Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

The Sunday Post View: Lockdown looms, winter is coming and we can only wait and wonder

Post Thumbnail

It was billed as a gaffe but seemed merely a statement of the blindingly obvious.

Labour MSP Pauline McNeill, appearing on BBC Scotland’s Debate Night last week, spoke for a nation when she admitted: “ I wouldn’t necessarily want to be in Nicola Sturgeon’s shoes or John Swinney’s making hard decisions every day.”

Who would? Who fancies bagsying our First Minister’s in-tray or her daily slog through relentless marshlands of statistics, control measures and messaging?

Progress is slow, hard-won and likely to be lost in an instant as we edge in and out of lockdown, inching up a ladder only to be suddenly swept downwards on a snake. It is a brutal business but, as Hyman Roth almost pointed out in The Godfather Part II, it is the business she has chosen.

Anyone with an ounce of empathy can understand the toll this grind must take on the First Minister – and, as Ms McNeill points out, no one with an ounce of sense would want the job – but heavy hangs the head that wears the crown and all that.

So, we sympathise when Nicola Sturgeon tells us – as she has taken to, particularly when being questioned on her government’s performance – how seriously she takes her responsibilities and how hard she works to do the right thing.

Our sympathy and her hard work are neither here nor there though. She is a decent person and a diligent professional. We would be surprised if she did not take this seriously and she does although, at times, astonishingly, that cannot be said with the same assurance about other leaders in other parts of these islands.

All any of us care about is keeping our loved ones safe and, after that, trying to get a little bit of normal back. We do not expect our leaders and experts to have all the answers. Until six months ago they, like us, had never even heard of the questions.

All any of us want to know is where we are and how we’re doing. The growing suspicion, sadly, is that we are in a bit of a mess and not doing brilliantly. More worryingly, the suspicion is also growing that we are not being told the half of it.

For example, on May 31 when we revealed the Lighthouse Lab in Glasgow was only testing at a third of capacity, the Scottish Government insisted it was doing “an excellent job.” It would, we were assured, “play a vital role in our Test and Protect system”. Now, as concerns mount about its work, our ministers race to stress the lab is run by the UK Government and, actually, to be honest, has little to do with them. OK, then.

Our governments, on this side of the border and that, have had months to get a properly robust testing and tracing programme in place before winter grips. Whatever system is in place today, it buckled when schools went back and, as we report today, could easily collapse again when universities return this week.

We hope not. We hope someone, somewhere has a plan, that work is in hand and wheels are turning. Either way, we will find out soon enough.