Align with UK government communications

It is confusing to see the Scottish government making its own announcements on the likelihood of lock down being eased and the nature of any initial easing when it has been made clear that decision is with Westminster at this time. Communication from the Scottish Government should not be coming before official announcements from Westminster as this is misleading - they should be working to align communications.

Why the contribution is important

It is confusing to see a news conference from the First Minister making comments on lock down being eased (or not), when Westminster has clearly not communicated a decision on this - it feels politically driven to grab headlines that Scotland is doing things differently, when in reality the decision will come from Westminster.

by fplain on May 05, 2020 at 03:31PM

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Average rating: 2.7
Based on: 89 votes


  • Posted by andyrover May 05, 2020 at 15:49

    The decision for Scotland should be made in Scotland. I am English but infection rates are regional and Scotland is definately later in the curve than London which is where England's decisions are made. Nothing to do with Union. I think in England some decisions over this should be regional. North East England is at least 2 weeks behind London on the graph.
  • Posted by AlisonS May 05, 2020 at 15:50

    If we like it or not we are all joined together so the approach should be one approach across the UK, Nicola said at the start this was not about politics but it does feel that it is becoming this now. Work together and have a UK approach. Strength in numbers.
  • Posted by swangoose May 05, 2020 at 15:51

    Agree entirely. We are supposed to be a United Kingdom and for the Scottish Government to say they may not follow UK rules on when lockdown ends is totally crazy and utterly confusing. Unfortunately this looks very much like another attempt to show off the SNP so called power.
  • Posted by MairiM May 05, 2020 at 15:52

    I agree - continuity is vital whilst easing restrictions.
  • Posted by Deejay075 May 05, 2020 at 15:54

    I’m more than happy for Scotland and the First Minister to continue to make decisions about Scotland. I’m not confused at all.
  • Posted by allan May 05, 2020 at 15:55

    I disagree. Scotland has a government with responsibilities and I for one prefer to follow the guidelines set by the Scottish government. We are at different stages of the pandemic which requires different timings. If lets say England decided to come completely out of lockdown and return to normal. Would you be willing to go back to a packed pub or cinema tomorrow?
  • Posted by keithmcbean May 05, 2020 at 15:57

    We are a united kingdom and all decisions should be made by the UK govt
  • Posted by Willyscotsman May 05, 2020 at 15:58

    All businesses OPERATING in Scotland should follow Scottish guidelines. There was, pre lockdown, a tendency for my company to follow the UK government guidelines and ignored the Scottish government guidelines because it suited their narrative.
  • Posted by swangoose May 05, 2020 at 15:59

    Crazy to say should be regionalised! The UK health authorities base their advice on the general trend. It is the only way it can be logistically done.
  • Posted by HelenMcK May 05, 2020 at 16:00

    We should do what is right for Scotland and that may not be what is right for other areas in the UK. Actually, it might not be best to follow the same guidance all across Scotland either - though this would raise difficulties in communication. However, we have our own government so it is not difficult for suitable guidance to be communicate to the whole of Scotland. This is what happened at the beginning when the schools were closed prior to England and Wales and I know of no confusion arising from that.
  • Posted by Pandamamma May 05, 2020 at 16:02

    A consistent approach, certainly across particular areas of the economy, would need to be required. Coming from the construction industry we are already seeing the damage of having a different approach in Scotland from the rest of the UK which could ultimately have a long term impact on companies whose primary operations are in Scotland! I can understand where differing approaches might be beneficial, such as with Scottish health care, as a completely devolved matter, but other areas are intrinsically linked with other parts of the UK
  • Posted by worstludditeever May 05, 2020 at 16:10

    Even the UK government has not ruled out regional variations within England. Requirements for London are likely to be different to those for Cumbria. Having the Scottish administration ensure the needs of Scotland are considered (and for which they have legal jurisdiction) is simply sensible.
  • Posted by lindyloo May 05, 2020 at 16:42

    I totally agree. When the UK lockdown started we were told by Nicola that it would be easier to have a uk wide approach to lifting the lockdown. Now when it looks like Boris is about to put forward ideas about how to restart the economy it looks like we are going it alone. It's going to be so complicated for businesses on both sides of the border if one site in England have different rules to another site in Scotland.
  • Posted by Scotelka May 05, 2020 at 16:46

    Disagree. Scottish government is doing a great job and daily briefing are informative, well composed, empathetic and the responses to questions are very rational and logical. I am in full support of our government making the right decisions for Scotland, what's right for UK doesn't have to be right for our country. I trust that whatever Nicola decides will be with our best interest at heart. I'm not speaking on a political level and regardless of political opinions Scotland should be able to decide what's going to happen here.
  • Posted by Furgen May 05, 2020 at 17:01

    I would like to see each of the devolved governments making the choices for the people they represent. As previously mentioned we are not all at the same stage and all following the same timescales would be foolish. We have to listen to the advice of our chief medical officers even if that differs in other parts of the UK. Companies who have branches all over the Uk would need to ensure they follow the advice given by the government wherever they were based and not make rash blanket decisions.
  • Posted by BenNodGDI May 05, 2020 at 17:55

    Why did the Scottish administration feel the need to waste money re-publishing and sending to every household an information leaflet that the UK government had published and sent out 4 weeks earlier! Also, as I live in Scotland and have family in England; I will be ignoring scottish restrictions if UK government lifts the lockdown, to visit family.
  • Posted by Clamjamfrie May 05, 2020 at 20:43

    Decisions should evidence led. Even within Scotland there may be a case for varying lockdown adjustments due to very considerable regional variations. Thus at present the situation in Inverclyde is very different from that, say, in the Western Isles. This does not mean matters should vary, but does mean the evidence should be seriously considered with the possibility of variation left open. The statement that change must be undertaken in an all UK basis regardless of other factors is a highly political choice, but not one that is sensitive to variations in evidence.
  • Posted by Rosemary May 06, 2020 at 07:11

    How many people in the UK died before the virus was active on the Isle of Skye? We must protect our NHS. Therefore I’m more than happy for Scotland and the First Minister to continue to make decisions about Scotland.
  • Posted by fplain May 06, 2020 at 08:18

    I agree that there may be benefit to regionalised measures - ie rural vs urban - but I think this should come from a single narrative, with clear single point decisions. Right now it feels very much like the First Minister is trying to use this crisis as an example of why she thinks she can look after Scotland better than Westminster can - now is really not the time for that argument.
  • Posted by westkip May 06, 2020 at 11:20

    If we go with Westminster decisions then it will fail to take account of the fact that Scotland was behind England, particularly London in the spread of the virus. It is not political to look at the geographical spread it is common sense.
  • Posted by Niall May 06, 2020 at 13:08

    Westminster policy will always be guided by English needs. Westminster policy was to let the weak die in order to save a system that is not worth saving unless you are rich. It is clear to me that there are circumstances in which a divergent policy is appropriate for Scotland. There may well be cause for divergent policy across different parts of Scotland - the needs of the Western Isles are different from those of Glasgow. I think it is best we allow the Scottish Government the flexibility to respond accordingly.
  • Posted by BrendaF May 06, 2020 at 13:26

    We are in Scotland. Scotland is unique. We have an excellent Scottish Government who will do its best for the people of Scotland. I feel safer knowing that our FM and her government are leading us through this pandemic. I look forward to her honest, open daily briefings. Having to follow UK government decisions terrifies me. Their track record is abysmal. Their fudging and spinning of statistics is frightening. Keep going Scotgov.
  • Posted by GeoffDuke May 06, 2020 at 13:37

    Using comparisons between Scotland, England, Wales and NI is as bad as comparing the UK to Italy. Far too many differences between regions around the UK, never mind England/Scotland to have a common strategy to get us through this. If we were lucky enough to have a flatter curve than England, we are certainly not seeing a reduction at their rates to have the same strategies.
  • Posted by jrob May 06, 2020 at 15:36

    Completely agree.
  • Posted by RestoreMySoul May 06, 2020 at 21:43

    We cannot regionalise easing Lockdown, it makes no sense and people would chose the ruling on lockdown that best suited them. If Scotland has a separate exit strategy then why not take London out of lockdown before other cities? Or why not let Rural towns open before big Cities?
    We are the UK, and easing of these restrictions needs to be the same. It also is beginning to feel that the Scottish Government are politicising and wanting to be different for the sake of it.
  • Posted by is May 07, 2020 at 00:41

    if the science shows we should be different why should we follow the same path as westminster ,common sense to do things different if it
    can save some more lifes
  • Posted by emmasmith May 07, 2020 at 00:55

    I wouldn't trust Westminster as far as I could throw them, I would rather listen to the sensible advice from our FM and the Scottish Government.
  • Posted by JDKFB May 07, 2020 at 08:51

    Personally I do not wish to be 'communicated to' ala Westminster style, particularly by the Housing Minister in the middle of a health pandemic. What I want and what I've had is someone who will stand up each day, and announce where the thinking is at, and the general direction of travel.

    The Scottish Government have created this portal to allow citizens of Scotland to say what's important to them - is anyone seeing an equivalent in England? No, they think they know what's best for us, and will lead people by the nose without consultation into what THEY think is best. They are not an assembled powerhouse of 'thinkers', most of them just won a popularity contest last December.

    Whoever decides that a country should 'open up' in whatever measure also needs to stand there and announce what, for them, is an acceptable daily infection and fatality rate.

    Scotland's demographics are very different to England's. 'Social isolation' has been a lifelong challenge for many rather then a sudden change in tempo.

    If anything it could be argued that Scotland could open up sooner than England, as we have 8% of the UK's population spread out over 40% of the UK's landmass. If I heard that, I'd start to worry about 'politiking' and headline grabbing.

    The fact that the Scottish Government is signalling it could take unpopular decisions, rather than popular ones, is of personal re-assurance that the health of citizens is not currency in wider, and more secret agendas.
  • Posted by Alasdrum May 07, 2020 at 13:41

    Agree. We are one island.
  • Posted by PatisPaton May 07, 2020 at 13:49

    This is a pandemic. You have to act following the characteristics of a population. It is fundamental decentralisation. Local response is more than needed! Services that support local communicable disease control are extremely important.
  • Posted by aloneinthehills May 07, 2020 at 14:12

    Align with the other nations of the union and work together in the common goals of defeating the virus, restoring people's liberty and rebuilding the economy.
  • Posted by Halca May 07, 2020 at 17:54

    I disagree.
    The Scottish Government should continue with its clear, concise and considered communications.
    Confusion comes from the very poor daily updates from London.
    Confusion and attempts at politicisation come from most of the media.
  • Posted by kittyj May 08, 2020 at 00:02

    I disagree. Healthcare in Scotland is devolved, it is only right, therefore, that decisions about Scotland are made by the Scottish Government. The confusion lies when people listen to main stream media and their lack of journalism, along with the waffling from Westminster. The Scottish Government, on a daily basis, have been informative, factual, clear and concise.
  • Posted by Pamela55 May 08, 2020 at 03:31

    Official announcements from Westminster apply to England not Scotland. That ought to be clarified. The Scottish Government is in charge of informing the Scottish people regarding the Health Emergency, (correct me if I'm wrong) and is going an excellent job despite lack of respect on some occasions from Westminster and the press, if today's shinanigans are anything to go by.
  • Posted by Free_thinker May 08, 2020 at 07:09

    A joined up approach is needed across the UK. This is no time to play party politics. The FM should not be using the language she does on television as it is quite incendiary in respect of Westminster. By all means disagree in private but do not use the media to stoke disharmony to further your political ideals. It should be beneath the position of First Minister of Scotland.
  • Posted by Ideas81 May 08, 2020 at 07:53

    Avoid mixed messages. Once we are out of this phase of lockdown there may be certain areas of country which need to be treated differently if there are localised outbreaks however for major changes to lockdown uk should move together
  • Posted by Ciniod May 08, 2020 at 10:46

    We have a Scottish Parliament. Let it do its job.
  • Posted by WhyDoINeedAUserNameAgain May 08, 2020 at 15:32

    This seems to be seen by the scottish government to divide the UK, not come together with it. I find it abhorrent.
    We can still have a scottish parliament, but it should act like it's part of the UK, just like the population voted for it to act.
  • Posted by Telselvester May 08, 2020 at 18:15

    Each of the devolved administrations has a responsibility to its citizens to optimise their safety regardless of political agenda.

    Therefore if the evidence points to different plans for each nation then that needs to be followed. That approach optimises overall public health management of the pandemic....which then benefits the UK as a whole.
  • Posted by WBRnotes May 08, 2020 at 22:48

    I too am happy for Scotland and the First Minister to continue to make decisions about Scotland. It's her job to do this given that health is a devolved matter. She seems able to admit to having made mistakes and to say clearly when she doesn't know something while also being clear when she does have something to say - at least where this crisis is concerned. And that's refreshing.
  • Posted by JustANumber May 09, 2020 at 11:47

    Always hearing a single opinion from a single politician is not healthy for democracy. The First Minister is confusing crisis management and the well being of the population with nationalistic politics.
  • Posted by LesFraser53 May 09, 2020 at 11:55

  • Posted by Gordong16 May 11, 2020 at 12:19

    The only clear messages are coming from our majority elected first minister. Exactly where they should be coming from. The only people with Scotland's best interests and wealthfare at heart is the Scottish government. The virus is at different stages and peaking at different areas this needs to be dealt with as locally as possible. Not by Westminster who have no interest in Scotland or its people
  • Posted by HeyGeoS May 11, 2020 at 12:41

    The current UK situation, with each of the developed nations having legal jurisdiction over healthcare and other competencies, is not much different to the stances taken by the German and US federal governments. Local states can decide when and how to ease their lockdowns, depending on their circumstances. It stands to reason that a similar approach can be taken in the UK. Rather than one homogeneous group, which are all at different points (by a matter of weeks) in this epidemic.
  • Posted by Alanaand May 11, 2020 at 13:43

    Disagree. Scottish government should continue to do what's best for Scotland.
  • Posted by ashleyrhona May 11, 2020 at 19:59

    Given the poor, confusing and dangerous messaging delivered by the UK government over the last 24 hours I believe that it would be reckless to follow their advise without Scotland going through its own decision making framework!
  • Posted by Glasgowgirl May 11, 2020 at 21:08

    I want to see the Scottish government continue to make the decisions for Scotland.
  • Posted by Brett May 11, 2020 at 21:23

    Given that three nations of the UK are in alignment I would suggest that Scotland is in alignment with the UK.

    Scot Gov have throughout had the correct approach. Allowing the approach of reducing harm to be the guiding principle. The PM has chosen to take England out of alignment. This was a mistake that was avoidable and can be rectified. We can facilitate this but shouldn't take actions that are ill advised.

    A clear, considered and consistent job well done by FM and the Scot Gov so far. Keep up the great work. We can't be complacent but should have the confidence to know that trust in Scotland is extremely high. Proud and hopeful in a troubling time. Conversely so, the PM and UK government have yet to be open, honest or indeed genuine. My trust in their leadership is at an all time low. They have a duty to build confidence but seem intent on slogans and sound bites. I hope this changes.
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