Dismayed by the polls celebrating the First Minister’s popularity North and South of the Border and by the surging infection rate in England, a range of commentators have pounced on any statistics they can find to suggest she is just image and no substance. It has been said since the first days of the pandemic and is still being said today.
The notion that Scotland has done no better than England in managing the pandemic is a sad compensation they hope for their own misery.
The above piece only just over three weeks ago, is typical. It was written at a particular point in the growth of infections, below:
After some time when all the 4 Nations had pushed infection levels low, they were beginning to climb in September as the lockdowns were eased, the level in England had even been lower in England than in Scotland for a few days in early October.
The Telegraph writers had clearly spotted that and thought:
A ha! Not so clever now Nicola?
By the time the report was published on the 6th, things were shifting but today, their thesis is debunked. As the tougher measures in Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Dunbartonshire begin to take effect, Scotland has pulled away dramatically:
The rate of infection in England is now 49.5% higher. The rate of increase in those infections reveals a stark consequence of mismanagement of the pandemic by the UK Conservative Government:
The rate of increase in infections is now 49% higher in England.
The Scottish Government was, of course, always doing better, when you look at the data over the period of the whole pandemic, even accepting the consequences of the initial 4 Nations period, denied a vote in the SAGE group:
The infection rate over the whole period has been 30% higher in England and even higher in Wales and Northern Ireland. The death rate has been a shocking 40% higher in England, higher in Wales but lower on the island of Ireland.
What percentage of the people of Scotland know this? Who should tell them? Why won’t they?