NICOLA Sturgeon spent last week at COP26 selfie-hunting and sermonising that ‘climate change is a feminist issue’.
In her absence from the Scottish Parliament, her doleful deputy John Swinney gave Holyrood seven days’ notice of a supposed ‘need to take appropriate measures to keep the pandemic under control’. As examples of ‘strengthening the existing baseline protective measures’, joyless John warned that the Nats ‘may need to extend the Covid certification scheme’ and ‘extend the use of face coverings’.
That is why, when the First Fearmonger returned to address parliament on Tuesday, she was expected to confirm the ways in which life in Scotland under the domineering SNP would become even more miserable. Instead, she announced a further week of prevarication.
However, the sword of Damocles remains hovering over multiple businesses – particularly in the entertainment and hospitality sectors, whom Sturgeon shamefully still threatens with further crippling constraints from December 6.
Sturgeon’s statement to Holyrood can be read here.Her bumptious boilerplate includes: ‘I am acutely aware that many businesses want us to remove mitigations – including certification – not extend or tighten them. I understand that. But all of our decisions are and must be motivated by a desire to keep people safe.’
Yet less than a week ago Sturgeon’s second in command had casually conceded during interview that there is no evidence of Covid passes reducing transmission. His despicable defence of the scheme was that its ‘core purpose’ had been to arm-twist, ‘to increase take-up of the vaccine’.
Now Swinney’s boss babbles about safety and having ‘a duty to keep proportionate options under review’. A range of businesses far broader than before is supposed to believe that the threatened expansion of Covid certification is for their own good, ‘to get through what will be a challenging winter without having to re-introduce any restrictions on trade’.
The range of settings which are in the crosshairs remains ill-defined, with Sturgeon airily announcing that the probable extension to the certification scheme might include ‘some other licensed and hospitality premises’ – a definition which could not be more vague. Just ahead of what should be their busiest and most lucrative period of the year, pubs and restaurants of all sizes, still struggling to recover from lockdown, have been left wondering whether they will be compelled to comply with this burdensome and discriminatory scheme.
Many lives and livelihoods are at stake. Alas, multifarious businesses have been left dangling by nonchalant Nationalists who care only about showing who is in charge.