DURING these extraordinary times of lockdown and displays of elitist rule-breaking, things are visibly changing. People who have had to adapt their lives dramatically no longer wish to see a government that allows some rules for the privileged and others for the rest of us.

Deference has been undermined. The anger and mockery reserved for Dominic Cummings is not “moving on”, as requested by the Prime Minister, because the outrage has not gone.

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Perhaps, at last, what we are seeing is the death throes of the neoliberalism of an old world and the beginnings of the new. The drastic circumstances of Covid-19 may have forced the pace in different ways. The drastic loss of income for many people has raised the question of how we can revive the economy. In Scotland we have begun to discuss the idea of a universal basic income which would keep money flowing round the economy for goods and services and create a demand for the production of all the necessities of life.

The cessation of life as we know it has thrown us back onto our own resources and made us more reflective about who and what constitute the necessities. The Thursday clap for all our care workers including posties and shop workers has brought home to us the people who make these nations and provinces run fully.

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The next step must be to upgrade the jobs, training and pay of all who have been undervalued and perhaps reflect about the materialism that has come to dominate our lives.

The birdsong and clear blue skies which we have experienced without traffic have shown us how a greener world might begin to look.

Let us use these lessons to begin to build a kinder, better future for our children and grandchildren.

Maggie Chetty

WHAT the Dominic Cummings affair has shown very clearly is that Boris Johnson feels immune to public and political pressure. This has serious implications for the SNP strategy of somehow forcing him to grant a Section 30 order through a large pro independence majority in Holyrood showing that Scots want change. He will say no, followed by stating that the matter has been dealt with – move on!

We have to find another strategy.

Ceri Williams

WHEN the government’s moral compass points south, when the overarching agenda is big business and little government, it is clear that the four nations are approaching a crossroads.

Dominic Cummings’s coveted prize of crashing out of Europe will become a reality, and with it an alignment of all things American and English. Within a relatively short time Scotland will have a barely recognisable neighbour, and unless a radical alternative approach for a road map to an independent Scotland is formed we will be sucked into a chaotic socio-economic mess.

READ MORE: George Kerevan: Why I would use the f-word when it comes to Dominic Cummings ...

Countries become independent via two scenarios: being released by their host or simply by taking ownership of the right to nationhood. With the present UK Cabinet in power, few countries would criticise a Scotland desperate to be rid of such a discredited government in London.

Those who think a Section 30 will be given if the SNP win yet another mandate in next year’s Holyrood elections are deluding themselves. A clear strategy forward regardless of what happens in London must be formed.

We are approaching a critical time when caution is the enemy of success, an obstacle towards self-determination. Nicola Surgeon has proved that Scotland is well able to govern itself; now is the time to lay out a timetable for independence.

Mike Herd

I WONDER if the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, would like to share next week’s winning lottery numbers with me, or perhaps let me know who is going to win the Scottish Cup next season? I’m only asking this as his latest move in closing down the support for businesses seems to have fixed dates. Is he aware that the coronavirus will be under control by his self-imposed deadlines? Has he got a crystal ball which tells him when it’s safe for people to go back to work? Is he simply assuming that all parts of the UK – not just the nations but also the regions of England – will be at the same point in dealing with coronavirus so his deadlines won’t result in death sentences for those returning to work?

It’s clear the Tories have failed miserably in dealing with coronavirus; the only part of the UK for which they had sole responsibility (and the full powers to do whatever was needed) was England, yet according to a report in Saturday’s National, that country now has the highest death rate (per head of population) of any country in the world. And now we have a Chancellor who is prepared to use arbitrary deadlines to scale down and remove the limited support he has offered businesses.

There is some concern that a second spike is currently happening in England, thanks to the Tories early relaxation of the lockdown - apparently singing Vera Lynn songs while holding VE parties in the street is not a vaccine against coronavirus.

It’s time the Tories put lives ahead of profits – but we all know that won’t happen.

Cllr Kenny MacLaren

HOW things have changed at Westminster as it has become apparent who is in charge. Could you ever imagine Churchill, Attlee or MacMillan putting up with something like this?Cummings would have been thrown out without his feet touching the ground He is supposed to be an advisor but it appears that it is he who needs advising. He certainly needs advice on how to dress like an adult and not as a student on a protest march

Ronald Livingstone McNeill