The Nike Conference attracted 0.03% of those at the Cheltenham Festival caused no deaths compared to hundreds there yet Ian Murray and Sarah Smith want a public inquiry

‘Demands mount‘ like ‘Calls for’ is one of those largely meaningless phrases which newspapers like the Scotsman use to fabricate pressure on, commonly the Scottish Government. You read on, only to discover that it’s just Ian Murray or perhaps him and Jackson Carlaw or even both of them and Willie Rennie (the Lib Dem guy!).

When you wonder which journalist is presenting the case, ‘in the public interest‘, again you find a small set. It’s Sarah Smith or Tom Gordon or even some minor politician pretending to be a journo, like John McLellan or Brian Monteith or Brian Wilson.

As you ponder the level of pressure behind these demands or calls, you hear a noise like air escaping – PHUT!

Then, you reflect on the issue they’ve chosen to champion on behalf of the public, well just themselves really.

In this case it’s the Nike Conferencein Edinburgh on 26th and 27th February involving around ten Scots. The public health officials involved in the contact tracing may or may not have failed to trace some who were there and who may have been infected. There is no evidence other than a single kilt-fitter who developed flu like symptoms in the days that followed. To my knowledge, no one died because of the Nike conference.

But, the people need a public inquiry demands Ian Murray and Sarah Smith repeats it for him whenever she can. The Scottish Government don’t seem to be biting.

More than two weeks later as the lock-down loomed, over 250 000 people attended the Cheltenham Festival (Horse Racing), against the recommendation of the former director of public health in the area, but backed by the local MP who has multiple horse-racing industry funders. The area, Gloucestershire then has a high level of cases (972) and deaths (147). Calls for an inquiry are getting nowhere. The UK Labour Party and BBC England are not pushing hard for one.

Ian Murray is a Westminster MP. He must know Sir Keir Starmer. He can ask him if, in the light of Cheltenham, it’s worth pursuing the Nike case. Phut!

5 thoughts on “The Nike Conference attracted 0.03% of those at the Cheltenham Festival caused no deaths compared to hundreds there yet Ian Murray and Sarah Smith want a public inquiry”

  1. A public inquiry in England is unlikely.. Same in Scotland

    “The establishment of an inquiry may often seem inevitable, but not all major incidents are subject to one. In 1988, the Lockerbie disaster killed 270 people abord Pan American Flight 103 yet no inquiry was appointed. There was also no independent public inquiry into the banking crisis in 2008, with the task instead handled by the Commons Treasury Committee. According to one study, of 664 events which led to calls for an inquiry in the twenty year period to 2003, only 44 (6.6 %) resulted in an inquiry.

    Ultimately, this is because while inquiries play a critical role in getting to the facts, the choice to establish one in the end lies with ministers. As such, the probability of an inquiry has been shown to be the result of a complex blame avoidance and strategic calculation on the part of ministers, who will establish an inquiry only when the costs of not doing so outweigh the risks of acknowledging failings.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is what Murray’s complaint rests on. Nothing else.

    “Murray said the making the news public would have assisted in the “tracking and tracing of all those potentially infected”.”

    There is no certainty to this. Yet he seeks to smear the FM by questioning, by insinuation, whether data confidentiality really was the reason the Nike outbreak was not reported publicly. Dirty stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well we know – at least we can calculate with a reasonable degree of certainty – from Civil Aviation Authority data how many people arrived at Edinburgh Airport from across the world and specifically from Covid-19 hotspots such as Northern Italy around the time of the Nike event. Border Force will have data too.

      With no ‘at border’ testing for inbound passengers at Edinburgh Airport coming from ‘anywhere’, the relative significance of this ‘fact’ compared to the Nike event – where there was after all standard contact tracing deployed by public health experts of the kind typically used for a notifiable disease, as far as we know – simply cannot, cannot be objectively quantified or compared.

      Mr Murray is insulting the intelligence of Labour Party members, Labour Party voters, his own constituents and the whole country in which he resides.


  3. After being made a ‘notifiable disease’ in England, the first notification of Covid-19 was made in week 11 (week ending 15 March) in Nottingham. There was nothing notified in week 12.

    In week 13 (week ending 29 March) there were 116 Covid-19 notifications made by health professionals to Public Health England. The geographic spread of the notified diagnoses seems wide.

    Click to access NOIDS-weekly-report-week13-2020.pdf

    In week 14, there were 210 notifications and 460 in week 15.

    The Cheltenham Festival was held on 10 to 13 March (week 10).


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