A POLL for the trade mag Press Gazette this week found members of the media reckon Nicola Sturgeon has been the country’s best-performing politician during the coronavirus crisis.
Hardly surprising given the Scottish First Minister has become a pin-up girl for the type of sniping and carping at Boris Johnson and the Tory Government liberal journalists love to celebrate.
But while you won’t hear about it on the BBC or Channel 4, scheming Sturgeon has been a disaster for Scots over the course of this crisis.
If you dig behind her passing off the PM’s best policies as her own, decent press-conference presentations and politicking over the Stay Alert slogan, the SNP leader’s performance has been as flat as her at-home haircut.
Seemingly taking her lead from the totalitarian regime in China, Sturgeon kicked off the crisis with what some Scottish politicians have labelled a “cover-up”.
The country’s first outbreak came during a Nike conference at Edinburgh’s Hilton Carlton Hotel on February 26, which was eventually linked to 25 cases.
Yet while the Scottish Government was informed of the situation at the start of March, they said nothing publicly and failed to properly track and trace.
The whole damn debacle was only revealed by the media last week — nearly three months on.
Sturgeon has tried to hide behind patient confidentiality, but the party’s own legislation says that shouldn’t be a consideration if there is a public health issue.
No wonder Labour has branded what went on a “national scandal”.
Have you heard anything about it? Probably not. It doesn’t fit the media narrative of Sturgeon the superstar. Likewise, Scotland has had far more deaths in care homes than England when adjusted for population.
And Sturgeon has an even bigger issue when it comes to Scotland’s anaemic testing operation.
The country has a much higher rate of Covid-19 per head than England and has been carrying out just a quarter of the tests England has per capita. Truly dire.
So who has emerged as Sturgeon’s knight in shining armour?
Her bête noire, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who this week announced anyone in the UK with symptoms can receive a test from the NHS.
As for those lockdown-lifting measures from Boris that pious Sturgeon used for maximum media impact, including a farcical suggestion from her party to introduce a police border between Scotland and England — knock me down with a feather! — she’s only gone and followed suit a week later.
Sturgeon’s behaviour in the midst of a genuine international health emergency has been unseemly.
But with enemies in her own party circling over her complete failure to push forward the independence cause, expect to see more desperate stunts in the weeks to come. The media should be wise to her tricks.
APPARENTLY it’s only OK to be gay if you’re a raving Corbynista Remoaner.
That’s particularly offensive to yours truly – but the only message to take from the shocking cancellation of the Virtual Pride festival this week.
Big names from Dannii Minogue to Andrew Lloyd Webber were due to appear during the ten-hour online extravaganza, organised to replace the various gay gatherings that are usually held over summer.
But then, all of a sudden, the event was axed.
The organiser, it was claimed, had committed a cardinal sin.
Sexism? Definitely not.
Breaking draconian lockdown restrictions? Hell no.
It turns out that Charlie Shakespeare was actually a Brexit supporter who had – shock horror! – liked tweets by Nigel Farage and The Spectator’s associate editor Toby Young.
Corbyn adviser Linda Riley, the publisher of Diva magazine, tweeted: “Any LGBTQ event which supports the likes of these will not have my support. #proudtobeapoliticalbigot.”
This sort of persecution of an LGBT ally by the London liberal media elite – simply because he harbours a different political view – is a disgrace.
Just like any other group in society, the gay community is politically diverse.
And militant LGBT activists should realise we will only achieve true acceptance by embracing this diversity.
WHAT does public life in the UK look like without appearances from the Queen?
Not a prospect I’ve ever wanted to consider, but one growing more and more likely as the 94-year-old continues to shelter at Windsor Castle with just a skeleton staff.
What a tragedy if an unexpected consequence of this ghastly pandemic from China is the greatest British monarch of all-time being forced to remain locked away from her adoring public.
While far lesser royals might be able to stay front-of-mind with Zoom calls and various other stunts filmed on mobile phones, that would be unbecoming of the Queen, who has always picked her moments to emerge in public with decorum and class.
The idea of regular TV or other media addresses isn’t right either.
There is a reason there have only been a handful over the course of her reign. They really mean something.
But as a loyal subject, I concur that the health of Her Majesty – deep into the most vulnerable age group – matters more than anything else.
In a perfect world, I like to imagine she is enjoying the retirement with the Duke of Edinburgh she probably never thought she would have.
“Put the kettle on please, Phil. Corrie is about to start.”