BORIS Johnson’s visit to Scotland, the EU vaccine chaos and Stockholm syndrome were the issues discussed by columnists and contributors in the newspapers.
The Daily Mail
Henry Deedes watched the Prime Minister’s trip over the Border on Thursday and said his ventures into Scotland were always ‘toe tippers’.
“Boris is as welcome here as Donald Trump landing a gold helicopter in the middle of Celtic Park,” he said. “Boris’s main purpose was to drum up support for the Union, currently draining faster than a leaky washing machine hose.”
He said, when asked if his visit was really necessary given current restrictions, the PM was a little overenthusiastic about meeting frontline workers. “It was as though he was trying to convince the hostess of a dreary cocktail party what a fabulous time he was having,” he said.
“Talk quickly turned toward Scottish independence. A slight wince. C’mon Boris, you knew this was coming,” he added. “He insisted holding another referendum wasn’t the right thing to do at this moment. Besides, the Scots had just had one. Next!”
The Daily Express
Ross Clark said pharmaceutical companies were often damned for selling drugs we don’t need but AstraZeneca did not deserve the attacks that had been launched on it this week by the EU.
“The company has been charged with failing to deliver supplies of its Covid-19 vaccine on time, and of favouring the NHS over EU healthcare systems in what the EU calls “vaccine nationalism”,” he said. “On Wednesday, the EU threatened legal action unless the company diverted 75 million doses of the vaccine from the UK to the EU, and on Thursday it raided the company’s factory in Belgium.2
He said it was an outrageous and unfair attack. “It isn’t EU commissioners – still less social justice warriors – who are going to get us out of this crisis,” he said. “The real heroes of the hour are the scientists and technicians who have been beavering away in the laboratories over the past 12 months.”
Emma Brockes asked how we were really doing, barely leaving home, home schooling and not seeing family for nearly a year.
“We are unmoored from all but a handful of close friends,” she said. “If it is fine – and it is largely fine, or at least it is this week – I also wonder if some social muscle has atrophied and we have become weird.”
She said the virus was holding us hostage and many were suffering from Stockholm syndrome, unwilling to raise from the sofa or take part in Zoom calls with friends.
“I’m assuming it won’t last, this resentment and recoil, although who knows how profoundly our habits have changed?,” she said. “[After bumping into a friend I’m reminded of the fun of talking to others] then almost immediately – thinking how long before I can get out of it and go home?”