Friday, 22 May 2020

Something Rotten in the State of Scotland

There is something rotten at the heart of Scottish politics. Health Minister Jeane Freeman deliberately (in Calton's opinion) misled the Scottish parliament and people with regard to the number of delayed discharge (bed-blocking) patients discharged into care homes since the Covid-19 crisis began. She was forced to apologise and put the record straight after pressure from The Sun newspaper. However she still has the full confidence of the First Minister and, when Jackson Carlaw queried whether anyone else could have confidence in her, he was accused of playing politics in the midst of a crisis. Not something Nicola Sturgeon would ever do, no siree. She's totally focussed on dealing with the Coronavirus threat and if her daily appearances on the telly with not a hair out of place enhance the prospects of a future independent Scotland that is entirely by-the-by.

Accusing the Scottish Tories of being party political was obviously the message de jour from SNP HQ because John Swinney (suitably outraged) used it on Radio Scotland this morning to avoid answering the same question of whether the public could trust a word Jeane Freeman says and Sturgeon was back at it later in an attack on Ruth Davidson, who had dared to criticise the Dear Leader. Nicola is very good at telling us that she is above all these petty considerations and is just getting on with the job. Except that she isn't. Was there ever a Scottish Executive which executed less, and with more moolah from Westminster, than this pathetic excuse for a government? They are still in lockstep with Westminster, except that now they are three steps behind, and they've already had to row back on the stipulation that you only travel 5 miles to visit relatives (once you are allowed to) after a twitter backlash. Now it seems you can go further, provided your bladder has a good mpg.

If it wasn't so serious it would be funny. Scotland's tourist and hospitality industries are facing disaster, we are seeing around 50 excess deaths a week caused by lockdown, not Covid-19, and the First Minister is worried about whether or not you might need to visit the loo if you visit your parents. Maybe she should try treating us like grown-ups. Maybe she and her ministers should also try being honest and straight with the Scottish people they claim to serve. Then we might have confidence in what they say.

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