UP until now I thought that Nicola Sturgeon was making a reasonable fist of dealing with the Covid-19 virus outbreak.

Her latest diktat from on high, however, that wearing face masks in shops etc is mandatory defies logic.

A sizeable section of the community elected not to wear face masks. Despite this the death rate has fallen steadily until now when very few deaths are being reported.

At the very moment, when the virus is in retreat, Herr Sturgeon has decreed that everyone must now wear face masks in certain circumstances and you have to ask why

The value of wearing a face mask is contentious and there are disagreements within the medical and scientific communities. Even within the cabinet of the UK Government opinion is divided.

There is also a question of hygiene. How many people, for example, will clean their cloth face masks as often as they should. You can buy disposable masks, which I believe cost £3 for a packet of five. How long are people on benefit or OAPs expected to incur this unnecessary expenditure.

If deaths in Scotland from the virus were on the rise, or were remaining stubbornly on a plateau and refusing to fall further, there would be a case for flinging everything, including face masks, at it, but we know that is not the present position.The easing of lockdown is supposed to lead to a gradual return to normality yet here we have the Scottish Government imposing unnecessary restrictions on people.

As usual there is a political dimension. It will not have escaped readers' attention that Nicola Sturgeon is forever trying to put one over the UK Government. She revels in being in a position of power and how much more powerful can you get than being able to mandate an entire population of a country.

She gilds the lily with a veiled threat to close the border with England, if she considers it necessary.

It is never going to happen of course, but saying it no doubt massages her ego and appeals to the lunatic fringes of her party.

The SNP strategy is clear. They are trying to court popularity by pretending that they alone have the interests of the Scottish people at heart.

Their aim is to win the next Scottish election decisively which will enable them to seek another Independence Referendum.

When you see the damage the pandemic has wreaked on world economies the prospect of an independent Scotland should send cold shivers down your spine.


Cocklaw Street,