Covid, ambulance waiting times, energy bills and empty supermarket shelves have created a perfect storm that reveals how badly Scotland is governed – The Scotsman

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It is difficult at the moment not to feel that we are in the very eye of a momentous political and economic version of exactly that.

For 18 months, we had endured the seemingly unending and life-threatening waves of the pandemic, to the point where we seemed almost to have become inured to it.

We are braced – but not prepared – for the national and personal economic impact of the end of furlough, the Universal Credit uplift and business support.

And now we find that our energy bills could rocket, inflation is rising, the impact of Brexit is contributing to empty supermarket shelves, and the Scottish government is putting our travel and hospitality industries at a disadvantage to the rest of the UK.

That list was already challenging enough without the stark realisation over the past few weeks that our NHS, which has got us through this crisis, is now at breaking point.

I know that is a claim which politicians are often accused of making simply to weaponise a public service which is held in such specific and special regard by so many of us.

But sadly, all the evidence tells us that the claim is true. Both for the institution itself and the many courageous and tireless staff at its heart.

It must be tempting for those responsible for the well-being of the NHS to blame its current predicament on all the other elements of the storm. That somehow the crisis which has necessitated calling in the Armed Forces to support our ambulance service is purely the result of the circumstances we find ourselves in. That they can look to the example of our energy industry which is defending itself with evidence of an unusual lack of wind and solar resources and a fire on an interconnector.

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