The National – here with breaking news. Always up to the minute. Today’s front page. The Declaration of Arbroath.
After all, it’s not as if any other significant news broke in Scotland yesterday.
But the Nationalist paper aka as the Newsletter for the Bannockburn Re-enactment Society has to beat an ancient drum.
For those who are ignoring/don’t give a toss about Scottish politics, the Chief Medical Officer in Scotland, who was ordering us not to travel except out of necessity, has spent her last two weekends with her family in their holiday home in Earlsferry on the coast of Fife, about 40 miles north of Edinburgh. This has filled the news bulletins, UK as well as Scottish. She might have got away with one visit, but two?
I’ve seen Scottish Nationalists wanting to close the border at Gretna Green, since they think only the English head to holiday homes in Scotland. Alas, it’s a Central Belt habit, driving to the second home to the north. Fife though… There are plenty of jokes going round about that.
My own take is that a grovelling apology would have been enough, because in this unprecedented time decision-makers are under huge stress and should be cut a lot of slack. I can’t stand Sturgeon but everyone says she is sounding as if she’s in control of the situation, which is an important talent in frightening times. If the Chief Medical Officer is otherwise good at her job, leave her there. I don’t like the snitching and clyping and general self-righteous snooping that’s taken over the country. .
However much of the Scottish public were furious, as many have not been visiting aged parents and grown up children, which has caused considerable anxiety and heart break. Someone who couldn’t attend a funeral because of the No Travel edict is not going to take a kind view of the Chief Medical Officer walking on the beach with her family.
Sturgeon handled this very badly, hauling Calderwood in front of a painful press conference for her to apologise, saying she would be keeping Calderwood on, and then overnight Calderwood resigned. Evidently Sturgeon was dithering – wanting to hang on to her friend and adviser, then realising from the general public anger that she couldn’t. Calderwood’s public mea culpa was an unnecessary humiliation. Though I think the public mood would now exile her to a factory in Leven (a nasty part of Fife) to sew face-masks.