Reporting Scotland in full propaganda mode on vaccine roll-out

It’s all about choices. The editor and the senior reporters at Pacific Quay know what to do, what to choose. Sensing the scavenger breath of the Scottish Tories on their necks and knowing how best to get on, in this state broadcaster, they don’t even consider these two key facts which the public has a right to know:

  1. Yesterday, NHS England did 20% fewer vaccinations than Scotland.
  2. NHS Scotland is behind England because it has now vaccinated 98% of care home residents. We still don’t have reliable data from NHS England. Already, deaths in English care homes are surging to higher levels than in Scotland. More on this in a few days when I have firmer evidence.

Instead we got:

The latest figures show a rise in the number of daily vaccinations being carried out but there are still concerns that Scotland isn’t keeping pace with the rest of the UK.

These concerns are, of course, only in the minds of opposition politicians and reporters. No opinion poll backs up that assertion.

Then:

35 000 Scots received a dose of the vaccine in a single day on Monday, the highest daily rate so far but Nicola Sturgeon is likely to face questions this afternoon about why Scotland has vaccinated proportionally less (sic) of its population than all other UK nations.

and finishing with a reference to Alister Jack and military assistance.

This is one of the better (worst) examples of bias by selection aimed at undermining the SNP government, I’ve seen, and in the early days of the next election run-up.

Even after all this time, I can still be shocked and angered by the naked dishonesty.

This is all about comparison with England, as it was with drug deaths, yet when comparisons with Scotland’s lower Covid death rate, infection rate, lower hospital death rate, lower hospital-onset rate or many other indicators of NHS Scotland’s superior performance such as better A&E, IVF, drug treatment or patient satisfaction, are published, comparisons become somehow inappropriate or just go missing.

Why wasn’t the ‘highest daily rate’ of 35 000 compared with that of the rest of the UK on the same day? Because it was much higher. Not in the public interest.

Like baby hospital deaths and pigeon poo infections before, they’ll run with this one and even when we catch-up that won’t be good enough.

When the truth of the second sacrifice of the elderly in English care homes emerges in the non-Tory press in England, listen to the silence here.

35 thoughts on “Reporting Scotland in full propaganda mode on vaccine roll-out”

  1. What exactly are they proposing to use the army for?
    Have all the squaddies been given medical training to allow them to inject others safely?
    Stunt management.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I live in SE England and there is army personnel working in my local hospital. Mainly doing mundane tasks, but very much welcomed by the NHS staff. Why it is promoted as the army aiding Scotland when clearly the army is being used throughout the UK.

      Like

  2. This was the main theme of Good Morning Scotland, too.

    However, Gary Robertson interviewed Michael Gove and gave him quite a hard time.

    He began by pointing out that Scotland had begun its programme vaccinating the most vulnerable and that 98% of those in care homes had been vaccinated and then asked Gove how many care home residents in England had been vaccinated. Gove waffled, gave no answer. Robertson challenged him twice more on the number and again Gove waffled and gave no answer.

    He then moved on to the condescending letter from Alistair Jack, by pointing out the significantly lower infection and death rates in Scotland and asking if Scotland should be offering England support in these aspects. Again Gove failed to answer and claimed the figures in Scotland were because we are part of Britain. Robertson then asked if Wales and Northern Ireland had been sent similar letter of offers of assistance. Gove answered, somewhat uncertainly that they had.

    After the interview and the programme moved to the headlines – the ‘narrative’ of Scottish failure and Jack’s offer was trotted out. There were selected, decontextualised quotes from the Gove interview, but none showed his evasiveness.

    Liked by 7 people

      1. I do Artyhetty – I like to hear what they’re saying and always start the day with blood pressure raised and angry rants. One day I’ll stop. I mostly can’t face reporting Scotland in the evenings though as I’ve had my fill of lies and smears by then

        Liked by 3 people

    1. On the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning, there was an interview with Matt Hancock. The BBC man, Justin Webb stated (in terms): ‘ the vaccination programme is going well isn’t it, well at least in England’.

      The BBC doing its duty by providing the comfort blanket of English exceptionalism!

      Liked by 3 people

    2. On Jack’s letter – “Robertson then asked if Wales and Northern Ireland had been sent similar letter of offers of assistance. Gove answered, somewhat uncertainly that they had.”

      Well maybe, but as of now I could find no such communication on the websites of the NI Office or the Welsh Office. A link to the letter from Jack is listed prominently.

      Presumably Jack’s clever wheeze is as follows. Either: (i) isn’t it terrible that the SG HAS NOT accepted this offer of help, especially given how much it is so obviously needed; or (ii) isn’t it telling that the SG HAS HAD to accept this offer of help, confirming the ‘Union dividend’.

      Of course it’s only right and possible that we in Scotland can call on military assistance in a civil emergency. Of course Jack and his government in Westminster know this to be the norm: the position does not need re-stating. Jack’s motivation for this letter at this time is transparent!.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Thanks for that, Alasdair. I should really listen, not avoid. Find out what they’re up to.

    Saw Dame Kaye (surely it can’t be long…) trailing her phone-in. Should ‘we’ ask for help with the vaccination programme?

    Didn’t listen to that either. I don’t like starting the day off on a sour note!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Thanks so much for all this work, John, but as you say, this is just the start of the campaign points that will be made by the media before the Holyrood elections.
    It makes me really angry to see how they spin the ‘facts’ to their advantage and that so many accept this as true. We need more doctors, health professionals and folk like Devi Sridhar teling the truth loud and strong. To cover up the dire situation in England, they are using lies to make out that Scotland is worse.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Arayner it’s not so much that many people just accept, more that they are not sufficiently interested. Indeed it’s a small (dwindling) proportion of people who get their news from Misreporting Scotland

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Also some have no means to counter the lies, maybe they don’t or can’t use the internet, so rely on BritNat propaganda, believing it as gospel.
      Still, the media is certainly battling to con the people of Scotland. People can mostly see for themselves who really is looking after their interests, they know it’s not the Tories in England or their little lackeys in Scotland.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I experienced a combination of growing frustration over mis-reporting of Covid-related data and time on my hands yesterday evening. So I indulged in a different activity, albeit one that will probably prove to be a futile. I sent an e-mail directly to Channel 4 News Investigations. For interest, not expectation: this was my ‘ask’:

    “To distinguish between fact, massaged fact and spin there is now a need for a respected, ‘disinterested’ investigative news organisation to undertake a major statistical comparison of the actual four UK nations’ responses to the pandemic and the subsequent, quantitatively expressed outcomes.

    No other mainstream media outlet has tackled this and none has revealed the learning yet. Perhaps C4 News will step up and undertake such an investigation without fear or favour regarding ANY political interests.

    Your News/Factcheck team at C4 has the resources to conduct objective, in depth and quantitative research. You have the resources and expertise to do this over the whole, now substantial, time span of the pandemic. And you could/should examine ALL metrics, including excess deaths (and I trust not Andrew Marr-style highly selective use of data as in a recent interview with Scotland’s FM!).

    For perspective, recall there are FOUR health and social care systems within the UK but only ONE of the UK nation’s response to the pandemic has been completely unfettered by a government other than its own. And that nation is England.

    Westminster alone has had ALL available powers over the pandemic response in England. By contrast NI, Scotland and Wales do have devolved powers in health and social care but have had to follow (and their populations have been influenced by) Westminster’s responses in crucial areas e.g. UK-wide government to public messaging, international border controls, scale and timing of financial support/incentives to enable lockdown compliance etc.

    As just one indication of what will be found in the data see: https://newsnet.scot/news-analysis/covid-a-4-nation-comparison/ . The official sources will give comparable, differentiated results. Please factcheck and broadcast.

    With best wishes – and my continuing thanks for C4 News,”

    So yes, probably futile but perhaps, just perhaps, one person within the News team may read and reflect. (And anyway, it didn’t take long to compose!)

    Liked by 6 people

  7. According to the Guardian, care homes in England (19/1/21) have seen a 46% increase in cases compared with the previous week.

    The latest ONS care home death figures that I can find is here.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/numberofdeathsincarehomesnotifiedtothecarequalitycommissionengland

    The increasing numbers of covid sufferers in England’s hospitals due to the new variant is also affecting care homes. The great number of absences (some report absence levels of 35%) has prompted the UK gov to give councils £120 million to boost staffing levels in local care.

    The UK gov has also ditched plans to ban staff moving between homes so one might reasonably expect those not yet vaccinated in care homes to be at greater risk if such movement of staff continues. and it is not known how many care home staff in England have been vaccinated. How many are refusing vaccination is not known. New staff will have to be vaccinated.

    I’ll put the link below.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Truth
    What does that word mean
    Well it actually means REALITY
    Why so
    Because nothing else can possibly exist other
    Than reality
    If such is otherwise then it is temporary and incorrect and a figment of imagination
    That is unsustainable and the longer it does so, it becomes toxic and highly detrimental especially if worked and acted upon
    All this is a universal truth and a irrefutable Fact ,unless you are able to call upon the services of Doctor Who
    So here i give you a matter of absolute truth
    Therefore a irrefutable FACT and exits in actual reality
    Today by post contained within a Blue envelope I received clearly addressed to my self ( a 67 yr old)
    Marked private and confidential and This is NOT A CIRCULAR
    what were the contents
    My appointment for covid 19 vaccination
    On 10.2 2021.@12.28 hrs at the Royal Highland Centre Ingilston
    All along with a unique personal code for myself to log on and confirm my intent to attend or arrange another date/time
    Not only that but also a comprehensive guide as to the whole process along with a logo to scan and download a App
    What does this mean
    Simple as a 67 yr.old and clearly in the 3rd cohort group of priority recipients of the vaccine
    That the SHNS program for vaccination
    Is not only going to plan,but also really gathering sustainable momentum in a highly
    Efficient manner that should lead to success and objectives not only being met in full
    But likely to be done so ahead of program
    All submitted by myself
    WITH PREJUDICE
    The latter means if you challenge the facts I state you are liable to prosecution for defamation of character
    Your Move Propagandist ( also said With Prejudice )

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Boo!

      I’m going to write to Baroness Davidson AND Jackie Baillie (and probably WILLIE RENNIE!) to complain. I haven’t got an appointment date yet and I’m in the same group as you.

      This is injustice!
      This is a postcode lottery.

      This is…. sarcasm!

      Congrats on the date!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Be patient as all good things come to those who wait
        Especially when you know that indeed you are held in caring,responsible,compassionate
        Manner
        And certainly capable hands
        I would expect your blue envelope is in the post and not merely a offer but a actual designated time and date in order for you to be vaccinated and solely directed at your good self in a easy to understand and most logical and helpful matter
        Why because with SG you are considered as a Citizen and Not a Subject

        Liked by 1 person

      2. @premier

        I’m willing to wait my turn, not a problem. I’d sooner all vulnerable people – whether by age, medical condition or job – were fully vaccinated first. I can just stay out of the way until they’re done.

        You’ve ruined my hissy fit. I’m hurt. rofl. 😀

        Like

      3. IUSEDTOBEENGLISH
        A sound piece of advice for you
        When all others around you are losing the heid
        KEEP YOURS

        Like

  9. We all know the vaccine program was rolled out as a trap for the Scottish government.
    Before the first vaccines were distributed, the Britnat propagandists were insisting the SCOTTISH government published figures.
    That was because the Boris gang were all set up to roll, and thought they would win a “race”.
    Now General Jack apparently has a military force available to assist us slow coaches.
    Why doesnt he send his army to help out the hapless English health minister to help with their huge infection and mortality rates?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Isn’t there a vaccine facility/lab in Livingston? 60k vaccines, who has control over the distribution of that when it’s available? Will the ‘British’ army be sent up to take the ‘British’ jabs(!) away to England like they did with the medical equipment they took from Dundee uni last year?

      Liked by 2 people

  10. My wife and I both received our Blue Envelopes today also, both aged 67 (just) and with vaccination date of 18 February at Forth Valley College in Falkirk. I am really optimistic that our Scot Gov will weather this current propaganda storm. Liars are generally found out and found wanting.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We got ours today – this Saturday afternoon in local hall – both over 70.

      Our daughter-in-law who works in hospital admin got hers last week. Vaccinators were doing frontline staff in the hospital where she works and at end of the session had doses left over so offered them to other staff. While she is in admin she has to handle case notes etc that may come from the Covid Ward(s) and thus may have some virus on them so I was relieved that she had her vaccination.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. FMQs was good today!
    Nicola laid into Gove’s morning waffle without numbers!!.
    Poor Ruth was handed it , yet again, but kept bouncing back with inanities – par for thecourse?

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Put simply, ‘our’ broadcast media exists to sustain British nationalism. Which means it has to be extremely selective in how it ‘informs’ the public. This is not good, and certainly not coherent with social democracy.

    Implicit Bias, Epistemic Injustice, and the Epistemology of Ignorance

    Click to access Skorburg_PhilMatters_2015-2dc4ks5.pdf

    “This paper uses the resurgence of interest in implicit bias research to revisit two significant developments in recent feminist epistemology: epistemic injustice and the epistemology of ignorance. I begin by arguing that Miranda Fricker’s account of the virtue of testimonial justice finds empirical support in the research of social psychologist Margo Monteith.

    Next, I argue that while some findings in this body of research do license optimism about the prospects of correcting for the implicit biases at the heart of epistemic injustices, such findings need to be contextualized and situated in light of the insights generated in the epistemology of ignorance.”

    Like

  13. I also was pleasantly surprised by Gary Robertson challenging Michael Gove on GMS this morning.
    He did let him away with this assertion though: “…every part of the United Kingdom is following the JCVI [Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation] recommendations…”
    Aye, right!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hold the front page – I wish!
      Gary Robertson on GMS this morning actually managed to get a straight answer on how many vaccinations have been given, as opposed to offered, in English care homes. He asked the question of Nadhim Zahawi (UK Minister for Covid vaccine Deployment). The answer? 91%. Well behind Scotland then. I won’t hold my breath for this to be reported widely.

      Like

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