‘A fag paper away from euthanasia’: Lennon and Daily Record side with the corporations responsible for mass care home deaths

Daily Record columnist, Annie Brown, provides Monica Lennon and Scottish Labour with yet another set of misinterpreted evidence which they can use to return to their long-disproved thesis that the Scottish Government is responsible for the care home deaths.

It’s a new low in journalism, biased from the outset and ironically ‘cherry picking’ of evidence.

First, she writes:

In the first wave of the pandemic, more than 1,300 elderly people were discharged from hospitals to care homes in Scotland before a testing regime was in place. The government said a Public Health Scotland report “did not find statistical evidence that hospital discharges of any kind were associated with care home outbreaks”. This is skilful cherry picking of a report which actually could be interpreted to say quite the opposite. Another such report is out today, so let’s see what acrobatics of interpretation the government can perform this time.

All untrue, demonstrably, from several reports:

After the first wave, the charitable MHA with a presence in Scotland did research into its own homes and discovered this: Large numbers of staff could have been unknowingly spreading coronavirus through care homes, according to the UK’s largest charitable care home provider. Data from MHA shows 42% of its staff members who recently tested positive were not displaying symptoms. Nearly 45% of residents who had a positive test were also asymptomatic. The MHA Chief Executive said: I think it’s very difficult not to see that the only real way that this can have come into our homes is through staff picking it up, just through the community contacts they would have had. I think that is what is so hard for all our staff, because they care. But if they don’t know they’ve contracted the virus, how can you manage this?https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52912538

Then a large ONS study of 9 081 care homes in England found this: These emerging findings reveal some common factors in care homes with higher levels of infections amongst residents.These include prevalence of infection in staff, some care home practices such as more frequent use of bank or agency nurses or carers, and some regional differences (such as higher infection levels within care homes in London and the West Midlands). There is some evidence that in care homes where staff receive sick pay, there are lower levels of infection in residents.  https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/articles/impactofcoronavirusincarehomesinenglandvivaldi/26mayto19june2020#main-points

Pay attention: There is no evidence that hospital discharges caused outbreaks in care homes.

Then, with the arrogance of Sarwar, she writes

Nicola Sturgeon said, with the benefit of hindsight, “mistakes” were made with care home residents at the start of the crisis. Forget hindsight 20 /20 since the impact of this move, could have been predicted with no more knowledge than gleaned watching the movie Contagion. Deadly viruses introduced to vulnerable people in confined spaces, kill them, here endeth the medical lesson.

Astonishing contempt from a mere journo for highly trained professionals.

The decisions to discharge from hospital into care homes were taken, in the interests of the patients, many of them traumatised there by dementia, by highly qualified medics in consultation with care home managers, skilled in the isolation of infected residents from decades of flu epidemics. ‘Those in power’, SNP politicians, played no part.

The decisions of those owners in the larger corporate homes to maximise occupancy and to skimp on staffing, PPE and testing, with over-dependency on agency staff travelling between sites, caused the deaths.

Finally and disgracefully, this:

The belated remorse of the Scottish government is the equivalent of a General apologising he ordered hand grenades be thrown into care homes then feigning shock when people died. The actions of our government in 2020 were a fag paper away from euthanasia and there should have been grovelling apologies long before now. If it wasn’t for journalists we wouldn’t know the half of it.

Like the GMB and Richard Leonard before them, Lennon and Brown side with the rapacious corporations in a desperate attempt to harm the SNP.

26 thoughts on “‘A fag paper away from euthanasia’: Lennon and Daily Record side with the corporations responsible for mass care home deaths

  1. The Daily Record, should have been condemned to the dustbin long ago. A dreadful tabloid rag, been telling porkies to the people of Scotland for far too long.
    M. Lennon and her branch office in Scotland, a tabloid party, using words like fag paper in this context, bit of an insult to people’s intelligence, but then, Labour are an insult to Scotland and the people of Scotland.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The hand grenade bit is just a disgrace, but indicative of the sort of pathetic mud slinging from British Labour in Scotland, it’s all they have. Their days of conning the people of Scotland are over, toodle pip Labour!

      Liked by 5 people

  2. Elderly people die in hospital. 50,000 a year die in Scotland. Average age 79. More in winter than summer on average. Japan highest life expectancy 85, worldwide Women on average live 5 years longer, worldwide.

    Labour, the only Party, not to support MUP. A politician made a speech in Parliament about their father’s addiction problems and early death. They did not support MUP saving lives. Hypocritical lying Labour.

    All the elderly have now been vaccinated, saving lives. A magnificent effort by the SNHS, the Scottish Gov and all concerned. A great thank you from everyone.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. yes, if Bozo had acted with the same alacrity to the covid- 19 pandemic, as he did with the super fitba league proposal, the UK would undoubtedly be in a much better position.
      His failure to grasp the importance of rapid action on the pandemic is unforgiveable.

      Liked by 5 people

  3. If Monica Lennon isn’t careful, her attempts at a mentalist approach to justice, will end up drawing attention to the compelling democratic need to ensure the law and legal practice, are coherent and compatible with practical reason and moral theory. Which I don’t think is what she wants to do, as doing so would, subsequently, draw attention to how Scots are being abused by Westminster. Through its high-handed authoritarianism with regards the articulation of Parliamentary sovereignty.


    “Legal and policy responses to COVID-19 rest on and express the balance of different basic values and principles. Earlier and current regulatory approaches bring into sharp relief how liberty must be understood and weighed against other values. This is for the sake of liberty itself, but crucially too for other compelling aspects of social justice.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Peter Bell’s bailing out.


    Another sleeper surfaces at a cruical time for the Union.

    Yesterday in the National we had another Winifred McArtney, explaining at length why it makes sense not to vote for the SNP at this time, hoping to make others do likewise.

    The National gave her letter prominence in their selection of articles of interest.

    Yeah we can wait till there’s another leader of the SNP, Boris Jonson won’t introduce laws making it impossible for Scotland to become independent, Holyrood won’t loose any more powers, Kids won’t starve.

    We’ll just wait another 5 years or whatever . . . . nothing bad will happen

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Peter Bell’s bailing out.


    Another sleeper surfaces at a cruical time for the Union.

    Yesterday in the National we had another Winifred McArtney, explaining at length why it makes sense not to vote for the SNP at this time, hoping to make others do likewise.

    The National gave her letter prominence in their selection of articles of interest.

    Yeah we can wait till there’s another leader of the SNP, Boris Jonson won’t introduce laws making it impossible for Scotland to become independent, Holyrood won’t loose any more powers

    We’ll just wait another 5 years or whatever . . . . nothing bad will happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Disgraceful, and for Lennon to be still promoting this bunkum in face of the short but detailed mobile.twitter.com/msm_monitor/status/1380884014521802753 is frankly extraordinary. How on earth can SG be blamed in isolation for following to the letter the guidance they received from London ?

    This thread mobile.twitter.com/IndigoFast/status/1384274596065542150 on indyref2 this morning went on to state in the starkest terms possible that England’s figures were drastically under-declared. It was almost impossible to abstract real data from published figures, except for excess deaths. Scotland was hit badly, but on England’s care homes it was much worse, the silence is deafening….

    As to “The belated remorse of the Scottish government…” and the journo’s appalling simile, I’d simply ask where is Johnson’s remorse ?

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Well I might have taken the ‘scenic route’ in rediscovering the terrain of justice, but I think the effort was worth it given the degree of ideological capture within Scottish culture and society. So here’s a look at how to be a proper mentalist, which may interest those concerned with supporting open democracy.

    Turning Back to Nature: Perspectives of Biosemiotics in a Post-Pandemic Humanity


  8. Given what I think is a clear need for us to learn how to be better mentalist, I hope you’ll excuse me labouring the point that good law must always seek to do no harm. Or at least be rational and proportionate in how it defines the distribution of social privileges and vulnerabilities.

    Essential Readings in Biosemiotics

    “Combining research approaches from biology, philosophy and linguistics, the emerging field of biosemiotics proposes that animals, plants and single cells all engage in semiosis – the conversion of physical signals into conventional signs. This has important implications and applications for issues ranging from natural selection to animal behaviour and human psychology, leaving biosemiotics at the cutting edge of the research on the fundamentals of life.”


  9. John,
    I think a better analogy than ‘flu epidemics’ would be Norovirus outbreaks. The virus is highly infectious and can run through a care home or hospital ward like wildfire. It also requires a much higher degree of hygiene adherence to prevent cross-infection than the flu.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Correct, it was horrendous when the Labour London HQ’d office in Scotland were at the helm, they privatised cleaning services, hence deaths from CDiff etc went through the roof, they didn’t care though did they, I haven’t forgotten, I had a pal who worked in a ward at the time, it was often a topic of conversation.


  10. Monica Lennon’s comment – her use of the phrase ‘criminal neglect’ – goes way, way beyond the acceptable bounds of political knock about. And it goes beyond legitimate action to hold a government to account – unless of course she has the evidence of criminality and if so, perpetrated by whom!

    In an in-depth, independent analysis of factors associated with Covid outbreaks and deaths across all care homes in the Lothian Health Board area, the authors of the following peer reviewed paper chose to make no reference to ‘criminal neglect’. This is despite the body of evidence available to them. And the paper reviewers and editors of the authoritative health journal, The Lancet found the authors’ case sound and duly published it.

    Burton et al (2020) Evolution and effects of COVID-19 outbreaks in care homes: a population analysis in 189 care homes in one geographical region of the UK. The Lancet – Health Longevity, Vol. 1, Issue 1, E21-E31. (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanhl/article/PIIS2666-7568(20)30012-X/fulltext )

    The paper is a long but fascinating read.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. O/T Two cheers for the STUC for its statement today: “STUC Congress confirms support for Scottish self-determination but rejects ‘super majority manoeuvring’ (April 21st 2021)

    “The STUC Congress has voted in support of a motion stating that the Scottish Parliament should have the power to hold a referendum on Scotland’s future and should not require UK Government consent. It also restated its view the Westminster Government should not resist a second vote if a majority of pro-independence MSPs are elected alongside a clear preference among the Scottish people for a second vote.”

    So far so good but then this: “We have also made clear that any future referendum need not be confined to a binary choice if a meaningful third option is developed.”

    One might have hoped that hard-headed trade union leaders who support the position set out in the first extract from the STUC’s statement would be sensible enough to avoid the ‘fantasy politics’ implied in the second!

    Source: http://www.stuc.org.uk/media-centre/news/1590/stuc-congress-confirms-support-for-scottish-self-determination-but-rejects-super-majority-manoeuvring

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’d suggest you pin the STUC’s commitment to supporting and securing Scotland’s political rights, through the principles of participatory democracy and critical sustainability theory. Our removal from the EU’s legal jurisdiction, challenges fundamental principles of international law, paradoxically articulated through the EU’s charter of fundamental rights. This forcefully removes Scots from legal protections afforded through international law, which is characteristically supportive of the “precautionary principle”. IMHO, HMG’s response to the pandemic should have been guided by a precautionary approach to public health, right from the first warning. Rather than the regressive narrative of social Darwinism that characterises contemporary English Torydum.


    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes. There’s lots of rights that don’t always sit in easy relationships with each other, and which relate to Scotland’s democracy, as well as all democracies. We’re simply denied access to them as a result of standing under Westminster. Which considers itself above international law.


  13. Just to clarify the above, which kind of assumes the reader has existing legal insight.

    ….challenges fundamental principles of international law; the right to a defensible legal identity, for a start, which for Scots used to include our EU legal identity.

    ….paradoxically articulated through the EU’s charter of fundamental rights; our rights under international law were articulate through the charter. Which didn’t matter to Westminster, which considers itself impervious to law that challenges the English legal tradition of Parliamentary sovereignty.


  14. John, I see the BBC have set the statistical hares loose with their latest “Covid in Scotland: Discharge link to outbreaks ‘cannot’ be ruled out”, giving of course a platform to all 3 of the opposition parties to practice their hyperbole.

    The final comment “When the report was published in October, the Scottish Greens said “the sheer scale of this scandal is absolutely astonishing” for some reason seemed odd so I looked it up:
    “The scale of the care home scandal at the outset of the Covid19 crisis which led to people who had tested positive, and others who had not been tested at all, being discharged into care homes is astonishing, Scottish Greens Health Spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP has said”


  15. These people are sick , the journalists the Labour , Tory MP,s , its not normal political jousting that we see here its the money blood sucking sacrifice of all their principles wrapped in a union jack that has bled the world dry of anything that isnt nailed down and surrounded by armies.
    We will come for you


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