Holyrood Magazine joins campaign to mislead voters with criminally-biased journalism

Following in the bilious wake of the Scotsman and Reporting Scotland yesterday, the Holyrood Magazine’s Louise Wilson, formerly BBC Scotland and followed on twitter by Monica Lennon and Lisa Summers, somehow misses these facts:

“Mass testing is a scandalous waste of money,” said Allyson Pollock, professor of public health at Newcastle University. “When the prevalence rate of coronavirus falls as low as it is at the moment then an increasing proportion of cases are likely to be false positives meaning that cases and contacts will self isolate unnecessarily.” Prof Pollock said it is likely that mass testing “is going to do more harm than good” and there had been no evaluation of mass testing programmes by the government.



The rapid test kits most widely used in UK universities, schools, and care homes detect just 48.89% of covid-19 infections in asymptomatic people when compared with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, real world data from the Liverpool pilot have shown.


Instead, we get this entirely one-sided, wrong, unchallenged propaganda from Jackie Baillie:

Calls have been made to increase the rate of COVID testing in Scotland to match the offer in England as the UK Government has announced twice weekly testing. Rapid lateral flow tests are to be made available for free south of the border from Friday. The tests, which provide a result within 30 minutes, will be available from pharmacies for use at home, even for people without symptoms. It is hoped this will help to suppress COVID-19 levels as lockdown restrictions start to ease. But in Scotland the tests are only available in limited settings, for example in schools and at high-risk workplaces. Scottish Labour has called for access to be improved to ensure transmission chains can be broken.

Deputy leader Jackie Baillie said: “The WHO said the key to tackling COVID was test, test, test. In response the SNP has been slow, slow, slow. “Scotland needs the same access to twice weekly mass testing as we will now see in England – and the Scottish Government is responsible for the failure to deliver it. “It is testing alongside our vaccine rollout that will stop our route out of the pandemic slipping backwards. Scotland deserves better than this haphazard approach to lockdown exit.”


25 thoughts on “Holyrood Magazine joins campaign to mislead voters with criminally-biased journalism

  1. The lateral flow testing and “why are we not following England” line certainly appears to the go-to purdah breaker for the propagandists.

    One lad I chatted with recounted the havoc caused in one case he had direct knowledge – lady given LF-tests read negative, positive, negative one after the other, then the subject was sent for a PCR and home only to come back negative.

    It terrified the hell out of all her colleagues and disrupted work for 24 hours, now none of them have confidence in LF, and Baillie et al seek to promote it for purely political reasons.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. It will be a Tory public funded company making illegal profits from Tory promoted ineffective tests. A total waste of money. Lining the pockets of Tories and their associates. Follow the monies. Wasting £Billions. Killing people.

    Deaths are half the rate in Scotland (pro rata). Better policies, rules and guidelines.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Re.Jackie Baillie
      One can only hope the the good voters of her constituency point their fingers to the exit door for her
      If I were her GP i would recommend a
      Course of HRT


  3. From 5 April: ‘Wales chooses different testing strategy to England with no twice-weekly tests for everyone – The Welsh Government said it was pursuing a different testing strategy to England”

    Source: https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/coronavirus-testing-rapid-lateral-flow-20324338

    Shock, horror, failure, haphazard – surely Wales needs the same access to twice weekly mass testing as we will now see in England – and the Welsh Labour Government is responsible for the failure to deliver it!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Given what we saw in a recent Panorama programme about the handling and testing of samples in a Lighthouse lab in Milton Keynes I doubt very much that the lab systems can handle the volume of samples twice weekly testing will generate. It is in fact more likely that it will slow up the already dysfunctional test and trace system in England. This is likely to result in cases being missed, contacts not contacted and increasing spread of the virus.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. The clinical guidelines for any self test
    Kit is that unless they are at least 95%
    Accurate they must be considered useless,and if testing for serious conditions then the false result no matter if + or – are and will create more problems that can be solved

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Just for further info on Us for Them Scotland. I contributed this btl on TuS on 24 November, 2020.

      It was in response to someone here writing this: “There was a campaign by parents to have the schools fully open even in a second spike. Lots of air time, lots of coverage. Where are they now? Don’t see them being interviewed.”

      I wrote: ‘Are you referring to ‘Us for Them Scotland’? This organisation, founded I think in June 2020, has indeed had a lot of media coverage. Not without controversy: as you may recall there was a bit of push back for example in The National after STV gave the organiser, Jo Bisset a platform in September to argue that the use of face masks for pupils in schools was a very, very bad thing!

      ‘This apparently new, grassroots organisation is still getting media coverage for its views, including in the Scotsman on 17 November.

      ‘Perhaps this is because somehow it was quickly able to obtain professional support, in July, for its campaigning from a company called Shorthand PR. The latter’s website provides a profile of what its support has achieved in terms of media exposure:

      See: https://www.shorthandpr.co.uk/results/us-for-them-scotland

      ‘This must have been one of Shorthand PR’s first clients. The company was only formed in July 2020. It was established by a journalist called Adam Morris. From its website we learn: “He was health reporter, senior reporter and assistant news editor at the Edinburgh Evening News before moving to the Scottish Conservatives, where he was most recently director of communications.”

      ‘Interestingly, we also learn from the Shorthand PR website that it: “.. ran the media operation for the successful leadership campaign of Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross”.’



    Before talking TRIPE
    zip they don’t want to get factual help for fellow Scots


    Liked by 2 people

  7. They read the briefing papers from the Hi Jack bunker in Embra, do what they are told (new guy, up from London, twitch and sun-specks), and mislead us with Auld Reekie sulfurous reek.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I heard on last nights CH4 news that the rapid covid testing is going cost

    70% of the NHS budget . . . .

    instant reaction was . . . They are going to do something bad to the NHS . . . . Plus money into grubby tory pockets.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 70%, that’s massive, and scary if it is the case. Sounds like the perfect privatisation ploy though, handing the tax payers NHS cash to their Tories’ pals again no doubt. Labour branch office in Scotland always fancied privatising Scotland’s public services, they see an opportunity here, siphon away SNHS funding on an inadequate, ineffective test and job done, yeah!
      Ooh it’s very cold and it’s not just the weather! Brrrr.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Arthetty
    Many read & take my syrtirical comments the wrong way
    HRT was just my way of saying the poor lass badly needs to calm down
    Tis all akin to a mad dog barking at the moon
    I honestly believe she fails to realise what she is doing
    Just all like a mad dog digging at a bone that simply does not exist
    Just consider her actions in the committee examining Nicola PATHETIC
    So see rather than a long winded comment like this
    The HRT one is shorthand


  10. This is a judgement call that requires expertise in public health management, which I’m pretty sure neither Louise Wilson or Jackie Baillie possess. So it would appear that both Wilson and Baillie are quite content to go against expert opinion in order to support their politics. IMHO, England’s policy would appear to be the Tories over-compensating for the criminal negligence of their initial response to the pandemic. As political parties are ultimately accountable to the electorate at the ballot box, and this government is as populist as they come. I’m not sure how, but I bet a Tory also benefits financially.

    If there is one simple axiom in life that will help prolong your life, it is never trust a Tory with your health. Which kind of suggests Baillie’s British nationalism is strong enough to over-ride her political opposition towards English Torydum. Not that that comes as much of a surprise.

    Health care priority setting: principles, practice and challenges


  11. Westminster NHS budget is £146Billion increased from £139Billion. The NHS has been given the £10Billion it needed? Already given £3Billion. Are there Barnett Consequentials for Scotland? Scottish SNHS budget comes from the Block Grant. £30+. The Scottish Gov has to mitigate Westminster cuts.

    Scotland raises £66Billion. The UK raises £630Billion. Scotland raises more pro rata.

    Liked by 1 person

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