As we all know, the Scottish Government under the Scottish National Party (SNP) has tried to prove that they can deal with Covid-19 in their own way. This has led to the leader of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon, to take strong action, attempting to lock down the country quicker than the rest of the UK. At the same time, this has served as an opportunity for the SNP to be ever more critical of the response Westminster has made towards the pandemic.
This can mostly be seen by her actions after Boris Johnson announced that the UK is planning to ease its lockdown measures in order to get people back to work. Nicola Sturgeon has been stating loudly that it is too soon to think about easing these measures and that Westminster is playing with people’s lives.
She has stated that Scotland will not go along with Westminster’s plan to ease the lockdown as they wish to protect the lives that Westminster supposedly disregards. This has been further supported by her announcement that Scotland will not be going along with the “vague and imprecise” new ‘Stay Alert’ lockdown slogan (her own words).
This resulted in a major surprise, when only a few days after Westminster’s lockdown plans were released, she announced that she will start to ease the lockdown measures in Scotland as well and that by the end of next week, the Scottish Government will be reopening many parts of Scotland, such as golf courses and garden centres.
This has led many people in Scotland to point out, and be critical of, the actions taken by the SNP when it comes to reopening. With the most common point raised that it is very hypocritical of her to announce easing lockdown measures of her own, after being one of the loudest voices against Westminster’s plans.
Another point raised against the plan was that Scotland is behind the rest of the UK when it comes to setting up their own infrastructure to track and monitor Covid-19 within the country.
When Mrs Sturgeon announced her Government’s plan to start easing the restrictions, many people were rightfully critical of her plans. With many more people believing that her main opposition to Westminster was not based on a substantial belief in a different but better plan but rather simply the desire to differentiate herself from England and the Tories.