Opinion: The Dominic Cummings’ debacle will push Scotland towards independence

The Dominic Cummings’ debacle could give the SNP’s stalling independence campaign a much needed boost, with Nicola Sturgeon emerging from the coronavirus crisis a cautious, considerate leader whilst Boris Johnson comes across as elitist and two-faced.

You drove sixty miles to test your eyesight when everyone else is ordered to lockdown? Doesn’t matter. We’ll just move on.

Sturgeon’s press conference; announcing when Scotland would move into phase one of relieving lockdown, was done with compassion thanking the Scottish public for their patience and understanding in following strict rules that have kept friends and families apart for almost three months.

-Sunday Times maps out key events in run-up to lockdown. Timeline here

There was even a wry smile on the FM’s face when she said with relief in her voice that people who do not have gardens can now sunbathe in public places as the mercury hits plus twenty this weekend in parts of Scotland. It was a humanist touch to the often dour and impenetrable demeanour of the SNP leader.

“Cummings sat like some stubborn school boy being dragged out to apologise to his teachers.”

The ludicrousness of Dominic Cummings being made to sit in the Rose Garden and answer to a line of journalists all asking roughly the same thing – why did you break lockdown Dom? – was a No.10 PR disaster. Not only due to the fact Cummings sat like some stubborn schoolboy being dragged out to apologise to his teachers, but also because he did not apologise.

The Conservative Party’s insistence that Cummings didn’t break the rules, explained in different accounts of the Cummings’ story told by each minister ordered to protect the PM’s favourite, and Johnson’s insistence on ‘moving on’ will lead to further loss of faith in the Conservative Party in Scotland. (You’d at least have thought the public schoolboys would have had the collective mental capacity to get together and try make up the same story before being slopped over the media).

“Whether that leader will have any money of her own and in what currency she will carry said money is still up for debate.”

Sturgeon has been cautious and clear. Johnson on the other hand conducts about one in ten government briefings, led the rather vague instruction ‘stay alert – control the virus’ and now the PM has shown his true elitist nature by making a set of rules for one party; the people of the United Kingdom – ‘stay at home, save the NHS’, and a second set of rules for another party; his advisors and friends – ‘you drove sixty miles to test your eyesight when everyone else is ordered to lockdown? Doesn’t matter. We’ll just move on.

People will not move on, but instead insist on wanting to know why Cummings is so special that he can break lockdown rules and get away with it.

There is nothing more infuriating to the British public than being wronged. This is clear in the outpouring of rage reported in the media from people across the country, some in tears as they explained how they were made to stay away as their loved ones suffered and in some cases died, alone.

“You’d at least have thought the public schoolboys would have had the collective mental capacity to get together and try make up the same story before being slopped over the media.”

With Brexit finally through parliament, the near collapse of the oil industry in Scotland, and the independence debate sounding more like an incessant drone as we move further away from the 2014 referendum loss, because of Cummings things might have just changed again.

Maybe Scotland will be better off with a leader who obeys the rules and seems to remember those stuck in high-rises and whose livelihoods have all but disappeared. Whether that leader will have any money of her own and in what currency she will carry said money is still up for debate, but isn’t there a saying? ‘Better to be happy than rich.’

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