On Sunday, Andrew Marr asked the First Minister for Scotland:
‘There will be lots of people at home in Scotland in their eighties, watching this interview, still waiting for their vaccine appointment and reading that down south in England, more than 50% of eighty-year-olds have been vaccinated already. What would you say to them?’
This required her to point out that Scotland had followed the firm and clear guidance from the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to vaccinate care home staff and residents first and then the over-eighties. As a consequence, Scotland had vaccinated a much higher percentage of that group and earlier than has been the case in England.
This is a very important point given the very high death-rate in care homes and the UK Health Secretary, Matt Hancock’s promise in at the beginning of the pandemic, to ‘throw a protective ring around care homes.’
Earlier in the show, why then, was Hancock not asked:
‘There will be lots of people in care homes in England, watching this interview, still waiting for their vaccine appointment and reading that up north in Scotland, more than 90% have been vaccinated already. What would you say to them?’
The BBC often claims a commitment to balance. Where was it?