TO the lay person, the non-expert, what is unfolding now in our communities, country, rUK and across the world would be almost beyond our imagination if it was not now the new harsh reality of daily life.

And it seems that politicians were no better prepared (even those with access to high-level scientific briefings) than the rest of us.

What has become tragically clear is that the skill set of some politicians are not those most needed in these challenging times. Johnson has been a spectacular case in point.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: Holyrood will enforce coronavirus lockdown if necessary

The inability to put British exceptionalism aside, to take advice and learn from the disease trajectory in other countries, has been in my opinion negligent. The lack of pre-emptive, strategic thinking has been truly gobsmacking and the inability to make decisions, model the required behaviours and message clearly has been absolutely unacceptable.

I am dismayed, for example, at the messaging headline “Save our NHS”. I believe very strongly the message should have been “Save lives ... reduce the pressure on the NHS”.

I know it may be trivial nitpicking on my part, but I notice that Nicola Sturgeon never fails to state “save lives” up front, every time she speaks, before she then immediately expands her narrative to the NHS . The juxtaposition with Johnson’s tagline makes this noticeable.

The difference is subtle and nuanced but perhaps it identifies yet another leadership skill which as yet has eluded Johnson and his cabal. The skill of empathy.

I Easton

HOW is “herd immunity” going to happen? Johnson and Cummings were keen on that just over a week ago – they’ve performed a screeching U-turn, falling in line with the EU and WHO, but two weeks late.

How many lives will be lost because of Johnson’s and Cummings’s arrogance?

Thom Muir