By Rab Bruce’s Spider

It’s amazing how easily confused some people are. Tories have been at pains to point out that having different lock down measures in Scotland will confuse simple souls like Prince Charles who won’t know whether he’s allowed to visit his second home or not. It certainly seems to confuse many journalists who are at pains to tell us just how confusing it is. None of them seem to realise that other nations seem perfectly capable of following different rules. Portugal adopted a different approach to Spain; Sweden adopted a different approach to Norway. Whether these different approaches have resulted in different outcomes is not really relevant to the point. The main thing is that the citizens of these countries understand that they are required to follow the laws and regulations which apply in their country of residence.

Of course, we are often told that Scots are uniquely incapable of doing what other countries find perfectly normal. Or perhaps it is the people of England the Tories are concerned about, for a great many of our southern neighbours don’t seem to understand what social distancing means. The last thing we want to do is confuse them further by issuing confusing statements on the Lock Down rules. That, it seems, is Boris Johnson’s role. His meandering and rather vague statement on Sunday strongly hints that, whatever he says about controlling the virus, England is going to force people back to work sooner rather than later. It is noticeable that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all said they will not be following these relaxed rules. This is, apparently, confusing, although changing the slogan from "Stay Home" to "Stay Alert" is, it seems, not confusing at all.

The other remarkable thing is that the same Tories who last week demanded that Scotland remain in step with England in order to ensure that all four parts of the UK followed the same path to coming out of Lock Down, are now saying that they always recognised different regional approaches were appropriate. So far, I’ve not seen any journalist calling them out on this U-turn, but perhaps the media don’t find that sort of thing confusing at all.

The mixed messages coming out of the Westminster Government are, quite frankly, appalling. While comparing statistics between different countries is fraught with difficulties given the various ways such statistics are compiled, there is little doubt that the UK has seen one of the worst death tolls in the world. Whichever way you spin that, it’s an absolute disgrace. There should be no confusion over that.