THE rollback on furlough announced by the Chancellor, though welcome, was belated, showing the contempt held by this Tory Government for areas beyond its heartlands in the south.

The requirement for an all-England lockdown saw action speedily taken while, only a few weeks before, requests for assistance by Scotland, Manchester and other parts of northern England were treated with disdain. Now, some sectors in Scotland find themselves in a less favourable position than if they’d been locked down.

But if the Tories were forced to beat a hasty retreat on that, they weren’t doing so on other issues that are equally critical for Scotland or harmful to many others.

Amendments made by the House of Lords to try and protect food standards were rejected by the Tories, as were valiant efforts to protect safe passage for child refugees.

The former is vital to the interests of so many businesses in East Lothian and is compounded by the dangers of a hard Brexit. No wonder farmers and food producers are in despair.

Equally shameful was the rejection of the changes brought about by Lord Alf Dubs to provide some protections for child refugees. To be so heartless just days after a family drowned in the Channel was despicable. I’m no supporter of an unelected House of Lords but if they were all like Lord Dubs, I could maybe be persuaded.

Himself a Kindertransport child fleeing Czechoslovakia from the Nazis, he has campaigned tirelessly for other such threatened children. I’ve come across him in several committees and, though getting old and frail, he’s still a remarkable man.

Seasonal events have continued, despite restrictions. I’m a supporter of action on fireworks as the harm now outweighs the good. I’m glad the Scottish Government’s review recommends wider restrictions on sale and use. It’s not just dogs that cower in fear but entire communities. Enough is enough.