In an astonishingly irresponsible move on a day when the First Minister had just reported 15 deaths and reminded us that half of them were under 80 and that more than one was under 60, Reporting Scotland follow her clear advice on travel by undermining it.
The FM reported hard evidence that large numbers of new cases in Scotland have been connected to Blackpool.
In Ireland, TV News reports and repeats advice like this to help reduce risk.
Here, BBC Scotland contact a public official in Blackpool, feed him the report and platform him bizarrely defending his town’s tourist trade, with inaccurate information.
Rajpura tells us that the infection rate in Blackpool is 230 per 100 000 and is ‘lower than some parts of Scotland.‘
In fact, only Glasgow and South Lanarkshire are slightly higher at 285 and 289 cases per 100 000 and those parts closest to Blackpool in the South-West have rates less than half.
That argument, of course, regardless of relative rates is ridiculous, especially from a public health official, on at least two counts.
First, encouraging travel between two highly infected areas will only make things worse in both of them and encouraging people to travel from an area with a higher rate, into your own area with a lower rate, seems a form of self-harm. Have the people of Blackpool heard this suggestion?
Why did Reporting Scotland not contact the local police? Even in September when the rate was far lower, Deputy Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary Terry Woods said:
Going to Blackpool, if you’re not from Blackpool, this weekend and mingling in any large crowds, that is not looking after my family and it wouldn’t be looking after your family.
None of this compares, however, with a public service broadcaster with a royal charter obliging it to inform the public, behaving in this way.