Common Weal suggests Scotland is ‘falling behind’

According to Common Weal, in the Herald today, the Scottish test and protect system is too centralised. Isn’t it based on existing local authority infection control teams which are currently contacting 99% of those identified as potentially infected? Just who are we falling behind on this?

It can’t be those English regions lucky to contact more than 50% or even the national utterly centralised and privatised system which has set itself the target of only 80%.

As for the level of testing, which country is Scotland falling behind?

With England now concealing its level of testing, who knows how many times higher the rate is here?

Common Weal insists that the countries with the most effective virus control systems have decentralised their approach. The two identified by them are New Zealand and South Korea.

New Zealand, with no land borders and with the strictest of lock-downs, did eliminate the virus but as soon as they allowed arrivals by air from England in August, they had new cases and now have 129 active cases and one death. With a steady flow of cases into Scotland by air and by road, which cannot be accurately detected at the time of entry, an even more localised response does not seem the obvious solution.

As for South Korea, the incidence rate there is 41.34 per 100 000, more than twice the rate in Scotland.

19 thoughts on “Common Weal suggests Scotland is ‘falling behind’”

  1. Well, I’ve said before that I’m not that keen on Scotland being compared to England on this – the ‘uk’ (ie. England) are nearly bottom of the world list are they (we) not? But I know this is about how we compare with England in the media as they report it – they imply Scotland is shit and either don’t mention England or fudge things to make them look better – so we should know that in fact we are doing much better, and that’s good to know.

    BUT in this case, I think common weal are right to do these comparisons – they show what we COULD be if we aren’t part of the Union – I think it’s a stark reminder to people that being part of the Union is harmful to us. It isn’t aimed at us an audience I think, it’s aimed at doubters, and I think we should take it in that context. I think you, John, should give common weal freedom to report things like this – its just a different aim and a different purpose. Even if you don’t agree with the type of reporting, they are just doing a different kind of convincing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ‘I think you, John, should give common weal freedom to report things like this – its just a different aim and a different purpose. Even if you don’t agree with the type of reporting, they are just doing a different kind of convincing.’

      If NZ and SK could teach us anything but they can’t.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hah, huffy. Fair enough though if you don’t think there is any mileage in it – I just meant everyone is different and is convinced by different types of argument – I was playing devils advocate if you like. I didn’t even bother reading their article, trusting you to fairly reflect it, so you are more in contact with them than I am 😀


    2. Having read the article and the report, I find myself in the middle here.

      I agree with your comment that there should be freedom to report on things like this. The suggestion of the traffic lights system seems, of itself, to be fairly sensible – certainly worth consideration. BUT…

      At several points, the report seems to indulge in negative comments. eg (1) SG would be “loathed (sic, presumably a typo for loath/loth) ” to change strategy – when they’ve already shown a willingness to do so if they get things wrong. Like exam algorithms. (2) SG “should seek negotiations” with WM re extension of Furlough/UBI – as if they haven’t been doing that for weeks!

      This is even more blatant in the Herald article.

      So I find myself agreeing with you both! As Contrary says, these suggestions should be made, but I think Prof R is equally entitled to be indignant about the *way* it’s being done.

      Just my 2 penn’orth, of course…

      Liked by 4 people

    3. Contrary
      I have no doubt that common weal has its heart in the correct place
      But serious consideration should be given to the very real possibility and threat that they have someone either pissing outside their tent or from within that is in fact doing so on behalf of MI6
      After all they are the UK,s State 1st line of defence when confronted with real and present danger
      Know thy Foe
      And in this case my offlactory glands are alert and the aroma i detect has MI6
      DNA present


      1. I very much doubt the security services are involved – it’s more likely it’s the unconcious bias similar to that seen in the MSM John tells us about.

        They aren’t very kind or forgiving about Scotland – and I’m not keen on anything they write, most of the stuff is too up their own arse and waffly, and it tends to be negative – but there are probably a lot of people in Scotland that are the same, and a fair number of them that need convinced to Yes. Just the fact that Common Weal declare for independence means that others can join them and have a grand old moan amongst themselves,,, and if it means they have convinced a few people to go pro-Indy that’s good.

        That’s why I say it’s not aimed at us – and Common Weal are unlikely to convert people to No, I would have thought?!

        If we want to maximise the pro-Indy voting intention, we need all sorts of folks, ones with wholly different outlooks, to be convinced. Not everyone wants everything to be hunky dory and seen through rose tinted glasses, or to envision a socialist utopia. If you are only allowed to join the ‘Yes gang’ when you you adopt a certain set of values, we are going to be here talking about it for a very long time!!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. It would be helpful to know what they mean by ‘falling behind’. The Herald rarely (if ever?) portrays Scotland and Scotland’s government in a positive light. Are we now officially in a ‘second wave’ situation in Scotland?
    While numbers have gone up in Scotland, surely it’s almost impossible to compare with England, given they are really failing in their test and trace system. Does anyone know the real figures for England? What is their rate of infection and where? They have just reopened schools far as

    The Scottish governments strategy has been very successful, given the fact that Scotland has no border control powers, (they are reserved powers to the government in England) and is working against the odds within an ever more dysfunctional so called union, which is also tightening the screws on Scotland’s finances.

    No room for complacency, but it’s only useful to compare Scotland with England, if England is carrying out proper measures to give a true picture of their infection rates in all of their regions. Are they doing that?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Agree absolutely, ArtyHetty.

      “No room for complacency, but it’s only useful to compare Scotland with England, if England is carrying out proper measures to give a true picture of their infection rates in all of their regions. Are they doing that?”

      Well, they *may* be. But how do we know…?

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Don’t be misled. Commonweal will always look to where they can find fault with the SNP, justified or not. They say they are in favour of independence but it’s on their terms or not at all.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. South Korea has almost same number of conformed cases as Scotland (21,588 v 21,719) but has had 344 deaths compared to Scotland’s 2,499.
    Asia seems to have a much lower fatality rate than in Europe.


  5. Contrary, I’m huffy?

    ‘I think you, John, should give common weal freedom to report things like this’

    I’m confused. In what way do my opinions deny them freedom?

    I think you, first name, should give me the freedom to report things like this?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess it’s also fact that ‘common weal’ have a platform in the Herald, which is read by a few who will not look elsewhere for balance, whiche is why we need John’s blog. There is NO balance as such in the media that so many see as the only factual and legitimate media.
      ‘Social media’ is most often brushed off as somehow much less important and certainly not genuine.
      I had a conversation with two academic scientists a while back who questioned ‘social media’ even when it exposes genuine research which they otherwise were not aware of, ‘ah but is that to be taken as authentic?’ Well yes because I was quoting academic papers online, because er, it’s handy to have some of it online and yes it’s by professors who are experts in their field in the US.

      So much as it’s good to have CW’s opinions we also need to question the accuracy, it’s not a blog they are using to express their opinions, it’s the media, so any constructive criticism is welcome imo.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Oh sorry nearly missed this John, I was joking about huffy,,, and the ‘freedom’ was just a turn of phrase, you know, like you let your kids stay out after dark so they can get up to no good type freedom – give them space to do their thing. But if you think they are raving BritNat charlatans, I guess maybe not then.

      I just wrote the original comment quickly without thinking much about it, I’ll refrain from ill- considered comments in future, but don’t take anything in particular by that one. I never was any good at quick thinking – that’s why I’ll never go on Twitter.


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