BBC Scotland will be dwelling on Scotland’s drug deaths for some time and the press such as the Herald below will be digging up multiple attack lines.
None will be exploring the roots of the spike in Thatcherite policies from the 80s but will that matter anyway?
I’ve mentioned before, that after a very difficult time coming off opioid painkillers myself, my empathy for drug addicts has been much intensified.
I genuinely want to see increased efforts to save lives even if it means tholing the hypocrisy of the Tories but how widely shared are my views?
Will the accusations of SNP failure to deal with this problem do them any damage at all?
SNP support in polls has not been measured since early May but it was solid around 50% on average and, notably the same as in July 2020 when the previous set of increased death rate figures came out.
In fact, for reasons I don’t now recall, average support in August and September 2020, the months immediately after they were accused of failing drug addicts, support went up as high as 58%.
Do most voters care much at all about the deaths of drug addicts compared to Covid deaths or the far more numerous cancer deaths?
In a 2015 survey by the Independent, there was little evidence of empathy for Ecstasy victims and comments like ‘They deserved to die’ were the norm.
A large scale content analysis of the UK press coverage of drug users in 2010 found:
Drug users were more likely to be condemned than empathised with in all newspapers, but were most likely to be condemned in the tabloid press, where around a fifth of users were condemned.
Watch out for the next opinion poll but do not expect any collapse in SNP support over this, any more than was the case with alleged hospital failures, sexual misbehaviour or internal civil wars. Most voters are paying little attention.