynist [sic] and then call me ‘girl’. *chuckles*

          I wonder if you actually don’t realise what a sexist you are. Or don’t care.

          • flippit

            You’re a very stupid woman, truly thick. Not sure how I can be sexist when I’m a woman myself, but there you are. Advice for you, stop making assumptions and stop sitting looking at this site waiting for someone to respond to your comments.

          • Jeanne Tomlin

            It is called ‘internalised sexism’ when a woman absorbs and repeats society’s sexist attitudes and is very common. I’m hardly surprised that someone with your lack of awareness hasn’t heard of it. You apparently also aren’t aware that one receives emails when someone responds to a comment. Not too bright, it seems.

  • tartan pimpernel

    I’m not defending Sturgeon, but what if you are like me and have no interest whatsoever in football, let alone women’s football?

  • Fantastic piece of old-school investigative journalism by The Spectator and a hammer-blow for the SNP. Sturgeon can’t hang on much longer. She should resign, frankly.

  • Jeanne Tomlin

    The First Minister of Scotland isn’t following England in the World Cup. What horror!

    • flippit

      It’s not a horror, the horror is that the R4 women expected that she would know about it. Get a handle on the argument before issuing expletives.

  • Tom McMeekin

    “For a woman who claims to be not your usual style of politician, who listens to her voters”

    Her voters are Scottish of whom the vast majority couldn’t give a jot for the English men’s team never mind the woman’s. Does this guff pass as a journalism around here!

    • Resnonverba59

      Listens to her voters? What was the result of the Independence Referendum?

      • james cormack

        Only as good as your last game, to coin a sporting analogy. And that was …56 out of 59.

        • Wessex Man

          only because it takes so few to to elect so many.

          • james cormack

            1.4 million is hardly a few.

  • daivdhf

    Got to laugh really.

    At the same time as the IFS slaughters Gideon’s risible, mendacious, mess of a Budget – some lightweight non-entity of a “journalist” pens this garbage.

    And, there are the usual, lightweight, Unionist imbeciles who latch on to it.

    Cretins reading and believing crap.

    Normal day in Spectator-World.

    LOL!

    • james cormack

      Lightweight unionist imbeciles? Couldn’t have put it better myself.

  • gram64

    I’m no fan of this Crankie, but to blame her for not being aware of that England women’s football match, and to try and make the omission appear something of any importance whatsoever, is absolutely ludicrous. For a start, her constituency is Scotland, and interest in, let alone support for, this England team is about as rare in Scotland as hen’s teeth. The only gaffe she might have committed was to wish the hapless, own-goal scoring England outfit ‘good luck.’

  • Conan_the_Librarian

    Two articles on the Spectator, both about the SNP, both with ‘gaffe’ in the title.

    You would think there was an agenda, wouldn’t you?

    • Brian Forrest

      Hmmm…d’ye think, just maybe, they could be fishing..??

    • james cormack

      Bias in the pro-establishment unionist media? I would never believe it.

    • Wessex Man

      No not at all but as for this one, there’s probably 60% of the population of the UK who would have been stumped by the question as well.

    • flippit

      No. You’d think there were two gaffes.

  • disqus_EjgKZ1VUFS

    Why on earth would she know about the English football team. You do know that Scotland has it’s own team. And really sorry to burst your bubble but the rest of the world does not stop just because England are playing.
    Even if you asked a Scottish politician who was a football fan they would probably not have had a clue what the question was about. So sorry England we just aren’t interested in your football team.

    • Resnonverba59

      Really, Scotland has a football team?

      • pobjoy

        Scotland produced some of the best footballers in England. Just as England used to provide some of the best footballers in England.

        Thatcher, snatcher.

        • tartan pimpernel

          Long time ago. And Sir Alex had retired, so we can’t boast about him any more!

          • pobjoy

            ‘Long time ago.’

            Of course. It is since 1979 that over ten thousand school playing pitches have been sold.

          • tartan pimpernel

            How can we be competitive when the PC brigade teaches that nobody can lose, so therefore nobody can win?!!!!

          • pobjoy

            Nobody can win, unless they are female. Maybe capitalists have a much more interesting future than they imagine.

          • tartan pimpernel

            It’s the old GLC joke from Private Eye – you’ve got to be a black, disabled, lesbian unmarried mother. Guaranteed success.

          • pobjoy

            Indeed.

  • Martin James Keatings

    When was the last time you saw the UK prime minister wish the Scottish Football team the best of luck, let alone the Scottish Womens team….answer…..never. So why should the first minister of Scotland give a rats ass about the English team? answer….she shouldn’t. Why? because the supporters of the English team are English, The supporters of the Scottish team are Scottish – that’s what national teams are for.

    • Wessex Man

      erm, it’s Massie again isn’t it?

  • Maureen Luby

    What sad desperation gave birth to this article. It may have been all over the back pages of the press in England but certainly wasn’t up here. I knew nothing about it until I read this article.

  • JPJ2

    I would bet that even today most women in England are not much interested in women’s football.
    As it happens, though a man, I am. I was impressed by the England team’s performance.
    That said, Sturgeon not knowing about the women’s football team of another country won’t be losing her any support in Scotland, that is for sure 🙂

  • Brian

    Since when did Scot’s EVER GAF about English football teams?

  • Brian

    Read a lot of the comments and I get the impression that theres a lot of people confusing England’s women’s football team as being British and that therefore that well known BRITISH politician Nicola Sturgeon should not only be aware but should be calling for MBE’s to be dished out to all those gallant losing BRITISH footballers. Strange then when they were representing England not Britain and Nicola is a SCOT. It’s funny Andy Murray was representing Britain for 10 days up ’til 6.35pm last night where he was quickly changed back to being Scottish. While talking about Murray I wonder what would have been said if, when he won Wimbers 2 years ago, he had grabbed Alex Salmonds Saltire done a lap of honour pumping his fist and shouting SCOT—-LAND. I reckon he’d have been hung drawn and quartered. Wonder why that didn’t happen when Lewis Hamilton representing BRITAIN chanted ENG—LAND at Silverstone last week. Just petty you reckon? Well you might be right but when Scotland’s been suffering this keech for 308 years is it any wonder increasing amounts of us are dissatisfied with this increasingly unbalanced union.

    • tartan pimpernel

      I didn’t know Hamilton did that – not on, in my book.

      • Wessex Man

        He didn’t!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Wessex Man

      I didn’t change from supporting Andy Murray on Friday because he lost, I’ve never supported him, not because he’s a Scoy but because he is an overgrown man child who I have never found amusing or worthy of my support.

      As for Lewis Hamilton, why don’t you share that clip of which you claim he chanted Eng—Land. Not that I would care, he is English and one of the braveest men around! He is also allowed to be proud of being English just as Murray is allowed to be proud of Scotland!

      Your double standards know no bounds, and you chip on your shoulder as wide as the Clyde seems to be getting no better.

  • abystander

    No Scottish politician seeking Scottish votes commits a gaffe by not knowing about some English women’s kickabout.

  • grant wood

    So a person of another country who does not follow football is supposed to be up to speed with that foreign countries football team, Get real.

    Ask David “West Ham Villa” Cameron if he’s up to speed with the Highland league results.

    The biggest gaffe is by Kate Chisholm when she refers to football as Soccer.

  • Andrew Morton

    Looking forward to the day when George Osborne is asked for his view on the big game.

    “Which one?”

    “The Shinty final of course!”

  • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

    This “article” is completely pathetic….How did this pass by any editor ?…………………… 2 minutes that I’ll never get back.

  • Charles Patrick O’Brien

    Why would the Scottish First Minister be interested in another country’s football team? She is interested in her own country’s football team and all things Scottish.I felt sorry for the England’s Lady football team,but after 50 years of the famous ’66 one being shown and talked about at any opportunity I am not so sorry.

  • Emilia

    I’m no fan of Nicola Sturgeon, but why on earth should she be expected to know about some people – women or otherwise – from what is to her a foreign country, kicking a ball about with some other foreigners? Not everyone has an interest in sport, and this does not reflect on their intellect or their general knowledge.

  • Scotty

    Utter drivel from the English Spectator. Why would Scotland & her people be interested in a non entity of a football tournament that England takes part in? Cameron would have no interest in tournament that Scotland takes part in. Kate Chisolm very poor – but I think you already know that. Not quite sue what angle this story is meant to be taking.

  • Dafydd Williams

    Gaffe? Why should Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, be expected to assume that “tonight’s big match” refers to a game involving England? It seems metropolitan media will do anything to smear the SNP.

  • TeresaBCruz

    Last 40 year Best Home Income with spectator. < ……. Find Here

  • Annette Kupke

    Well done, Nicola. Whether she really didn’t know or whether she was just faking ignorance, that ridiculous assumption that everyone on the planet is interested in football and that it is in any way relevant who kicks a ball into a net somewhere should be challenged at every opportunity.

  • Auldreekie

    Suppose the French, or the German, or any other country’s women’s team were involved. Would it have been a ‘gaffe’ if a senior English female politician wasn’t keenly interested?

  • John M

    I don’t agree much with Sturgeon, but not knowing about the Womens World Cup is not a “Gaffe”. Not even close.

    Despite what the author may think, few people give a toss about Women’s football, and larger numbers don’t even know about it.

  • Scottish Heather

    The journalist seems not to know that an English women’s football match is generally not reported anywhere else but England, nor is of interest, to any but a small group of English people. And the question was double edged- it could have referred to anything.

  • james cormack

    Gaffe! What gaffe? Try discussing something that is relevant to all the country and beyond. Call yourself a journalist?

  • justejudexultionis

    Is this another one of those stupid unionist rag articles where they pretend not to understand Scottish ‘nationalism’ and smear anybody with whom they disagree ad hominem rather than engaging with the substantive arguments for and against independence?

    • Chas Grant

      Is that a rhetorical question?

  • Annette Kupke

    Sturgeon pays “ordinary people” the compliment of assuming that their world does not revolve around who kicks a ball into a net somewhere. Few things are more patronising than people in authority feigning an interest in what they believe other people are interested in.

    • tartan pimpernel

      And one would certainly hope she had more important things on her mind. I detest the woman, but I’ll defend her here.

  • In what possible sense was Jane Garvey’s abysmally unprofessional failure to make herself clear a “gaffe” on the part of Nicola Sturgeon? This puerile nonsense just proves how desperate British journalists are to find a stick with which to beat Scotland’s First Minister. Kate Chisholm is evidently prepared to make a complete fool of herself in the process.

    • tartan pimpernel

      I used to read Kate Chisholm’s radio reviews in The Speccie. I’ll give them a miss from now on, if she’s as stupid as this article portrays her to be. She must have been stuck for the rent this month, or something, writing rubbish like this.

  • Wessex Man

    Well, I would hazerd a guess that because there are so few listening to Womens Hour anymore, if there were Sturgeon would have received-well very little really because of the type of people who listen to it.

  • tartan pimpernel

    I have no time whatsoever for Nicola Sturgeon, but this is utterly pathetic on the part of The Spectator. On a par with Rod Liddle’s attacks on “toffs in red coats”.

  • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

    As pathetic “BAD SNP BAD” articles go, this one scrapes the barrel.

  • Sean L

    You ‘d have thought she’d have better things to do than watch women play football. Personally, I haven’t come across anyone who’s interested in such a ludicrous spectacle.

  • Cameronio

    A Scot not interest in England’s football team (regardless of gender)?
    Sounds reasonable enough.

  • wudyermucuss

    Good luck to England’s women’s football team.
    Bad luck to English votes for English.
    What a bigot.

  • R Fairless

    I see a resonance with Rab C Nesbit and his family. Perhaps I have a jaundiced view of Scotland.

  • Graham Ward

    Where’s the gaffe here? Garvey goes for a cheap point. Sturgeon refuses to indulge her, neither refusing to say “come on England”, nor saying it in a way that might upset some of the more anti-English Scots or become a tiresome soundbite. Own goal Woman’s Hour.

  • R Fairless

    This article is sheer nonsense. Talk about talking up a storm. Large numbers of people have no interest in football, deplore the associated juvenile behaviour and couldn’t care less who is or isn’t playing. Non of my family watch football on TV and do not even know know who plays what for whom. We have better things to do. I might deplore this horrible woman but I would never hold it against her that she knows nothing about football.

  • Sarah Bee

    Congratualtions, Nicola. If this is all they’ve got on you, you’re doing extremely well.

    Honestly though. What a load of tripe.

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