Robertson vs Gove: The Full Transcript

Araberg 🌳🌲 (@David_Araberg) | Twitter

A BBC Scotland reporter doing such a job on a UK Tory leader is a rare thing so we find it difficult to explain but it’s worth preserving here given the treatment it is likely to get at the hands of the Reporting Scotland editor, tonight.

Michael Gove: Vaccination and Brexit

GMS: Wednesday 03 February 2021: 08m10

Presenter: Gary Robertson

Well let’s speak to the Cabinet Office Minister, Michael Gove who joins us now. Good morning to you.

Michael Gove

Good morning, Gary. How are you?

Presenter

I’m good, thank you. This offer of help in the vaccination programme, have you made the same offer to the Irish and Welsh governments, the Northern Irish and Welsh governments?

Michael Gove

Yes, we are working as one United Kingdom in order to make sure that the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine – and I was interested to hear the report that you had on earlier pointing out that it is highly effective in reducing transmission, we want to make sure that vaccine is available to citizens across the UK. And Jason Leitch was saying yesterday, obviously one of the Scottish Government’s principal advisors on medicine, that the vaccine rollout in Scotland had not been perhaps as quick as it might have been, so we’re doing everything we can to help.

Presenter

Well what the Scottish Government says is that it’s followed the JCVI recommendation of prioritising care homes which takes longer due to the vulnerable nature of the population and we look at the figures for Scotland’s care homes compared to England’s care homes and actually things have been much better here. Just give us the number of people who have been vaccinated in England’s care homes.

Michael Gove

Well I think it is the case, isn’t it, that we’ve seen a significantly higher number of people across England and in other parts of the United Kingdom vaccinated in Scotland? We’re all – [CROSSTALK]

Presenter

But I asked you specifically about the care homes because you keep talking about how many vaccines have been offered to residents. How many have actually gone into residents’ arms? Because we’re up at beyond 95 per cent in Scotland.

Michael Gove

Well it is the case, Gary, as Jason Leitch has acknowledged and as I think everyone knows, the overall number of vaccinations has been lower as a percentage in Scotland – [CROSSTALK]

Presenter

But I’m asking you specifically about care homes in England, Mr Gove. If you don’t know the number then that’s absolutely fine but given that you’re critical of the Scottish Government, wouldn’t it be incumbent upon you to tell us that?

Michael Gove

Well I’m not critical of anyone. I’m just stressing that it’s important that we all work together. It is the case that every care home resident in England has been offered the vaccine.

Presenter

So how many have got it?

Michael Gove

It’s also the case – it’s also the case that every part of the United Kingdom is following the JCVI recommendations and it is also the case that in Scotland, fewer people have been vaccinated so far than in the rest of the UK.

Presenter

And it’s also the case, according to the ONS figures, that England recently had twice the infection rate of Scotland and also a higher number of deaths in care homes in January. It sounds as though the UK Government could do with some advice from Scotland on that front?

Michael Gove

Well we take advice from one another. It’s certainly the case that we do all work together across the United Kingdom in order to make sure we’re doing our best in the fight against the virus but I think it’s important to recognise that we wouldn’t have this vaccine if it weren’t for the UK Government’s investment in science, were it not for the fact that the UK Government’s vaccine taskforce worked with Oxford AstraZeneca and scientists across the UK. We wouldn’t have the effective rollout that we have were it not for our NHS and also for the British Armed Forces and again, when people are asking questions, across the United Kingdom, about the rollout of the vaccine, I think it’s important that we all learn from one another and work together.

Presenter

Well some of that vaccine of course is being developed here in Scotland at Valneva’s plant in Livingston, West Lothian and the Prime Minister was there only last week and it now turns out that they had had an outbreak and they told the Prime Minister, they told Downing Street ahead of the trip of this virus outbreak at the factory, yet he went ahead anyway. It’s fairly reckless, isn’t it?

Michael Gove

No, it was COVID secure. The visit was entirely COVID secure and safe. And you’re absolutely right, it’s great that the Valneva factory will be producing vaccines but again, that is more evidence of the UK Government’s investment in scientific research in the universities and technical centres across the United Kingdom and we should be celebrating the fact that the United Kingdom collectively is vaccinating more people.

Presenter

But 14 COVID-19 cases – 14 COVID-19 cases in 24 hours before the Prime Minister arrived. That should have been Downing Street’s cue to call off this non-essential visit.

Michael Gove

Well it was an essential visit because the Prime Minister, as Prime Minister of the whole United Kingdom, wants to make sure we learn from different aspects of the vaccine rollout. You made the point earlier that in different parts of the UK, we’re doing things in slightly different ways albeit within the gambit of the JCVI guidance. It’s important that the Prime Minister learns from every part of the United Kingdom how the rollout is going and the visit was safe and secure and so there was absolutely no risk to anyone as a consequence of it.

Presenter

We know from Nicola Sturgeon’s statement yesterday that the Scottish Government is going to introduce a stronger form of quarantine than your government is proposing. Ultimately, she’s saying rather than a list of countries where people need to quarantine if they’ve come from, then all overseas visitors to Scotland need to use these quarantine hotels. Will your government consider stricter measures along the same lines?

Michael Gove

Well it’s our government, Gary. I mean the whole point is that it’s the government of the whole United Kingdom, but the point I’d make about travel from abroad is of course, we keep constantly under review and we’re guided by the science, what the steps are that we should take. It’s already the case that before you come to any part of the United Kingdom, you need to have had a negative COVID test and it’s also the case before you get into the United Kingdom, you have to acknowledge that you will isolate for a period and there are strict penalties if you break that isolation. Managed isolation is an additional measure and of course, we review all of the countries that people are coming from in order to make sure that we are vigilant against any new strain of the virus.

Presenter

But if Scotland wants to put in place this regime where everyone who arrives in Scotland from abroad quarantines, can you guarantee that if someone arrives in England from abroad that they cannot travel to Scotland and get around the rules north of the border?

Michael Gove

Yes, people shouldn’t be travelling in that way.

Presenter

Let me ask you about the issue of Brexit. You’re having to offer compensation payments to Scottish seafood fishermen because of the Brexit trade issues. It does look, on the face of it, that all the promises that were made about Brexit have been missed, haven’t they?

Michael Gove

No.

Presenter

To fishermen.

Michael Gove

No, absolutely not. I think it is the case, as you know, that the quota uplift that we enjoy as a result of leaving the EU is significant. We’re outside the Common Fisheries Policy. I think the Scottish Government wants to take us back in. But it is also the case that, as we can see over the course of the last few days and I don’t take any pleasure in it, I think people comparing the European Union’s performance on vaccination with the UK’s performance on vaccination would think the UK, all four nations of the UK, are performing better and I think that’s a vindication of the United Kingdom working together, stronger together, but also nimbly and effectively evading some of the regulations that have held others back.

Presenter

Well there’s nothing nimble about having to get good into Northern Ireland, for instance. People  might look at your performance on that and say that’s not been very nimble.

Michael Gove

I think people looking at the situation in Northern Ireland will have concluded that the European Commission last week were trying to erect a harsh border on the island of Ireland. That was a mistake, but the parties in Northern Ireland and the UK Government are working together in order to make sure we can both have a strong UK internal market and also do our bit to help the EU protect its internal market as well and I think in that joint endeavour, I think in the last few days… and again, I take no pleasure in it, in the last few days UK politicians from all parties and from all parts of the United Kingdom, have shown the importance of working together.

Presenter

Michael Gove, we have to leave things there. We’re out of time, but thank you very much. That’s the Cabinet Office Minister, Michael Gove.

[END]

11 thoughts on “Robertson vs Gove: The Full Transcript”

    1. “next to of course god america i
      love you land of the pilgrims’ and so forth oh
      say can you see by the dawn’s early my
      country ’tis of centuries come and go
      and are no more. what of it we should worry
      in every language even deafanddumb
      thy sons acclaim your glorious name by gorry
      by jingo by gee by gosh by gum
      why talk of beauty what could be more beaut-
      iful than these heroic happy dead
      who rushed like lions to the roaring slaughter
      they did not stop to think they died instead
      then shall the voice of liberty be mute?”

      He spoke. And drank rapidly a glass of water

      Like

  1. It’s such a novelty! Reading this took me back many years to the first time I heard Billy Connelly on stage telling his tales. I could not help laughing out of pure enjoyment then too!

    Thanks John, and entertainment for free too!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Ooft, Gary Robertson is definitely on the naughty step at HMS Sarah Smith, bravo John.
    As @stewartb astutely observed previously no such letters offering assistance to address “shortfalls” have been publicised to devolved governments anywhere nor have been so comprehensively promoted by the media except in Scotland.
    Robertson went further than I’d appreciated, Mr Slime Govid and Alister Jackass will doubtless be having a furious row with BBC….
    Good.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Breaking news ( Speculative)
    M.Gove has now drafted a memo to The Head of ABC ( BBC )
    Demanding that Gary, s card is suitably marked for future actions
    In this case this bulletin is not issued by the Monty Pyhton team but were asked to comment on my post
    Their reply
    A nod is as good as wink you know
    But please add that the true source is from Boris The Minster responsible for dead pigeons and parrots
    Or should it be for dead poets

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Gove, all for one and one for all! Yeah righty oh we believe you, not.
    A suitcase of lies and falsehoods delivered there by Gove, squirming his way through that. Still, great he was questioned and the ScotGov were talked up (!) slightly, but of course it would have been much harder for him had he been an SNP MP or MSP.

    Like

  5. Well, my good mood didn’t last long! Reporting Scotland excelled itself this evening.

    1) Headline item: the army is coming to help. Featured first in the preview; then as first item in the main programme; and again in the summing up at the end. And of course, the chosen pictures include PM Johnson with his troops.

    (By contrast, in the BBC 1 UK TV news ‘where I’m not’, Covid coverage included one reference to soldiers helping out but without any substantial profile almost as an aside within a longer, mid programme piece.)

    2) Reporting Scotland’s framing: explicitly, the army was offered by Westminster and accepted because of a need – because Scotland is ‘falling behind’ in the vaccination roll-out. And later, the implication given that this issue had been made into a political spat in Scotland involving the SG that irritated the public.

    3) The missing bits: the JCVI prioritisation, and the care home residents and staff achievement

    4) More missing bits – we were only given a clip of the earlier Michael Gove interview but one carefully edited to remove anything that Gove would cause Mr Gove any discomfort. Whitewash!

    5) Provision of context: multiple references to comparative date for Scotland and other parts of the UK – but ONLY on vaccination data.

    6) So more missing bits: zero provision of comparative data – therefore zero context – on ANY other Covid-related metrics for Scotland relative to other parts of the UK, only on vaccinations.

    Are these not classic and now so blatant cases of partiality and of bias by omission?

    And as for Gary Robertson, after his professional activities this morning, he might well ask why do I bother when the editors of his employer’s prime time TV news programme opt to gut the content of his interview. Or does Mr Robertson swallow his professional pride for the greater cause? Is he concerned at all about his peers mis-reporting the output of his work to a BBC Scotland TV audience?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Would like to say that Gove is a weasel of the first order, but that does a dis-service to weasels who are intelligent,and smart and probably don’t lie.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.