Students are being held hostage by the SNP based on guesswork.

Hillhead Halls of Residence, Aberdeen

By Derek W Gardiner

There always seems to be a scapegoat for the spreading of coronavirus. Last week it was those who protested against further lockdown restrictions. This week it is students who are being subjected to all kinds of cruel and authoritarian measures. I graduated from a postgraduate course earlier this year so thankfully my uni days are done, I say this not because I didn't enjoy it, it was a great period in my life but because of the hell young people and students are now going through all because of a virus that barely affects them.

Young people are now more likely to be SNP and Yes voters so it beggars belief that Nicola Sturgeon has been trying to mess up their lives for the last couple of months. It started with the exams fiasco and school pupils having their grades lowered based on an algorithmic postcode lottery, then they were told that there was nothing to worry about going to uni in September. Only for this week to be told in a snide tweet by Clinical Director Jason Leitch that students living in halls were now a separate household and not allowed to mix with their own parents indoors. A few hours later students were told they were banned from going to the pub, which was later clarified to be only for this current weekend after outrage mounted on social media and the Chief Constable of Police Scotland warned students not to dare have house parties as they would be watching. To add insult to injury hundreds of students were told to self-isolate in student halls with similar living conditions to prison for two weeks.

Many local student pubs, such as my old favourate, the St Machar bar now face losing their main source of custom, this coupled with the 10pm curfew will leave many hospitality businesses struggling to survive. Nicola Sturgeon made clear in her Presidential address to the nation that the only reason she was not closing the pubs completely is because the UK government wasn't prepared to pay for endless furlough for jobs that would be extinghished as a result of her actions.

None of this has any scientific basis at all. Only 4 people under the age of 20 with no underlying health conditions have so far died of COVID and the vast majority of cases in that age group are asymptomatic making spread much harder. The Oxford epidemiologist Professor Sunetra Gupta has argued that restrictions should not be applied to students and “As many young people as possible need to get the virus before winter,” in order to build herd immunity within the least vulnerable category. She was one of several scientists who signed an open letter to Boris Johnson urging him not to impose further restrictions last week. While governments always like to say they are following the science, on this as on the climate deabate, the official science always seems to take the side of government having more power and those that argue for less government are derided as "conspiracy theorists" and "deniers" regardless of how many qualifications they may have.

Britian needs a new TV station

The latest thing to upset the woke left this week is that Andrew Neil, the BBC's last bastion of good common sense journalism, is setting up his own TV channel, called GB News, to give a space to those who feel "underserved and unheard by their meda" meaning a substanital proportion of the British public who have tuned out of the BBC but are still forced to pay for its content. It was labbled as Gammon Box by left wing commentator, James O Brien, who has no qualms about using a term that some have deemed racist.

Many people young and old have given up on TV altogether and are turning to YouTube, podcasts and online media for their news. I seldom bother to tune into the News at ten unless something major has happened and haven't tuned in to the news at six in year. Since 2016 it has all been presented in a way to induce maximum fear and panic in the population so they will comply with any edict the government issues be that on COVID or Brexit or overseas wars. Both the BBC and Sky News do not focus on what the public want to hear from their politicians instead asking questions about whether the former Prime Minister of Australia is a "homophobe and misogynist" or whether it is a legitimate point of view that Winston Churchill was worse than Adolf Hitler.

The public wants accountability from their politicians, especially when their lives are being interfered with to the extent that they are now. I hope Andrew Neil will assemble a team of no- nonsence journalists who will keep politicans on their toes the way he always has and we can have a rebirth of proper journalism in this country.