Gordon Brown on GMB this morning, with his UK hat on, defending Keir Starmer:
It’s really difficult being the Leader of the opposition because you want the country to be united. You want the country to work together. You want to support the Government in what is a national crisis.
Does that apply in Scotland too? Like this, telling barefaced lies?
Regulars here will know that I and many of you have batted this stuff back with evidence more than once.
I wonder if the First Minister’s refusal to contradict the accusers with the same evidence just invites more or is her strategy more intelligent than that?
Anyhow, terrier-like as always, the notion that ‘she’ faces ‘serious questions’ over ‘the death toll in Scotland’s care homes’ is sheer nonsense.
I’m not going to refer to the evidence here. It’s all in the blog archives. All points made can be backed up.
Once more, the initial death toll in care homes and elsewhere was due to the delayed lock-down and faulty advice to care homes which was down entirely to the SAGE advisers and the Conservative Government’s domination of the 4 Nations approach. Once power was devolved at the end of March, Scotland with the FM at the helm diverged hard and fast and care home deaths are now lower per capita than in England.
Those discharged from hospitals did not die because of that nor did they infect the homes. There is clear published research evidence that agency staff movements and infection control failures in private homes are to blame.
There were no guidance failures given that care homes have decades of experience in isolation and PPE-use after repeated norovirus and flu outbreaks.
There was no major PPE shortage though English providers did deny supplies to Scottish homes on clear guidance from Public Health England instructed in turn by Matt Hancock. Also, UK Government trade departments did deny Scottish health boards links to overseas providers.
If anyone needs to answer serious questions, it is the PM, his advisers and care home owners.
Free from any apparent editing, Ian Murray is allowed below to tell bare-faced lies based on stories that cannot survive a collision with the evidence. Three of his lies are countered below.
First, the Nike Conference in late February 2020 was not ‘our ground zero moment‘ leading to the virus spreading throughout the city and spreading to North-East England
That myth was put to the sword in June by the Chief Medical Officer who explained that the virus was already in Scotland at the end of February when the conference was held, that the early cases had no links to travel and that community transmission was already happening. Genomic sequencing had shown that the specific viral lineage associated with the conference had been eradicated in Scotland by the end of March. He referred in depth to a scientific report published by Glasgow University on genomic epidemiology and the Edinburgh conference:
Second, hospital discharges did not cause the virus to spread through care homes. There is absolutely no evidence of that but considerable evidence that it was inadvertently spread by agency staff working and travelling between, especially, the larger corporate-owned care homes:
Third, the Audit Scotland report is deeply flawed. Why did the report suggest that the Scottish Government and not the profit-making care home-owners themselves were to blame for planning? Also, we know that Scottish Government plans for PPE stock upgrades were sabotaged by the UK Government blocking investment:
Ian Murray (Con) has tweeted extensively today attacking Professor Sridhar inspired by his favourite rag, the Daily Express. They’ve clearly got him well-wound up judging by a stream of incoherent demands for the prof to answer his daft questions, right now!
I though I’d better read the New York Times piece which in turn had excited Richard Percival at the Express so much.
The word English does not appear in the NYT article and England only in this one paragraph:
Scotland and Northern Ireland have looked ahead at the coming winter, and made a concerted plan to minimize community transmission to avoid a serious resurgence of the virus by using the summer to drive cases as close to zero as possible and to reopen cautiously. But neither nation has control over its borders because they are parts of the United Kingdom. So both now face a stream of incoming infections from England and Wales, which are behaving more like the rest of Europe, as well as from people returning from holidays abroad and not abiding by government advice to isolate for 14 days.
Is that all it takes?
Did they understand that the last bit is about Scottish tourists returning and not taking advice? You’d have to be really paranoid to think she, an American, would believe Scottish tourists were any less likely than English tourists to cheat on self-isolation.
Does anyone really believe Sridhar actually blames English people and not the UK Government?