Scottish Election 2021: Nicola Sturgeon is playing politics with Covid lockdown restrictions – John McLellan
Everyone will have had their own reason for cheering the confirmation that lockdown restrictions will be eased further from Monday, allowing non-essential shops to re-open along with gyms, libraries and museums, as well as those pubs and restaurants which can afford to operate under the remaining restrictions.
Normal life is edging closer as vaccination rates rise and infection rates fall, and news sites built up the anticipation in the days leading up to Tuesday’s announcements, predicting what First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was going to reveal.
What she revealed was exactly what she had said she would in her statement of March 16, but that didn’t stop Tuesday’s big drum-roll or wall-to-wall coverage of the announcement which, with an election to win, was just what she wanted.
Throughout the pandemic, the First Minister has been at pains to claim she would not make political capital from the crisis, yet that’s exactly what happened this week because, with nothing new to announce, the confirmation of the move to level 3 on Monday could easily have been made by a non-political medical officer and respect for election rules maintained. But no, the First Minister had put on a show.
If handling the pandemic is not party political, then in this phase there is no need for a politician on the election trail to give what are just public information updates. Are we to believe that Ms Sturgeon has such a sway over our consciousness that we are only capable of taking advice from her? Maybe that’s what she wants you to think.
John McLellan is a Conservative councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston