The above group’s report yesterday opens with this aim:
To ensure that lessons are learned from the UK’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak so far such that the UK’s response and preparedness may be improved in future.
It’s just about England and the Johnson regime’s performance but on Page 87, you can’t help but think of the Scottish Government in 2 out of these 3 markers of relative success:
With regard to 10.2, in August, the Tusker was able to say:
Less than 3 weeks ago, Scotland’s MSM and their opposition party feeders were hopeful they might embarrass the Scottish Government on their contact tracing data. Sadly for them, last week, the FM was able to reveal 97% success.
Today the figures for England were published and only 75.5% have been contacted, failing the 80% (only) target there:
The Scottish performance is thus (22% of 75%) 30% better.
As time went on the performance of the English system was to revealed to be even worse, contacting less than 50% in some parts.
With regard to 10.4, writing in November, the Tusker noted:
In October, a study of 51 000 UK adults found that confidence in government to tackle the pandemic was the only significant factor in compliance. There was little evidence that mental health, worries about the future, social isolation and loneliness made a difference. There was no devolved nations breakdown of the results.
One study looked specifically at Scotland. Published in the BMJ in July, with the positive testing figure then at 0.5% and new cases in single figures, it suggested:
A third component of Scotland’s approach is a high degree of trust in government and in the leadership of the first minister Nicola Sturgeon to manage covid-19 effectively.
This conclusion had been based on a University of Edinburgh survey of 12 000, in May, finding that: 62 per cent had confidence in Holyrood’s ability to prevent a second wave of the virus but: a majority of respondents in both Scotland and England – 62 per cent and 68 per cent respectively – lacked confidence in the UK Government’s ability to prevent a second wave of Covid-19.
Also in May, a YouGov poll in the Times, reported: 85 per cent of SNP voters, 84 per cent of Liberal Democrats and 70 per cent of both Conservative and Labour supporters are happy with the approach taken by the Scottish government. Just 19 per cent said the virus was being handled badly in Edinburgh.
The only major study comparing confidence and compliance, published in the Lancet in August was clear. Confidence in the UK Government decreased significantly after the Cummings incident and confused messaging, but did not do so in the devolved areas and that these failures by the UK Government led to: a decrease in people’s willingness to follow rules and guidelines.
Today, the consequences are clear. The daily new infection rate in England is twice that in Scotland. Over the period of the pandemic, the death rate in England has been 40% higher.