So there's a growing awareness in the SNP that the only way to protect rural communities is by means of a suppression strategy, ie. by stopping those communities from being exposed to infection in the first place. That being the case, it's extremely hard to understand why Holyrood was, until only a few days ago, in complete lockstep with the insane "herd immunity" strategy of the UK government which would have entailed deliberately allowing 60%+ of the population to be infected over the coming weeks. I'm sure you don't need me to paint a picture for you: if that had happened, there's no way rural areas would have been spared. How did we get into such a grotesque position? Did people in the SNP just not join up the dots and realise what they were signing off on? Were they too in awe of a handful of London scientists to ask even the most basic questions?
Even now, it's far from clear that the UK government's chief advisers Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance are actually sold on a suppression strategy. Reading between the lines of today's illuminating BuzzFeed piece, it seems that they're reluctantly going along for the time being with the suppression measures described as absolutely essential by the Imperial College paper, but are refusing to acknowledge that anything has really changed. That leaves open the disturbing possibility that their influence could see the UK backslide into a "take it on the chin" approach. Can we be assured that the Scottish Government are privately making representations to ensure that doesn't happen, and that rural communities (and the rest of the country, for that matter) are protected?
I must say that Jason Leitch's Grand Complacency Tour of the TV studios hasn't inspired any great confidence that the Scottish Government's own advisers are doing anything other than showing total deference to whatever the London "science" happens to be today. I'd suggest it's time for SNP backbenchers to speak out and urge that the UK should start following the real science and adopt the recommendations of the World Health Organization on suppressing and controlling the virus - which are about as far removed from Whitty's and Vallance's reckless outlier views as it's possible to be.
(By the way, none of this should be interpreted as a criticism of Angus MacNeil, who I know has been speaking out.)