Monday 28 September 2020

Is the SNP deliberately spreading Covid?


There has been a sharp spike in Covid infections among teenagers in Scotland? Another word for these teenagers here is students. These students are now being allowed to go home. So, we might expect a sharp rise in infections when they get there. Is the Scottish Government deliberately spreading Covid?

SNP rules imprisoning students lasted about two days. There is a pattern here. The SNP had a plan on exam results, but in the face of mass objections from pupils and parents marks were increased. The reward for your increased mark turned out to be imprisonment.

Now students will be able to return home and study there. The rules have been modified to allow anyone to return home for wellbeing reasons. The SNP have provided students with a set of loopholes which means any student who wants to go home would have to try very hard indeed to be punished for doing so. This means, of course, that no one will be punished. The doors of the halls of residence prisons have been flung open. The SNP have given every student “Freeeeeedom” and will expect them all to vote SNP next time there is an election.

The result is that apart from a few poor souls from overseas who will remain stuck in now empty halls of residence pretty much anyone who can will get out as soon as possible.


The Grand old Duchess of Bute

She had 200,000 students

She marched them up to the top of the Halls

And she marched them home again.


We are back then to where we should have been in the first place. From March to the summer teaching at university was online, most buildings were shut and there was very limited access to laboratories and libraries. But those who really wanted to learn could do so pretty much as well as they could before.

There are subjects that require access to equipment some require experiments and the cutting up of dead animals and people. But all of these subjects have a theoretical aspect that can be taught from books. It would have been perfectly possible to teach the theoretical aspect until Covid is finished. There was therefore no reason at all for the vast majority of students to return to campus.

Why didn’t the SNP decide over the summer that universities in Scotland would continue as they had from March to the summer. After all the SNP has the power to tell us not to go out of our houses. They had the power to do this.

There is a tendency among SNP supporters to say, “What about England?” They say look England is making the same mistake as us. But this doesn’t absolve the SNP of responsibility. If two burglars are caught, you don’t get to say, “But he is from England.” Sturgeon was willing on numerous occasions to give different advice to Scots and Scotland had different Covid policies on all sorts of things. So, the decision that students should return to campus was Sturgeon’s and hers alone.

I suspect that the SNP were concerned about rented accommodation in the Scottish university cities remaining empty. Universities would have argued that students should return to campus because otherwise halls of residence would not have generated rents.

But lots of businesses in Scotland have suffered because of Covid restrictions, why should universities be exempt? Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that the SNP has made a great deal of political capital over the years from the fact that universities are “free” for Scots. Perhaps Sturgeon was scared that if campuses were closed those students who pay fees (English, Welsh, Northern Irish and overseas students) wouldn’t come at all, which would rather stuff her ability to keep Scottish students fee free.

The main reason however for SNP incompetence on devolved issues like health and education is that neither the SNP nor its supporters care about these issues. They focus instead almost entirely on a reserved issue that is completely outwith the remit of the Scottish Government.

Constitutional change, i.e. independence is not devolved. It is not (contrary to Keir Starmer), the business of the Scottish Parliament, yet it is the only thing that the SNP thinks about. This is why it makes such frequent mistakes on education (exams, universities), law and order (Humza’s law) and Health (care home deaths, and now more Covid cases in Scotland now than ever before). If you elect a Government solely because of its views on the constitution don’t be surprised that it turns out to be incompetent on everything else.

Students have wasted money on accommodation on campus that turned out to be falsely advertised. Instead of the best years of your life, you got porridge.

They will now return home, and now that university is only online many will feel that they would prefer not to bother. Anyone who is primarily concerned with learning need not be disappointed. You can learn just as well online. But if you are primarily interested in living away from home, meeting new people and having a great social life, then sorry, you are not going to get that.

This is why Sturgeon took the decision to open campuses in Scotland. Higher education has expanded way beyond those students who primarily want to learn. Campus life is the attraction without which students won’t study at all.

We are now going to test the motivation of students. If you really want to learn then you can, but to be brutally honest if you want to leave home and have fun, you might be better off getting a job if you can find one. It will provide you with the same life lessons as university and you might even make a profit.

The SNP’s decision to open campuses has imprisoned students unjustly although briefly it has cost them money and made them pay university fees for courses they perhaps now will not want to study from home. It has also spread Covid in Scottish university towns and will spread it elsewhere as students make their way home. How many grannies will die unnecessarily as a result?

The pity of it is that these same students will blame Boris Johnson who had nothing to do with the decision and adore Nicola Sturgeon whose progressiveness extended to jailing them. Those who are incapable of learning simple lessons are unlikely to benefit from higher education.

Scotland needs to be begin learning lessons too or else we can continue with SNP misrule.