THE virus has clearly infected my mind. In the past 12 weeks there has been a pull in the direction of independence, of truly feeling Scottish. It’s a passion unfelt since Archie Gemmill’s goal, since hearing Connolly’s Solo Concert or discovering a deep fancy for Clare Grogan in Gregory’s Girl.

What’s been happening to foster such thoughts? Boris Johnson has confirmed his position as little more than an aged Butlin’s Red Coat, an attention-seeking performer desperate to gain an Equity card while offering an undeniable ability to deny uncomfortable reality.

He denied coronavirus, until he couldn’t any longer, and then his cohorts obfuscated and lied about PPE, about how care home workers and patients were being tested and protected.

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Sadly, his support of Dominic Cummings was entirely expected of his character.

And, of course, the Prime Minister is now set to take us in the direction of chlorinated chicken, the symbolism being that the nation will find itself stuffed with a US trade deal that reeks of impurities.

Yesterday, Johnson revealed plans to merge the Department for International Development with the Foreign Office, a control strategy which smacks of Cummings’ influence.

Meantime, the Prime Minister has had to swallow huge spoonfuls of ignominy, having first ignored England’s hungry school children, until being given a harsh lesson in morality from Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford.

So I’m angry. Getting angrier. But can anger – fuelled by being locked down, isolated, Netflix-dependent, personal contact-denied – result in a fundamental shift in political persuasion, from left Labour to the SNP?

Surely not? People’s opinions simply become more polarised in crises; we don’t change our minds. We look at political parties’ rhetoric in the way we’d take a Rorschach Test.

The inkblot shapes that the mind sees don’t alter over time or influence. That angry, spikey-looking splot which looks a wee bit like a naval mine still represents long term relationship conflict. Doesn’t it?

On the other hand, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon currently looks taller than she ever has, and it’s nothing to do with wearing six-inch Manolo Blahniks.

Coronavirus has seen her emerge as a poised, confident figure whose ratings have increased with every weighty pronouncement. She’s told the world that Scotland will not follow England in early release, choosing instead to monitor the stats carefully, taking the cautious approach, putting lives before the economy.

The FM has also revealed she can punish those such her Education Secretary John Swinney when they fail to do their homework and leave the nation’s schoolchildren staring into an abyss.

Nicola Sturgeon knows the SNP is all about selling optimism, not confusion and postcode lottery education.

So I’m leaning towards the exit door of the UK, just wondering if we would be better off apart after all.

Help me out here, Nicola. Just give me a few basic answers. We know the Scottish Government is good on social policy; we like to present ourselves as a modern liberal democracy that feeds our hungry children during the school holidays. And that’s excellent.

But why did you hold Boris Johnson’s hand right through the early stages of dealing with coronavirus, ignoring WHO warnings, becoming complicit in the PPE farce, the care home disaster?

How did Scotland come to have one of the higher per capita death rates in the world?

And what if we had been independent since 2014? What of the outbreak of Covid-19. Could we have afforded to furlough the Scottish nation?

When you launch indy-ref 2 will you offer any real detail on the impact of losing the relationship with our largest trading partner? We know Scots will bend over backwards to sound as though we’re a right-on, left-leaning, encompassing, egalitarian society that’s cosier than your granny's tartan blanket. But what will you do to change wealth structures and land ownership?

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Come to think of it, maybe there are other options. Perhaps Keir Starmer will become the Labour leader we’d hoped to see in Jeremy Corbyn. Perhaps Starmer won’t throw Scotland under a bus.

Oh, gosh. It is lockdown fever that’s making me think tartan. I’m starting to remember the nightmares. The changing, bewildering, (“science-supported”) instructions the Scottish Government has issued each week. Jeane Freeman’s being so out of her depth.

Where is the real independent thinking? Meantime, chancellor Rishi Sunak is performing well. He’s personable, capable. Who could run our economy?

Come to think of it, no, I haven’t really changed. Not yet. In fact, it may take many more months of lockdown.

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