From Sky News today:

The inquiry into the UK’s response to coronavirus will be brutal and it will be dirty. Scrapping for survival, the cast of characters thrust into the spotlight during the pandemic will be desperate to avoid being cast as the villain – and that may mean looking for an alternative candidate.

First in the firing line is Public Health England – and this week PHE has provided the ammunition itself.Advertisement Health Secretary Matt Hancock has asked for an “urgent review” over fears PHE’s data on coronavirus deaths is inaccurate. Researchers claim a “statistical anomaly” means if someone was previously diagnosed with COVID-19 but subsequently died of unrelated causes, their death would still be counted as part of PHE’s daily coronavirus death tally (unlike in Scotland and Wales).

The implication here is that maybe those oh-so-clever Jocks have not been that much better at saving lives with their Calvinist lock-down but, here’s the gap:

England does of course have ten times the population so, per head of population, the rate is ‘only‘ 80.6 times higher, not 806 times.

Of course, when BBC UK seeks comfort in comparisons with the death or infection rates in larger countries such as the USA or Brazil, the crude levels are much more newsworthy. Per head of population the death rate in the ‘UK’ is 30% higher than in the US.