Because we can

Catherine Calderwood should not have disregarded measures to combat the spread of Covid-19 that she was largely responsible for formulating and having adopted. But let’s not kid ourselves that this is why she has been hounded from her post as Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer. Dr Calderwood was targeted because she was vulnerable. The pack is predatory. And that’s how pack predators operate. The single out the weak and harry them to exhaustion. The photograph of Dr Calderwood visiting her second home was the equivalent of blood in the water. The ravening mob responded as atavistic instinct compels.

It may, of course, be argued that Dr Calderwood invited the attack. That she was the author of her own fate inasmuch as she should have taken greater care not to look like a potential victim. She is not some wobbly-legged fawn fresh to the world and yet to learn its vicious ways. She did not rise to the position she held without encountering – and escaping – predators. She should have known better.

It could very well be argued that she could/should have been better protected by the herd. There seems general agreement that the country benefited from her abilities and qualities. Had she been more fortunate, the stronger members of the herd would have confronted and deterred the predators. Or the herd, following some instinct of its own, might have crowded round and offered shelter in sheer numbers. She should have been so lucky.

The pursuit of Dr Calderwood played out as such pursuits so often do, with the prey being brought down and savaged. Temporarily sated, the packed mills around the corpse savouring what it assumes to be its power mindlessly unaware that it was merely the instrument of forces beyond its ken.

I don’t defend what Dr Calderwood did. But what she did was far less deplorable than what was done to her in response. We are human beings. Contrary to appearances, we are not slavering beasts. We can choose not to be slaves to the lizard-brain bequeathed to us by evolution. We can opt out of the hunt. We can subordinate our base urges to our higher intellect. We can reason. And, having the capacity to reason, we are capable of being reasonable.

That is true power. Power to go where we will rather than where we are led either by our primitive instincts or those who are skilled in manipulating them. The power to choose – for good reasons or none – not to hunt today. Or not to hunt this particular prey. Every once in a while we need to let one go. Just to show that we have the power to do so. Just because we can.

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21 thoughts on “Because we can

  1. She did it, then did it again, two weeks in a row. That came out during the press conference. Her position was untenable, Peter.

    You simply cannot be in a position of power and privilege wagging a finger admonishing the hoi polloi, ‘Thou shall not!’, then get caught TWICE doing exactly that which you have declared verboten.

    This was handled very badly by Sturgeon. Then again, maybe we should give her a break. Like everyone else, she has good days and bad days, and she didn’t appear to be at all weak or indecisive when she was fitting-up Salmond.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sturgeon has a weakness for defending people even when they make mistakes; it’s called loyalty; and, yes, it can be a serious error. However, Ms Calderwood should not have made two errors in a row; she, herself, brought her own downfall. The Unionists are baying for Nicola Sturgeon’s blood. If anyone still believes that she conspired to bring down Mr Salmond, for which she is being blamed on social media, by many, they really need to think again. Not only Mr Salmond was in the sights; Nicola Sturgeon is, too. The slavering Unionist media in Scotland has been baulked of Mr Salmond’s head, so now they are gunning for Nicola Sturgeon’s and anyone’s close to her. Ms Calderwood made a grave error of judgement, but the likes of top Labour collaborators and sleekit Lib Dem grovellers ensured that her own strictures toppled her. Even while we are being exhorted to unite as the UK to defeat the Coronavirus, the shameless carry on their sniper activities behind the barrier. No one now should be in any doubt that the Salmond debacle was much more than an internal SNP jostling for power and position. Mr Salmond won both his cases and the Unionist coven up here, allied to the Brexit England-as-the-UK down there, wanted both heads to roll. They will now be relentless – the less scrupulous among them, the underhand and the devious, the Scotland haters – in pursuing Nicola Sturgeon, aided and abetted by those who should know better. They are taking this opportunity, while people are dying, to make political capital and destroy the SNP. Make sure, folks, when this horrible pandemic is over, and the Scottish election can take place, that every, single Unionist-held seat in Scotland is targeted relentlessly. These people are beyond description. They are monstrous, and the media that salivates over them is even more so. They are a disgrace to the name of Scotland. Independence is normal. Independence is a human right. Self-determination, and Scotland’s is now independence, is enshrined as a right in the UN Charter which the UK has signed. The Unionists are in breach of International law. Let’s not let them get away with it when we have the chance to vote again.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. While I agree with the sentiments in your comment and understand only too well why we are between a rock and a hard place I take exception to being told that those of us who criticize Sturgeon as a lame duck (and that’s a generous comment) should ‘know better’. What do you expect us to do while she insults us with disingenuous lectures about Section 30? I wonder what the signatories of the Declaration of Arbroath have to say? This for starters:

        “Yet if he should give up what he has begun, and agree to make us or our kingdom subject to the King of England or the English, we should exert ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy and a subverter of his own rights and ours, and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King”

        But 700 years later who the hell cares ajnyway?


      2. I am not lecturing you on anything, Rory Winter, so please refrain from accusing me of that. What or who are you going to put in her place before the next Scottish election? I am asking: if this is not down to Nicola Sturgeon, and I do not believe it is, what will bringing her down achieve except to give the Unionists and English Nationalists precisely what they want – a leaderless and rudderless SNP? So many talk about the British State and its remorseless pursuit of its own interest, but few actually are able to take that to its logical conclusion. This may well be an SNP-led attack on Mr Salmond or it could be something far more sinister as well as a stupidly malign influence in the SNP, so that we just don’t see the strings that are being pulled. So much of the invective against the FM is based in so much anti female nonsense and misogyny that we are in danger of making this a male-female spilt in the party. When I was a member of the party, I was a natural ally of both Mr Salmond and Ms Sturgeon, and voted for them. I have been extremely disappointed in what has happened to the momentum now, but I’m not daft enough to believe it is all Ms Sturgeon’s fault. If there is infiltration of the SNP, and it is far more likely than not, given the British State’s past record, what form do you think that would take? All I’m asking people to do is stop and think about what they are saying, start putting two and two together. As I said, I am in total agreement that the case against Mr Salmond was weak in the extreme, but I am also disgusted by much of the vicious hatred of women in general that has been pouring out in the disguise of concern for Mr Salmond, and it could lead to women in the party being completely alienated. Why would women want to live in an independent Scotland that is so remarkably similar to the one we would have left, a place that has no room for us except below stairs? So often women are not the main actors, but are used as the means to bring someone down. Maybe it’s time for the male commentators to think with their heads instead of their bits and cease to be motivated by a deep-seated fear of women that resides only in their imaginations. Because some women did something, not all women do it. Because some men did something, not all men do it.


      3. If you truly Sturgeon is an innocent in the conspiracy to send Salmond to prison for the rest of his life, I have some prime oceanfront property in Arizona I’d like to sell you, Lorna.


      4. Sturgeon is certainly trying her best to help them, some very poor decision making. It was obvious that Calderwood had to go and the sensible thing would have been to be decisive rather than to be forced into and looked weak and looking after your cronies. She dithered with Mackay as well and looks like she at best well knew about Salmond stitch up. That and fact that independence was put on back burner as they fibbed all year makes you think she is just far and happy with the status quo.
        Looks like it is time for new blood and a clear out of the clique at top of the SNP.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. As a regular visitor to Elie and Earlsferry, I wonder why just as a contributor to today’s National wonders, why there has not been a similar outcry about the numbers of second home owners suddenly deciding to lock themselves down in a village with limited facilities.

    I also look forward to a campaign led by the super soaraway Sun to highlight the iniquity of the clearance of local people from what was once a vibrant village with shops garages and a railway station.

    She made a mistake yes. And perhaps she did the right thing by resigning but the stench of hypocrisy from those baying for blood is rank.


  3. My initial feeling was that Catherine Calderwood made a mistake – a somewhat arrogant one, given her ‘stay at home’ advice – even if it was only going to switch the gas and electricity off. On its own this was not a hanging offence.

    However, when it came to light that it was her second sortie to her second home in a short number of days then clearly it was a case of double standards. Dr Calderwood was not born yesterday and should have known that this second ‘misdemeanour’ would almost certainly come to light.

    She should have resigned quickly yesterday morning and avoided any further damage to her reputation.

    That said this episode is not really about Dr Calderwood and her mild hypocrisy. The not very well hidden agenda of the British press and parties in Scotland is about tarnishing Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Government.

    This is a difficult time for scandal lusting hacks, particularly now that the Salmond trial is over and the possibility that perhaps they are having second thoughts about continuing the harassment of the former FM given that some of these publications are in the frame for contempt of court due to them being reported to the COPFS by Stuart Campbell.

    Regarding the British politicians in Scotland it is no surprise that the likes of Jackson Carlow and Willie Rennie were jumping up and down yesterday.

    The Brits know that, at the end of this public health crisis, there will be an assessment of both the UK and Scottish government’s handling of the matter. They know that Johnson is out of his depth, ignored the evidence coming out of China and South Korea 12 weeks ago and blundered into the herd immunity strategy. (I say ‘strategy’ but it is really just a survival of the fittest approach which is all part of the general laissez-faire ideology adopted over more than 40 years since the advent of Thatcher and her henchmen).

    So anything that can tenuously be described as ‘incompetence’ will be laid at the door of the First Minister. This will be so that the Brits can say “ah but the Scottish Government weren’t so hot either” in their usual cringey sort of way.

    Twas ever thus.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thats an interesting article Peter, and your analogy is very evocative, reminds me of a pack of Hyenas on a herd of Zebras.

    She is the Chief Medical officer at a time of pandemic, (the like of which no one alive has seen)
    her words are taken as gospel.
    To flout her own directives, so nonchalantly suggests arrogance at worse and carelessness at best.

    Were the whole country to flout the lock-down so, then it would have no effect.

    The Idea of the pack chasing the herd is that the weakest,are culled and the herd survives

    In this case the resignation is a sobering lesson to everyone, that no one is immune from these regulations and the virus itself.


  5. I thought the same initially Peter, but then when it came out that she’d been out twice, that is, each weekend since lock down, and was photographed walking about and smiling with her kids, the hypocrisy of her giving stern advice to others who don’t even have gardens, never mind second homes, to social distance even in public parks, really riled. We’re not all in this together.

    It has also occurred to me that the Sun journalist who published the story probably wasn’t running about spying on her during the lock down either. One of her neighbours in Fife must have spotted her walking about, taken the photo, and sent it to the Sun. It must have really rankled with them. That seems the likeliest explanation for the story coming to light. It would be apiece with the reaction of locals in the Highlands upset at second home owners from the city fleeing to them and spreading the virus. There were only 8 cases in the Highlands on Sunday 23 March when lockdown was introduced. Yesterday there were 99. That’s a 12-fold increase in two weeks. The steepest rise in the country.

    Why is more not being done to prevent this? In Norway second home owners were threatened by the civil guard if they were discovered staying overnight in their holiday cabins in remoter areas where the health services can not cope with large numbers of sick.


  6. It’s not a great distance between Edinburgh and Fife. They are right across the water from each other.
    I don’t see why this person was forced out of he post, here.
    It’s not as if she was going about the place causing a big problem.
    The big problem has been the outrageous Scottish Media, who still, will do anything, and that really is absolutely anything, to get a dig at the present Scottish Government. We are seeing reports of 2 tory MSPs travelling miles on end, to go a walk on a hill in this country.
    Why are they not being hounded out of office by the Scottish Media
    Where is Jackson Carlaw with that one? He was among the first to call for Calderwood to go. But it’s okay for his tory MSPs to travel far greater distances when they have plenty open space where they live. They must have nice big houses with nice big gardens too, I bet!
    Everyone was told these new “Stay at Home” rules would be used with common sense, and good reason, etc, and those of us who warned of the dangers of that not being done, have been proven correct, as this little affair shows.
    It also shows us the Police are a bit reserved on who they issue those fines too.


  7. MBC – I agree, and to add context, by choice I live in Highland Region approx 150 miles from the nearest hospital with ICU capability and in an area seriously oversubscribed in holiday lets and second homes, without the appropriate supporting social infrastructure and accordingly have been more than a little incensed by the recent actions of the then CMO Scotland.

    Dr Catherine Calderwood’s best protection should have been her own instinct however, she chose along with one presumes her partner to abandon that process in order to accommodate self interest, a trait not uncommon to those who hold high office within this sphere of society. Unfortunately the greater loss may well be experienced by the victims of this current pandemic if her undoubted expertise in the medical field is lost owing to a sense of entitlement commensurate with post, on her part.

    Loyalty? may be or may not be a particular attribute of Nicola Sturgeon, questionable if taken in the context of a policy document signed off by her in December 2017 enabling retrospective legislation which led to the bungled Scottish Government inquiry apparently initiated the following month January 2018 regarding allegations against the former First Minister Alex Salmond putting him in the crosshairs of the unionist establishments sights later to be dismissed in a civil case in the High Court in Edinburgh as unlawful unfair and tainted by apparent bias and as we now know as a sequel to all of that a criminal trial at the High Court in Edinburgh whereby Alex Salmond was found not guilty to all of thirteen charges brought against him

    I do not doubt the passion for Scotland’s Independence expressed by Lorna Campbell and would mostly concur with the structured arguments she presents in her commentaries here and elsewhere and I agree the unionist machine has intent to unseat Nicola Sturgeon at every opportunity but in doing so we cannot be in denial of the fact that the campaign for Independence has some time ago foundered at government level under her stewardship and in reality the way forward requires her removal from office preferably through the auspices of the party structures to be replaced by new blood COMMITTED to fight the cause within and without the party machine. Nothing else will suffice!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Its a shame there was something warmingly reassuring about Dr Calderwood. She was ultimately undone by the conjoinment of Unionist hypocrisy towards malfeasance and Sturgeon’s self serving leadership. Evan’s next? Methinks not.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. To those who think she was undone by Unionists, c’mon. She set out the ground rules: “stay at home”, broadcast this instruction to the nation and then broke her own rule and broke it twice, not coming clean immediately.

    It just didn’t look good flouting her own advice. A couple of weeks or so ago, we thought we could go out in our motorhome, find a remote spot, do a walk or two, see no one and come home, no harm done. But it wouldn’t look good, while there are tens of thousands locked up in small flats, with no garden to exercise in. We stayed at home and so should she have done.

    What mystifies me is what she was thinking of? And did no one in her family say to her “this isn’t a good idea”?

    As soon as my wife told me what she had done, I said this could be a resigning matter. She should have resigned immediately, instead of which she’s let down the FM, the SG, health workers and everybody else – and ruined her career.

    Yes, I agree with all seems very unfair. A politician can lie, and lie again, as carmichael and Johnson have shown and get away with it without any penalty. I sympathise with her because she seemed to be doing a good job, and it was a mistake, and we all make mistakes, but hers was a mistake which damaged trust.


  10. @ Lorna Campbell , Lorna I always enjoy your posts and usually I am in total agreement with your dissections , but I must admit on this occasion I disagree strongly with your assertions , IMO Nicola Sturgeon and the wider SNP party have betrayed and sabotaged the independence movement and our quest for freedom from our oppressors , she has prostrated and capitulated to the WM government at every turn , she had a mandate of 62% from the Scottish people to remain within the EU , with her and her representative Ian Blackford STATING categorically and relentlessly that we would not be removed from the EU against our will , yet that is what is happening

    She has been given numerous mandates which returned her to power in government to enable a referendum to take place , to ascertain the desire for indy , yet again she capitulated by doing nothing , nada , zilch . To heap even more misery and dismay on indy supporters she recently instructed the YES movement to stand down and to further add insult to injury she had the temerity to send a letter to our overlords informing them of her instructions , a totally unnecessary and disgusting capitulation and one that personally sickened me

    I along with other dissenters and non Nicola lovers are always asked , well who are you going to vote for as the SNP are the only party that can lead us to indy , and that precisely is the problem a rock and a hard place , it is inconceivable that with all of the astute , competent and learned individuals and bloggers that we have in Scotland that we are being BLACKMAILED into voting for a party that is more interested in gender issues that affect a minuscule proportion of our citizens and that may or may not address the 50%+ independence support


  11. I also think what she did was wrong, But it baffles me slightly how did said scummy unionist reporter knew she’d be there ? Now it was 80 miles from where he lives, was she being watched ? did he follow her from here house stalk her even. How would he even know shes there ? so he’s definitely getting inside information. Could it be Mi5 or some other British state apparatus, it stinks to high heaven. How did the video of Salmond’s council on a train being secretly filmed get into the hands of the MSM ? Its like something out of a James Bond movie. I think its pretty obvious that British secret services personal are watching anyone who’s anyone in the Independence movement. Now the CMO wasn’t a part of the Independence movement, but they knew she was close to NS and it could hurt her.

    So the CMO resigned because she broke the rules fair enough, but what about Murdo the Queens eleven Frazer and Liz Smith the never to win any election Tory’s, doing up Ben Vorlich, after the call for everyone to stay home ? The hypocrisy is palpable. Or Prince Charley boy, who finds out hes infected and all his entourage are infected and then head to Scotland to pass it on to the Jocks up there, It grinds my gears this sense of entitlement these morons think they have. And then there’s the MSM Lackeys reporting nothing about any this. Please please please Scotland wake the fuck up.


  12. Mr Wright: perhaps you could sell me a piece of Scotland since it is open season here, but, of course, I’m a Scot, so it probably isn’t open to me? Oh, I’m not stupid enough to believe that Nicola Sturgeon is an ingenue, but neither did I come up the Clyde in a banana boat to believe that she orchestrated Salmond’s downfall. Once the legislation was in place to take ministers to task for past bad behaviour, the die was cast anyway, but someone had an agenda which, on the face of it, looked like a female coven bringing down a man for no reason at all. Except that’s not quite true, is it? Mr Salmond himself admitted some inappropriate behaviour. For what my opinion’s worth, someone else used that to try and bring down both Salmond and Sturgeon, knowing full well that she would get the blame. Scargill was too set in his ways and would not compromise with Thatcher, but he was smeared and blackened on no evidence whatsoever. Adams and MacGuinness discovered in time and by sheer chance just how riddled the IRA and Fein Fein were with British agents and turned that to their advantage. Something has happened in the SNP and it bears all the hallmarks of a British State action. You can think me a conspiracy theorist if you like, but something is stinking here, and, if the SNP is as daft and vicious and spiteful as you think, its own hubris will bring it crashing down.

    Robert T: yes, she has certainly made mistakes on the independence front, and on the GRA front. I have left the party because of these, but, even so, something very dark is at the heart of this, and, as I said to Mr Wright, it bears the hallmark of a British State action. What if it is not Nicola Sturgeon who has driven the SNP into a state of torpor and paralysis, but something else? This is not the Nicola Sturgeon we witnessed coming through the ranks of the SNP. Something has spooked her. I am not saying I’m right, I’m merely postulating a theory based on close study of the actions of the British State in other arenas, and the smell those actions have left behind, so take it or leave it.


  13. Lorna as I stated I read most of your posts and I agree with most of them also , but on this occasion I disagree , you obviously are entitled to your opinion as are I , hopefully it will all come out in the wash and possibly one of us will be right or maybe not , but I am not your enemy Lorna so I feel that the ” take it or leave it ” is uncalled for


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