TRUST IS KEY AS WE EASE LOCKDOWN

Some lockdown measures being eased is a welcome accompaniment to the declining rate of infections across Clydebank and Scotland, after the hardships we have all had to endure over the last few months.

It’s good news, and a sign that we are into Phase 1 of the route map out of lockdown, although one in which the key messages of stay at home; only go outside for essential food, health and work reasons; stay two metres away from other people and wash your hands regularly, still stand.

As we begin this phased withdrawal, the issue of trust will come increasingly to the fore.

All of us will have to trust the judgement of the Scottish Government in not proceeding too quickly or slowly down this path.

We will all need to trust each other to be sensible in our interpretation of the news that we can now meet limited numbers of friends and family outside — because no-one wants an increase in infections and a return to full lockdown.

And so, as we begin to rely more on trust and our own judgement to save the NHS, there could not have been a worse time for the revelations about Boris Johnson’s chief advisor Dominic Cummings breaching lockdown regulations at the height of the pandemic.

Judging by my inbox this week, there are an awful lot of you in Clydebank just as appalled as I am by the total hypocrisy and arrogance of these Tories deciding that there was one rule for them and one rule for the rest of us.

My staff and I have been inundated with thousands of extra cases of people all over West Dunbartonshire trying to do their best to stay safe and respect the rules, and it has been heartbreaking to hear the stories of those unable to visit sick and dying relatives, or the effects these regulations are having on the mental health of so many in our community.

Being in public life means you have a responsibility to gain and keep the trust of the voters that put you there.

It is clear to me the Prime Minister should have dismissed his advisor as soon as he heard about his rule breaking.

So let not the actions of the Prime Minister’s circle erode the trust that has brought us to where we are this week — it is this sense of common endeavour and trust that will keep us going over the next few months and allow us to see the family and friends we have all missed so much.

This article was written for publication in the Clydebank Post.

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