Saturday, July 11, 2020
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Nanny Nicola knows best

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WRITING this ahead of Boris Johnson’s Sunday evening address to the nation, it seems that the only crumb of freedom he will offer is a trip to the garden centre, during which the public must ‘stay alert’.

However, even that modest pleasure is to be withheld from those of us under the yoke of the SNP. As Neil Lyndon wrote for TCW on Saturday: ‘Nowhere in the world today is the dictatorship of a progressive Left-liberal minority more absolutely in control than in Scotland.’ It therefore was depressingly inevitable that last week Nicola Sturgeon signalled she will ‘not be pressured into lifting restrictions prematurely’ and will ‘make judgments, informed by the evidence, that are right and safe for Scotland’. 

‘We are asking you for a little bit longer not, for example, to go to garden centres,’ said the Dear Leader, her reason for diverging from the rest of the UK being that ‘we judge here it is still necessary to save your lives’. 

Amidst her fearmongering hyperbole, the only possible concession announced by the Governor was that, as a reward for good behaviour, her detainees might, just might, be allowed an extra visit to the exercise yard. 

Unless Boris had a surprise up his sleeve, his Sunday speech is unlikely to have pleased anyone. We who regard the lockdown as an insane overreaction still despair that so-called Conservatives not only were spooked into devastating the economy and outlawing liberty but now are terrified to row back. Whereas the authoritarian Left, for whom the lockdown has been too lax and still yearn for it be more draconian, will continue to arraign Johnson and his government for the death toll. This was the case during last week’s edition of Question Time: Leftie loudmouth Afua Hirsch complained that the government is insufficiently apologetic, which she deems ‘insulting to the people who continue to die every day’.

Huffy Hirsch demanded ‘honesty from the government, acknowledging that this was not well-handled, that mistakes have been made, and telling us clearly and transparently what they are going to do differently’. Oddly, north of the border Nicola and the Nats do not receive similar censure – at least not in public – despite Scotland’s death rate from (and with) coronavirus being at least that of the UK as a whole: amongst approximately 8 per cent of the UK population, up to May 3 Scotland had registered 2,795 deaths which mention Covid-19.

The report by National Records of Scotland on Covid-19 fatalities up to May 3 can be read here.

Of particular significance is that since the second half of April the majority of new Covid-19 deaths occurred in Scotland’s care homes, the proportion during week ending May 3 rising to 59 per cent.

One doubts that Nicola Sturgeon reads TCW – a great pity, because as long ago as March 28 she would have seen the prescient headline ‘Care homes and the virus – a new Chernobyl’.

That article by Lindsey Dearnley feared the impact of care homes having transient staff; it beggars belief that the risk to residents has since been compounded by hospitals discharging infected patients into what ought to be hermetically protected institutions. At Holyrood during last week’s First Minister’s Questions, Labour MSP Neil Findlay, whose mother is in care, pleaded with the FM to ‘please stop this practice now’.

Nicola Sturgeon prefaced her reply by admonishing the inquisitor: ‘Please do not ask these questions in a way that suggests we are not all trying everything we possibly can to do the right thing.’ Sturgeon’s evident upset at the death toll undoubtedly was genuine; nonetheless, her how-dare-you reaction and hubristic response was typical of Scotland’s self-proclaimed ‘chief mammy’.

And when ‘mammy’ encounters insolence, such as displayed by Neil Findlay, her devoted children instantly rally round, for example:

The report by National Records of Scotland to May 3 confirmed that three-quarters of all registered deaths involving Covid-19 were of people aged 75 or over, with 90 per cent aged 65 or over.  Fatalities aged under 65 numbered only 263 (of 2,795), of whom just 19 were aged under 45 – statistics which confirm that for the overwhelming majority of the population, the threat to life is infinitesimal. Despite this, Sturgeon is adamant that in Scotland ‘any significant easing up of restrictions at this stage would be very, very risky indeed’. 

Which means that instead of being in education – or at least what passes for it under the SNP – Scotland’s children continue to fester indoors; social and recreational activities remain proscribed, and a substantial proportion of nation’s workforce stay idle while the economy shrivels. Even greater ruination is assured now that  Sturgeon has declared: ‘I strongly believe that to drop the clear, well understood “Stay at Home” message right now could be a potentially catastrophic mistake.’ 

Scotland is not adopting the new ‘stay alert’ message and for the foreseeable future Nicola Sturgeon’s mantra will continue to be ‘Stay at Home’. Even more than the rest of the UK, healthy Scots are being denied a normal life and still are not being trusted to apply common sense and individually manage the minuscule risk to their health. Instead our liberty remains confiscated by ‘chief mammy’, away from whom I would happily walk a million miles. 

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Gary Oliver
Gary Oliver
Gary Oliver is an accountant who lives in East Lothian.

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