Nicola Sturgeon just blew a key Johnson coronavirus claim wide open

Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson Period Poverty
Steve Topple

Just as Boris Johnson launched his contentious new coronavirus (Covid-19) slogan, Nicola Sturgeon blew the whole thing wide open with a single tweet. Because she exposed that, far from being “better united”, the Tory-led Westminster government was dancing entirely to its own tune.

Stay what…?

On Sunday 10 May, Twitter was awash with the Westminster government’s new coronavirus ‘advice’. Previously, the slogan that’s been drilled into the population’s psyche was “stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives”. But now, it’s evolved into something quite peculiar.

As The Canary reported, the government says we’ve all now got to:

stay alert, control the virus, save lives

But the latest advice hasn’t gone down well on social media. SNP Westminster group leader Ian Blackford perhaps summed up many people’s feelings about the re-branding the best:

But it was something his boss tweeted which was possibly the most interesting aspect of the furore.

In the dark

Sturgeon revealed that:

So it seems that the Scottish first minister had no idea what the Westminster government was going to do. But her accusation trashes the Westminster government’s own claim about being “better united” when it comes to tackling coronavirus.

‘Better together’, all over again

On 7 May, Welsh secretary Simon Hart issued a long statement via the Western Mail. It was essentially an ode to ‘the union’ off the back of VE Day. Hart cooed that, in the face of both WWII and coronavirus:

if there is one thing that these crises have shown us throughout our shared history, it’s that the nations of the United Kingdom are at their strongest when they work together.

You’d be forgiven for thinking “work together” has a certain, familiar ring to it. You can almost hear the chants of “better together” from the unionists during the 2014 Scottish independence referendum campaign.

Hart continued by saying the four nations apparently accepted there’d be some “divergence” in each country’s approach. But overall, he thought:

the pandemic response has been marked by joint decision-making and collaboration between the UK Government and the devolved administrations.

This is the approach that a crisis dictates, and it is the level of grown-up politics that the public demands.

Now, Sturgeon has revealed that this is an absolute load of rubbish. But the Westminster government’s ‘we’ll do what we want but pretend we’re all working together’ approach to the crisis was already becoming clear.

Under strain from colonial hangovers

The Guardian reported on 6 May that the “strain” on the devolved nations’ relationships with Westminster was already starting to show. At that point, both the Welsh and Scottish governments were claiming that Johnson had not shared his ‘leaving lockdown’ plans for England with them. Sturgeon’s spokesperson told the Guardian:

If you have any constituent parts of the UK moving in a direction before other parts are ready, then that really undermines the whole ethos and intention of a four nations approach

Yet despite this, Johnson’s government has gone ahead and undermined Sturgeon’s, anyway.

This ‘do as I say, not as I do’ attitude from Westminster to the other parliaments is endemic of the colonial hangover the Tories have. But with Sturgeon exposing this inherent disrespect from the PM, more strain has now been added to their already troubled relationship. ‘Better together’, hey.

Featured image via Guardian News – YouTube and LBC – YouTube

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. Noticeable that the Welsh Government and NI have been making very similar comments about how they are being treated. The Westminster government continue to act as if they are colonial masters which they are not. However, it’s doing wonders for the support for Indepence in Scotland and Wales and possibly for a united Ireland.

    2. Stay alert to the political tricks going down!
      As in the “capacity arguement” to do the testing. They develope more caapcity by the less they do something.
      How clever.
      Will people be fooled. I doubt it.

    3. I wish Hart would of described in detail what grown up politics looks like. Its a mystery what it is.
      The blown a hole wide open headline must be at the molecular level of life’s existence as you’d think nothing had happened at all. Some kind of lullaby. Why even childrens stories get to the truth with more punch.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.