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Letter from... Edinburgh

22 April 2020

Mark Glover, Chief Executive, Newington Communications

The sun is shining and as I look out onto the Firth of Clyde during this lockdown period - one thing is certain my desk view has improved, yet this is still a time of apprehension and frustration as the Government’s lockdown measures remain in force with little sign of them lifting in the next few weeks.

Shopping has become a luxury, with the weekly food shop in Greenock or Port Glasgow an opportunity to interact face to face with people whilst observing the necessary two metre separation and doing everything to remain hygienic and safe. Most people seem to respond in a very civilised way, but a few still walk around as though this is all a little unnecessary, invading your space which is now strictly defined.

The Scottish Government tries to present a distinct identity from what is happening in Westminster with the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, holding regular lunch time briefings – a little undermined by her need to sack her chief medical officer whose behaviour in visiting her second home, did not match the standards she was expecting of the public. This morning, Angus MacNeil one of the SNP MPs has welcomed the introduction of a virtual Parliament and given his 450 mile commute, it is no wonder that he hopes this might inform a lasting virtual legacy.

Local Government in Scotland is struggling with the need for PPE with care workers particularly impacted amid concerns about a large numbers of deaths in a care home in Glasgow, pushing the issue up the agenda in Scotland perhaps a little earlier than it was in the rest of the UK.

But we keep our spirits up, with regular online drinks with fellow politicos, our Newington Virtual Engagement providing a line-up of fascinating speakers, online company quizzes and the company fitness instructor now taking his classes online. I might even lose some weight by the time this ends.

Be safe, stay indoors and protect the NHS.