HOW long do you think you would survive in a zombie apocalypse-type situation?  

If the Earth had been ravaged by a swarm of gurning zombies, would you bet on yourself as being one of the few plucky survivors remaining? 

I know, instinctively, that I’d be one of the first people they’d catch.  

My desire to survive isn’t as strong as my unwillingness to live in a prolonged state of stress and anxiety. 

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You wouldn’t catch me with a spear fashioned from an old wire coat hanger, trying to retain the last traces of humanity left on earth. I’d walk willingly into the monsters’ outstretched arms and be done with it.  

I’d imagine there are very few politicians that would take such a fatalist approach.  

They’d fight until the bitter end, despite the fact that that end is inevitable.  

I was thinking about zombies while I was watching First Minister’s Questions (FMQs) on Thursday.  

The Scottish Government’s handling of the Covid Inquiry messages fiasco has been a disaster.   

Despite Humza Yousaf’s (below) insistence that his government is committed to full transparency, any reasonable interpretation of the events would force you to conclude otherwise. 

The National:

Handing over all the messages – in full – when first asked to do so by the inquiry would have been the sane, sensible equivalent of accepting your fate and walking into the zombie’s outstretched arms.  

It would have been messy – as the revelations from the UK Government’s own messages have shown – but it would have been mercifully quick.  

Instead, they chose to run and hide, and now are learning, to their horror, that the issue will keep following them around until it eventually catches up with them.  

In his questions to the First Minister, Douglas Ross (below) asked about the inquiry messages for the third week in a row.  

The National:

“Last night, the Deputy First Minister was forced to admit to this parliament that the UK Covid Inquiry sent a request to the Scottish Government requesting messages related to the pandemic in February of this year. But last week, the Deputy First Minister claimed the request was made just over a month ago,” he said.  

“Those statements are clearly contradictory, so how can they both be true?” he asked.  

In response, the First Minister said that the Deputy First Minister had been clear, and in terms of his own response about when the request was made, he was talking about “a very particular issue around specific WhatsApp groups”.  

“I fully accept that the Scottish Government clearly interpreted the requests from the inquiry in a way that was too narrow,” he added.  

As the Scottish Tory benches erupted in response, the First Minister again reiterated his point from last week – that he has personally handed over all of his own WhatsApp messages in their unredacted form, “in stark contrast to [Boris Johnson] who not only dragged the inquiry through courts, but has refused to hand over his own WhatsApp messages”. 

Ross then began quoting the First Minister’s previous statements and asked him to admit that, “in last week’s session, he didn’t tell the truth”.  

The First Minister said he refuted Ross’s accusation and told him to check the official record.  

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The exchange was notable for how close Ross came to breaking Parliament’s “Thou Shalt Not Accuse Another Member of Lying” rule, in his repeated insistence that the First Minister had deliberately misled parliament.  

The First Minister was also asked whether unredacted legal advice would be published as requested, and whether government officials used personal and party email addresses during the pandemic. 

It seems certain that this is an issue that will most likely chase the First Minister all the way to next week’s FMQs.