Mr Farquharson’s journalistic technique is transparently ‘shoddy’. He identifies a course of action (Scotland ‘self-isolating’) that no-one is suggesting either in reality or metaphorically – and which under no circumstances would be required except in extremis for public health reasons (cf. China or Italy). He then proclaims that this is not the time to do the very thing which only he has identified. How ‘clever’!

Is he unaware of how much co-operation takes place on public health protection between nation states both on an ongoing basis and in emergency situations? Or is this just another attempt to re-play the ‘too wee, too poor, too stupid’ to cope message? Desperate stuff!

Mr Farquharson refers to something he terms ‘selective internationalism’ – what does this mean? Let’s leave to one side the obvious flaw here, namely that most people in Scotland wish to remain within the EU – because they are, specifically, NOT self-isolating but rather ‘internationalist’. Let’s look instead at other practical demonstrations of ‘internationalism’ that many indy supporters aspire to for our newly independent nation state.

The Nordic Council of Ministers and the Nordic Council are the main forums for official Nordic co-operation, which involves Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland. These independent nation states co-operate on a wide range of public policy issues – both across their nation state boundaries and between countries which are within and outside the EU.

A quick look at the Nordic countries’ current areas of co-operation on health and social care policy and delivery shows how serious, sensible, progressive countries, including small countries, work together.


Just some of the areas of Nordic co-operation include:

– Boosting co-operation on highly specialised treatments in the Nordic Region

– Establishing a Nordic network for rare diagnoses

– Increasing co-operation regarding measures to improve public health

– Increasing support for patient mobility in the Nordic Region – work to further increase patients’ right to treatment and care in another Nordic country
– Increasing the mandate for co-operation within the field of health preparedness
– Expanding Nordic pharmaceutical co-operation to boost cost-efficiency and improve safety- including the creation of a joint dispensary for uncommon drugs and increase co-operation on rare drugs; increase the exchange of information on purchasing agreements and applications for new drugs
– Establishing Nordic co-operation between national experts – in order to improve utilisation of the countries’ resources.