Analysis: Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson at odds again on a happy new year

As we approach the new year, both Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson have come to different decisions based on the same evidence.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon with Prime Minister Boris Johnson have taken different decisions on restrictions
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon with Prime Minister Boris Johnson have taken different decisions on restrictions

Presented with information from SAGE, albeit local, the First Minister has brought back restrictions which are set to stay until January 17.

Public events have been limited to up to 100 people at indoor standing events, up to 200 people at indoor seated events, and up to 500 people at outdoor events.

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

The Prime Minister meanwhile has done absolutely nothing, instead promising to review the data hour by hour.

That’s not to say this is the wrong decision, but one of the leaders will have difficult questions to answer depending on what happens next.

Now I work and live in London, so on a personal level I am quite pleased by the lack of restrictions.

I am no clubber, but I am very much looking forward to going out tonight.

I’ll be requesting camp pop music, dressing up, and holding my friends close, all of whom will have done LFT tests beforehand.

Others in England may not be so careful, or not go out at all, but the revelry is still likely to far exceed the scenes in Scotland.

The Prime Minister is putting his trust in the vaccine roll out to ward off cases, and recognising with his authority already diminished any further restrictions will increase his chances of needing new employment.

His backbenchers were opposing social distancing rules during the height of the pandemic, their patience and support for his approach will not run into 2022.

If cases rise, we will look back and wonder not about personal responsibility, but how Mr Johnson could have seen the data and decided once again to take no action.

But if they don’t, things look more difficult for Nicola Sturgeon, a leader who has grown in stature during the pandemic.

There is erring on the side of caution, but no spike in England will lead the First Minister having to explain why she cancelled events,.

This is a political decision, with the myth of a four nation approach being busted despite a year of being repeated by UK Government ministers.

Whatever happens, one leader is going to have to explain themselves.

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.