By Rab Bruce’s Spider

Scotland’s ludicrous constitutional arrangement has thrown up yet another silly and potentially dangerous situation with the decision by LNER that they will follow England’s Covid rules even on their trains which are bound for Scotland.

Now, the profit motive is a large part of Boris Johnson’s nonsensical decision to accept the deaths of many more people and possibly threaten the entire world if yet another Covid variant develops. You really cannot be surprised at LNER for wanting to cram passengers aboard their trains even if it means some of those passengers will become ill, and some may die. That’s what adherence to the profit motive results in.

Equally, are the passengers to blame? I would like to think that people may follow the sensible course and not travel on crowded trains, but the way things are going, I suspect many will take their chances and, in so doing, will spread the virus even further.

Of course, in a normal country, our Government would put its foot down. I know LNER only operate in the UK, but imagine a scenario where they were able to run trains to France or Germany. What would the Governments of those countries say if LNER announced that they would only obey English rules on Covid? Would LNER even have the temerity to make such an announcement? Well, if they are run by Little Englanders, perhaps they might, but I doubt they would have much success.

But it’s only Scotland, and in the entitled and arrogant minds of far too many people in England, Scotland is very much a second-class member of this Union of Equals. Our laws, our rules, our customs and our Covid guidance are over-ruled by English decisions.

I hope some sort of common sense will prevail here, but I’m not overly confident. Hopefully, LNER will back down if there is sufficient backlash, but I’m not counting on it. If they don’t, we really need to see a very strong response from the Scottish Government, because once one company flouts our laws like this, you can bet plenty others will follow suit.

There is, of course, one way to change situations like this, and the sooner we move towards becoming a normal country, the better. Because until that day, we are going to get more and more of these situations.