Debunking the myth again and again: The First Minister is not just appearing to handle the crisis competently

Not the Herald’s favourite image of the FM

In the Herald today:

Mark Smith is the latest to join the list of supposed journalists forced to retain their sanity by pretending that the SNP leader and her team are not actually doing better but just seem to be. Just who is doing the PR job for them is not clear when you look at the list of those who regularly perpetuate this myth – Brewer, Marr, Smith, Gordon, Macwhirter, the wee guy at Channel 4, the wee guy at, even those at the Guardian.

Going by the opinion polls the public see things differently.

The Scottish Government is objectively, based on empirical evidence, doing far better in managing the covid crises.

To repeat myself for the umpteenth time:

First, from the Scottish Affairs Committee on 18th June:

The Scottish Affairs Committee hears from a panel of constitutional, public health, and economics experts as it probes the UK and Scottish governments’ responses to the coronavirus pandemic.

The witnesses were:

  • AP: Akash Paun, Senior Fellow, Institute for Government;
  • LB: Professor Linda Bauld, Professor of Public Health, University of Edinburgh;
  • DB: Professor David Bell, Professor of Economics, University of Sterling (sic);
  • NM: Professor Nicola McEwen, Co-Director, Centre of Constitutional Change

It’s good to know that the committee admin know where Sterling is and that Professor Pennington was unavailable.

The video is at:

The comments by the four are being selectively and grudgingly reported with only soor plooms being extracted, so here are some of the comments that capture the essence of the story that was told there:

LB: Lack of public health capacity – if there’s lack of capacity in England that will affect the health of the Scottish people.

NM: 4 Nations approach doesn’t mean a uniform approach is needed.

LB: There was a lack of transparency in information presented [by UK Government] to SAGE – The Scottish advisers were not able to see that.

AP: There’s a greater degree of transparency about the Scottish Government decision-making approach , a greater openness.

LB: On transparency of advisory groups: Scottish group much better, publishing minutes and had been doing that from very beginning, really good, good model. Quite different at UK level. Not being able to see those papers from SAGE. Not even knowing who was on the group. Completely unacceptable.

DB: NRS data in Scotland better than data in UK. That task (research) easiest in Scotland.

LB: On communicating decision making about exit strategies: At the UK level absolutely not! The public can see that. In Scotland not perfect at all but FM is far better at communicating these things. She’s been able to say where the decisions have come from. She does lack of transparency on pacing.

Second, hard evidence:

Evidence here:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 103251378_sturgeon.jpg

11 thoughts on “Debunking the myth again and again: The First Minister is not just appearing to handle the crisis competently

  1. It doesn’t matter what the SNP government do,the unionist press will always find something wrong with it.
    Isn’t that what their editors are expected to do by the owners?
    Whatever happened to that old fashioned idea of making money?
    I suppose,if you have deep pockets,then you can take the hit in order to achieve political outcomes.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Hit the nail on the head.

    I do lol whenever I see a ‘yoon’ or ‘yoon-adjacent’ roll out the “giving the impression” line. In a pandemic, you can’t bluff competency, it’s all laid out there to be seen in empirical evidence.

    They also seem to see the FM’s intellect and intelligence as a bad thing. Reminded of the old faithful George Foulkes…

    GF: “What they are doing is trying to build up a situation in Scotland where the services are manifestly better than south of the Border in a number of areas.”

    BBC: “Is this such a bad thing?”

    GF: “No, but they are doing it deliberately!”

    Liked by 3 people

  3. The clarity of the SG’s message as delivered by the FM is a model of how it should be done.

    By contrast look at the UK Gov’s complete lack of clarity on any given aspect of their messaging on Covid-19. For example, face masks and the wearing of in shops.
    Friday they become compulsory in Scotland.
    Saturday, Boris says it is likely they will be compulsory in shops.
    Sunday, Gove says it is unlikely it will be compulsory but leave it to people’s good commmon sense
    Monday morning, a minister says they are likely to be compulsory.
    Monday lunchtime, announcement in a ‘few days’

    And they wonder why people, in England at least, are confused.

    How not to be competent 101.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. After his disaster on SKY, Jackdaw Carlot was hidden away on the Sunday BEEB news( just in case they had to ask him a relevant question). Instead we had Ian Murray on to deflect and bad-mouth the FM. The Brit Nat tag-team in action.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Aye, it seems like a trivial point but the Scottish lunchtime news on the BBC is listed as fifteen minutes but in practice is only ten – every day! If I had the energy, and thought it would have any effect, I might time it over a week or so and send in a complaint.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Agreed. It’s appalling.

        And I get really irritated when they talk over what the FM or Presiding Officer are saying “And he’s reminding the MSPs about social distancing…” Yes. We can see it. We just can’t hear it because you’re gassing.

        Not mentioning thing at all is even worse than gassing on by way of introduction when the FM is actually giving the stats. Then there’s their really annoying habit of pre-empting what the FM is going to say seconds before she says it.

        To put it kindly, they’re not very good at this giving news business are they?


  5. Even a grudging recognition is better than none, so that’s progress!
    Well, except some of our so called friends like Wings, who I have normally had great respect for, but lately I’m thinking of taking the Rev off my Xmas card list


  6. You’ve conveniently omitted the Nike and care home scandals. How many people died? Aye, a great job


    1. The only scandal to do with Nike was the media’s reporting.
      The CMO. Pointed out that there was no spread of the virus amongst tge Scottish population from the infected nike employee. Scotland’s test snd trace system contained the event.


  7. The article invites us to fall into the trap the BritNats long to play, attributing all to the Leader then cut off the Leader’s head by some subterfuge, curiously never visited on their own except behind closed doors.
    Sturgeon would be the first to admit that without the extraordinary team effort of thousands in the health services and government, Scotland could not have emerged from this pandemic in the shape it has. Her dedication to presenting the worst and best in a consistent manner has won deserved plaudits, but that is only accentuated by the most malicious and frankly awful PM team in living memory.
    Sturgeon is not the outlier here, it is Johnson et al who are the outliar, and that is no spelling mistake.

    Liked by 2 people

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