Having told the Scottish Parliament that “by July 26, we expect to have given second doses to all 40- to 49-year-olds”, Ms Sturgeon said on Monday that it was “childish politics” to claim that as only three-quarters had been double-dosed that the target had been missed, and that what she meant was they would be offered it.
Hammering home the message on Tuesday, she said: “I kind of communicate at a level where I assume a certain level of intelligence on the part of people listening to me… Now all I would say is if that is genuinely what people – journalists, opposition politicians – thought I meant, and that I had committed to that without compulsory vaccination, I'm genuinely really surprised that there wasn't a clamour of questions asking me how on Earth I was going to deliver that commitment.”
Angry… but it’s a strange situation where the First Minister is effectively arguing that reporters and politicians are stupid for taking what she says at face value, and even more stupid if they ask for clarification later.
Not with the most convincing sincerity, she did apologise for sounding irritated, but even suggesting that those who challenge her record on the basis of her own badly worded statements do not have the “level of intelligence” she expects is taking condescension into new territory.
John McLellan is a Conservative councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston