Downing Street lockdown party: Boris Johnson's contemptible behaviour is in stark contrast to the leadership shown in Scotland and Wales – Christine Grahame MSP

As the days thankfully are growing lighter for longer, I hope your spirits are rising just a little.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 4:45 pm
Protestors set up a mock rule-breaking garden party in London's Parliament Square amid calls for Boris Johnson to resign (Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

It seems the combination of vaccines, face coverings and social distancing are reducing the dreadful spread of Omnicron. However, let’s be clear: one in 20 of us may be carrying the virus and, for some, catching Covid will be extremely serious.

The First Minister has announced further relaxations: removing the limit of 500 on outside events but requiring certification of Covid vaccination (in most cases including boosters) and that 50 per cent of those attending are checked. While this comes into force on January 17, on the 24th the First Minister hopes to introduce further relaxations for indoor activities.

If you are an affected business always check the Scottish government website to see if you can access financial support. You should also keep up with lateral flow tests. They’re easy to do and are now part of my breakfast routine.

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So, we move on in 2022, learning to live with the virus which I suspect is good news for the manufacturers of face coverings and test kits.

What is not good news is the overall increase in the cost of living: food, fuel for starters. Energy costs are really scary and there will be fellow Scots driven to choosing between heating or eating.

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Downing Street lockdown party: Boris Johnson has achieved much as Prime Minister...

Some will also have seen their Universal Credit cut and National Insurance rocket, a tax by any other name. All of these are in the control of the Tory UK government and what a disgrace that is.

Boris Johnson and his cohorts, many Old Etonians and millionaires, what do they know of the real world? A quick visit to a housing estate is gesture politics at its worst.

Not only did Dominic Cummings (remember him) drive to test his eyesight (!!) after catching Covid, it turns out that was next to nothing compared to what we know now.

Serial parties in the idyllic No 10 gardens ? Not a bit of it, these were business meetings. I can’t count the number I have had while sitting in the sun nibbling cheese and scoffing wine.

The most recent revelation was about a “non-party” that involved an invitation from a senior Number 10 civil servant to 100 people for a get-together, though they did have to bring their own bottle. Tough.

Apparently 30 to 40 turned up and this in May 2020 while the rest of us were being taken for mugs as we were limited to meeting one person outdoors.

Boris has the fig leaf of an ongoing inquiry but frankly there is no fig leaf big enough to cover this callous, contemptuous and contemptible behaviour.

It would be bad enough from anyone but not the PM of the UK. Can you imagine the tirade, the political lynching if the First Minister had behaved in that way?

If he survives this, then there is no justice, certainly not for those who lost loved ones during those days, who could not visit in care homes, who died alone. As some glugged wine, laughed and joked, others mourned.

In Wales and Scotland, we have seen leadership. Time for Scotland and Wales, if it wishes, to run their own countries.

Christine Grahame is SNP MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale

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