The Herald carefully selecting data to keep Scotland lagging behind

What would you report the data on first, the first or the second dose vaccines? The whole population including all of those at risk or just the adult population?

The first and the whole population? Nope. The Herald decides to answer the second part of the question first:

So, third eh? Disappointing, though we do just sneak into second place for the first dose in these tables where, typically, the data for England are only estimates. Why can’t or won’t they report the actual number jagged? Regular readers will know of NHS England’s longstanding preference for fiddling A&E data or just not reporting hospital onset infection levels.

Had the Herald reported on whole population data they’d have been able to praise NHS Scotland for increasingly leaving NHS England lagging behind:

And for the whole population Scotland is ahead of England too:

Herald editor: That’s not in the public interest.

9 thoughts on “The Herald carefully selecting data to keep Scotland lagging behind

  1. I’m surprised that The Herald is still using this out of date nomenclature – Scotland , Wales , N.Ireland ..
    Aren’t they aware that there is ONLY ONE NATION ?

    Please be upstanding for a rousing chorus of chorus of ‘One Britain ‘ song !

    C’mon Mr Macwhirter , sing up !

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Do you not think these lyrics show the woeful state of the English education system?

      They aren’t even taught the difference between:
      – The British Isles
      – Great Britain
      – The United Kingdom
      – England
      – Country v Region

      Mind you, if even the PM supports the song, I can only assume they’re proud of the level of ignorance. Perhaps he’s hoping it’ll catch on in the RoW – who need to “get it into their heads”?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It could also be said that the country or geographical area has changed regularly. Norman Davies in his history, “The Isles”, points out that for someone living in England in 1999 the country they were a part of in 1999 was different from that in 1899, which was different from that in 1799, and different again from that of 1699, and again 1599 and 1499. Earlier in the middle ages England was also a part of the Plantagenet’s huge kingdom.


  2. When considering the UK has a ‘Health Minister’ that is apparently totally useless and a PM that is a compulsive liar (as well as being totally useless) the great British media have been quick to realise that it is perfectly acceptable and indeed desireable to mis-inform the public on important matters when it suits. That is the society we have to endure at the moment.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Selected data only.
    The BEEB, Herod, Hootsmon’s colonial coverage of Scotland, is to shame proper journalism.
    Two sources and right of reply.

    There is almost certainly journalists who aspire to higher standards (among the State propaganda) in Russia and China than in Scotland. Shamefully.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The actual variation in rates amongst the four nations is relatively small. Generally, Wales has consistently had a higher rate of vaccinations and NI a lower rate. Given the length of the period, and the size of the sample, the ‘superiority’ of Wales and the ‘inferiority ‘ of NI might be significant at some level, but, compared to vaccination rates elsewhere in the richer nations it is not something to write a story about.

    So this shows the paucity of the BritNat media argument and the pathetic mindset. Are they wanting people in Scotland to be infected or to die?

    Sadly, I think the answer is, ‘yes’.


  5. O/T and apologies for the length! I’ve been catching up on my reading, specifically of the OECD report on Scottish education. I felt obliged having read the official record of Douglas Ross’ comments on the topic at FMQs this week. Oh dear what a barren contribution!

    If one commissions an in-depth, lengthy review of a big, complex and critically important part of a country’s public ‘infrastructure’ from international, independent experts the last thing one expects – or in truth wants – are no criticisms and no recommendations for change. From fresh insight and challenge comes progress and improvement.

    Based on Mr Ross’ comments there seems to be a complete lack of appreciation on his part of this basic truth. He operates in a binary policy environment – good (impossible in Scotland?) or a disaster, a crisis. Being politically conservative, socially conservative, educationally conservative perhaps it’s not surprising! But I suspect there is more to this.

    Based on this week’s contribution, Ross clearly has determined to approach education reform in a politically partisan manner. He and his party give no indication of being interested in co-creation of something (even) better. It will be ‘interesting’ to watch how his Tory sidekick Stephen Kerr performs (‘behaves’) as new convenor of Holyrood’s Education, Children and Young People Committee!

    Candidly, in many ways the OECD report is positive about Scotland’s education system. Interestingly, it has a section which reviews Scotland’s performance in the OECD’s own PISA system (a system not without its critics but one whose findings are cherry picked by opponents of the Scottish Government above all other performance indicators!).

    Unsurprisingly perhaps, the OECD report provides a much more measured, balanced account of Scotland’s PISA results – and surely being in an OECD report, we can take this account as more authoritative than many others? I offer this as two among many positives from across the OECD report.

    The report explains that PISA’s new global competence module “aims to capture the capacity of 15-year-olds to examine local, global and intercultural issues, to understand and appreciate the perspectives and world views of others, to engage in open, appropriate and effective interactions with people from different cultures, and to act for collective well-being and sustainable development.”

    “Scotland ranked among the top-performing countries in global competence.
    – “Scotland was the fourth top-performing country, behind Singapore, Canada, and Hong Kong (China)”
    – “Scotland was the third country with the largest proportion of students who scored at Level 5 (12%), behind Singapore (22%) and Canada (15%). This is significantly higher than the average of 4% of students.”

    What does Level 5 mean? “At Level 5, the highest level of proficiency in global competence, students can analyse and understand multiple perspectives. They can examine and evaluate large amounts of information without much support provided in the unit’s scenario. Students can effectively explain situations that require complex thinking and extrapolation and can build models of the situation described in the stimulus.”

    Elsewhere the report, in a section on ‘equity’, explains that the extent of socio-economic disparities in academic performance indicates whether an education system helps promote equality of opportunities. It concludes:

    “In Scotland, students’ socio-economic status had relatively little impact on their reading performance than other OECD countries.” It notes that in 2018, the socio-economic status as measured by the PISA index of economic, social and cultural status (ESCS) explained only 8.6% of the difference in performance between students from the most and least advantaged backgrounds in Scotland, a smaller impact on their performance in Scotland than on average across the OECD, where the ESCS explained 12% of the difference in performance.

    Moreover, the impact of students’ socio-economic status on their PISA performance in maths and science was also smaller in Scotland than on average in the OECD area, explaining 7.9% of the performance difference in maths, compared to 13.8% on average, and 10.1% of the performance difference in science compared to 12.8% on average.

    There’s lots more interesting insight and lots more positivity to be found in the report. Indeed there is lots more material for positive media headlines that will – of course – never see the light of day!

    OECD (2021), Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence: Into the Future, Implementing Education Policies, OECD Publishing, Paris,

    Liked by 3 people

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