Scotland (along with Wales and Northern Ireland) is making headway in eliminating Coronavirus (Covid-19) with some experts predicting that this virus could be all but eliminated by the end of the summer. However, this doesn’t mean it’s gone completely or won’t come back but it means that with a careful track and trace approach to deal with any future outbreak there would be fewer infections and hopefully fewer deaths.
The main barrier to a successful elimination strategy is England’s failure to commit to seriously tackling the coronavirus. The Prime Minister initially hinted at going for a ‘herd immunity’ strategy then attempted a half-hearted lockdown followed by a swift lifting of the lockdown. The advice from the Tories has been confusing and contradictory with many members of the public unsure of what they should or should not be doing. Even the daily Covid-19 briefings were stopped as all they did was highlight the incompetence of the Tory government. It’s clear that this pandemic has highlighted that the Prime Minister and his cabinet are simply not up to the task of the most basic requirement of a government, that of protecting the public. It is believed the true figure for Covid-19 deaths in the UK now equals the total number of civilian deaths in the UK in the whole of World War 2!
While the Scottish Government has deliberately slowed down the lifting of the lockdown, ensuring that each move is fully assessed before the next stage of the lockdown is lifted, in England the Tories simply just moved to remove as many restrictions as possible. Their aim to boost the economy took precedence over saving lives. This has resulted in numerous outbreaks across England. Latest reports highlight around 100 local outbreaks per week, with the north of England seems to be one of the hotspots for Covid-19.
We’ve already seen a minor outbreak in Dumfries and Galloway which was quickly locked down in Scotland and the source was tracked back to a hospital in Carlisle. However, the freedom of movement between Scotland and England could seriously endanger Scotland’s attempts to eliminate the virus. If outbreaks continue in England and if a second spike occurs, then there is a real need for the Scottish Government to use whatever powers it has to enforce a closed border with England. Obviously essential supplies and travel would still be permitted but there would have to be some sort of health checks and all non-essential (i.e. tourist) travel would be stopped. This has already happened in Wales and in parts of England where communities have got together to tell tourists that they are not welcome at this point in time.
The Tories of course have went nuts at this – they’re now even claiming there’s no border between Scotland and England. That’ll come as a shock to those living in the Scottish Borders council area or anyone who listened to Tory warnings of armed border patrols if we voted Yes in the 2014 IndyRef! These Tories are happy to see Leicester shut down and isolated to control the spread of the virus but don’t think that Scotland deserves to be protected from virus laden tourists from England! A few Scottish protesters held a demonstration at the border (just to prove it existed) and were slated for it, even though it was entirely peaceful and the police had no concerns about it. As expected the mainstream BritNat press went nuts and the Tories piled into them but disappointingly senior SNP politicians who should have known better also joined in. Strange how we never heard the same condemnation from BritNat press and Tories about the Union Jack waving Neanderthals in George Square defending statues of people they’ve probably never heard of! Where was Jackson Carlow and co then, where was the condemnation of the threats and violence of the BritNat thugs?
The title of this post has been stolen from the excellent play, Border Warfare: The Story of Scotland’s Relations with England by John McGrath. Performed and filmed live at the Tramway Theatre in Glasgow 1989
Part One: https://youtu.be/blL9dhtSbdU
Part Two: https://youtu.be/bRffdvE5FX8
Part Three: https://youtu.be/udL6LyQRWbQ