Scotland’s news today is dominated by further lockdown restrictions. The measures may appear marginal: limitations on click and collect deliveries; firmer rules for takeaways; curbs around alcohol. But they are designed to stamp home the message that there is no imminent return to normality.
Statistics today from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) further expose the scale of poverty in the UK. They show that, despite interventions such as the furlough scheme, lockdowns are helping push many families “to the brink”.
One of Scotland’s top firms and best-known brand names, with a truly global reach, Celtic has suddenly become a byword for negligence, thanks, above all, to THAT Dubai trip, which may go down among the all-time sporting PR disasters.
Most will respect the gravity of the circumstances and follow the rules. But lockdowns, as everyone has always acknowledged, are an inherently chaotic last resort. For all the rhetoric of national unity, they come with significant costs.
For the final Source Direct of 2020, I am fulfilling a reader request and considering a dystopian project arising from the Brexiteer faction, the Free Ports scheme announced by the UK Treasury last year. What are Free Ports and what are their implications for Scotland?