Boris and Nicola detest each other. True by both. He loathes nationalism. She thinks the former PM is a “clown”.

But they have one thing in common. Both would dearly like to be cleared by the Covid inquiries.

At this distance, I think it likely that a balanced judgement will emerge. Qualified criticism.

I tend to adhere to the view offered by the former Scottish Health Secretary, Jeane Freeman, to the UK inquiry in Edinburgh.

Questioned closely about the transfer of elderly people from hospitals to care homes, she noted quietly and solemnly that there were no risk-free choices.

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Yes, it is truly appalling that some of those transferred subsequently succumbed to Covid in a setting which was intended to nurture them.

But Ms Freeman noted there were counter-balancing jeopardies from keeping vulnerable people in hospital. Also, at the time, there was a genuine fear that the entire NHS would be overcome.

I know, I know, that glib summation will not placate the bereaved. Very far from it. I sympathise. They are seeking answers and I commend their collective endeavours.

The questions posed on their behalf at the UK inquiry in Edinburgh, at the close of each day’s inquisitorial interrogation, have frequently led to insight.

But, for each criticism which can be levelled at those in power, it remains at least arguable that there are balancing factors to be borne in mind.

Which is, in essence, the case being made at the two inquiries by both Scottish and UK ministers. Hence, in short, the commonality of interest between Mr Johnson and Ms Sturgeon.

Perhaps I hear you say that the UK and Scottish governments have attacked each other vigorously, not least this week in Edinburgh?

Up to a point, Lord Copper. Yes, Alister Jack, the Scottish Secretary, was sharply critical of Nicola Sturgeon.

The Herald: Alister JackAlister Jack (Image: free)

He said her administration pursued distinctive policies simply to set themselves apart from Whitehall. He said further that he distrusted her emotional displays, noting acerbically that “she could cry from one eye if she wanted to”.

In the by-going, Mr Jack landed himself in a spot of bother, blithely declaring that he had deleted all his WhatsApp messages because he had wanted his phone to work.

Fellow technophobes might sympathise, sotto voce. But it scarcely helped his cause.

Earlier, John Swinney, the former Deputy First Minister, had argued that it was pointless seeking to liaise with Mr Jack. No help at all. Better to deal directly with Whitehall.

Mr Swinney made it personal. He argued that, by contrast, David Mundell had been “of enormous value” in working with the Scottish Government.

If that is true – or, more precisely, if it is a view widely held in UK Government circles – then it perhaps helps explain why Mr Mundell was ousted from office. To be clear, Mr Jack insisted that he and Mr Mundell had a very similar stance towards SNP ministers.

So far, so toxic. But consider the broader view. Listen to Michael Gove who has long played a key role in contemplating Scottish politics from the Westminster stage.

Much attention focused upon his criticisms of the SNP. And they were indeed trenchant. But his conclusion was that most of those working in the devolved nations shared his view that “a unified approach wherever possible was desirable”.

In return, Nicola Sturgeon paid tribute to Mr Gove, noting that daily relations with the UK Government structure were mostly co-operative.

I don’t want to overstate this. Ministers remain politicians when elevated to governmental office. It would be naïve, as Mr Gove noted in a broader context, to expect that political considerations could be entirely excluded.

Simply this. I do not believe that you can read the evidence given to the UK Covid inquiry as indicating that a permanent state of war existed between London and Edinburgh. To the contrary.

Right now, each side, as noted earlier, has reason to moderate criticism of the other to some degree.

The alternative – all-out condemnation – would simply generate what I believe is known in legal circles as a “cut-throat defence”. Where two accused loudly blame each other – to the advantage of the prosecution. Result? Two convictions.

Now, alongside inter-governmental disputes, it is not unknown for there to be tensions within an administration.

We had a touch of that this week in the interrogation of Ms Sturgeon. Incidentally, I do not remotely share the view that the questioning was unnecessarily tough. The approach by Jamie Dawson KC was robustly inquisitorial, giving the former FM a chance to rebut the most serious complaints.

In that vein, it was put to her that she had dominated decision-making, to the exclusion of Cabinet colleagues.

I take the point, to some extent. Ms Sturgeon had a reputation as a potent boss. She said herself that she “always tried to lead from the front”.

Equally, though, every political leader I have ever known, of every political party, has understood the necessity to take decisions, to resolve disputes, to go with instinct, backed by evidence.

The issue is whether there are sufficient checks and balances to counter total dominance. That is perhaps somewhat open to question after this week’s evidence.

It did not help that Ms Sturgeon was shown sharing her private disquiet with her chief political adviser, Liz Lloyd. To be fair, that was in preparation for a Cabinet meeting where the final decisions were taken.

More broadly, the Tories now want an inquiry into civil service “politicisation”. Expect short shrift for that.

It did not help that core issues were discussed by a small team known as “Gold Command”. For pity’s sake, that is straight out of Ian Fleming. Cue the white cat and the sinister smile.

Ms Sturgeon confessed she had not liked the term Gold Command, although it is widely used in crisis governance.

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There was, she stressed, no carte blanche. It was simply a discursive forum. Key decisions were taken in Cabinet.

Plainly some colleagues – Kate Forbes was one – were a mite unhappy about the absence of minutes. Expect changes in future.

Finally, however reached, were the big decisions right or wrong? Nicola Sturgeon says the people will judge. They will indeed.