IN Boris Johnson’s recent broadcast, with its forceful delivery, the pledge to loosen lockdown seems to revolve around saving lives and/or the economy. It was vague and inconclusive, very much like Westminster daily briefings and more of a PR exercise than positive leadership. From “stay at home”, save the NHS and lives to “stay alert”, control the virus and save lives, little comfort or clarity has been gained.
There is now a growing divergence between the four nations of the UK on how best to deal with this virus, which is nowhere near under control.
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Tragically the UK was late on testing, late ordering PPE, late keeping NHS staff and frontline workers safe and five fateful weeks behind other countries on lockdown, which has cost many more lives. The UK now has the highest death toll from the virus in Europe, with the Financial Times reporting that the true death toll maybe in excess of 54,000 and not the official figure of 32,000 (source: Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, Cambridge University).
In stark contrast, the security and connectivity of the EU, with its early concerted action against this global pandemic, has benefitted all the independent nations within its borders. Now short on trust and public confidence, this UK Government, with its abysmal handling of Brexit along with the coronavirus, has greatly strengthened the case for an independent Scotland.
REPORTS that Westminster is likely to take harsh measures to replace the costs of the Covid campaign will prove to be reliable, which will truly be a four-nations burden.
The incompetence is staggering. To take only one comparable issue to underline that assertion, had an oil fund been established as in Norway, the bill payable by the tax-payer would be less than punitive. Unfortunately, Westminster frittered away that opportunity. The soft target of the people will as usual be the available aim.
Add to that the inescapable fact that Westminster action since the virus was identified has been found to be unequal to the challenge. The four nations deserved better.