The leftist governing party of the devolved Scottish parliament is calling for its emergency coronavirus powers to be made “permanent”, giving them the ability to shut schools, enforce mask-wearing, and impose lockdowns without time limit.
The Scottish National Party (SNP) — which, despite being in favour of superstate EU membership, exists to campaign for the North of Britain to break away from the United Kingdom — published on Tuesday an announcement for a 12-week public consultation on removing the expiry date of the leftist government’s ability to enforce wide-ranging lockdown measures, also apparently broadening them beyond the scope of dealing with the Chinese coronavirus.
“…the powers that have enabled this are temporary and will exist only for as long as the current Covid pandemic remains a public health threat. However, it seems likely that Covid will not be the last infectious disease or public health threat Scotland will face.
“As a result, and based on the experience of managing Covid, the Government considers that building public health resilience in the future requires action to ensure a permanent suite of powers that will allow Scottish Ministers to tackle any type of infectious disease or contamination that may pose a significant health threat,” the consultation paper said.
Naming such powers that are due to expire on March 2022 as “prohibiting or limiting numbers at gatherings; introducing lockdown measures; and requiring that face coverings are worn”, the document said that the proposal would give Scottish ministers “the same powers to protect the people of Scotland from any incidence or spread of infection or contamination which presents or could present significant harm to human health in Scotland, not just Covid”.
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Alluding to this dystopian future as a ‘reimaging’ of how a new, post-Covid Scotland could function, SNP Deputy First Minister John Swinney said in comments reported by The Telegraph: “While the pandemic has been incredibly disruptive, its urgency has forced the public services we rely on to adapt and continue and still deliver, driving the pace of digital adoption, and in some cases more efficient ways of working.
“As we enter the recovery phase, we now have a unique opportunity to reimagine how health and social care, learning and justice services can be designed and delivered around the lives and needs of the people who use them.”
Murdo Fraser of the Scottish Tories warned that making the measures permanent could give the SNP, led by Nicola Sturgeon, freedom to impose “sweeping powers upon society on a whim”.
“These powers were intended to be temporary measures to deal with the pandemic. The fact that SNP ministers are now seeking to make many of them permanent is a clear sign they are unwilling to give up their control over people’s lives.
“It is a dangerous route to go down to allow ministers to implement sweeping powers upon society on a whim,” Mr Fraser said.
While the Free Speech Union’s Toby Young called the plans “sinister”.
Meanwhile, in South Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged last month to introduce domestic vaccine passports in England for entry to nightclubs, with warnings from critics within the Conservative Party that the UK was “effectively moving to compulsory vaccination”, while others fear the measures could be a “Trojan Horse” for an identity card system.
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