Child payment doubling is most ambitious antipoverty measure anywhere in the UK

In the Guardian’s less than gushing report on the most ambitious antipoverty measure anywhere in the UK (No speech marks required, it just is): Jackie Baillie, Scottish Labour’s deputy leader, said the £20 increase in the child payment was welcome but said Labour would be pressing for that to be doubled again to £40 next year in the next Scottish budget. “As it stands, this welcome development will not be enough to ensure we meet the statutory child poverty targets that the Scottish parliament has passed,” she said. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/nov/29/scottish-child-payment-to-double-to-20-from-april-says-sturgeon I’m reminded of one of the other hypocritical, brass-necked, comments by … Continue reading Child payment doubling is most ambitious antipoverty measure anywhere in the UK

JCVI and SAGE members support vaccine developed in Scotland

It’s now clear that the UK Government’s decision to cancel the order for 100 million doses of the Valneva vaccine, to be produced in Livingston, near Edinburgh, has been a major error. Professors Adam Finn of the JCVI and Calum Semple of SAGE, have said in the last two days there is a ‘strong theoretical argument’ that the Valneva jab could provide protection against the Botswana variant.  The new Omicron variant is known to have mutated dramatically in its protein spike, by which it penetrates human cells and, crucially, by which it is recognised by the human immune defences and … Continue reading JCVI and SAGE members support vaccine developed in Scotland

SAGE professor confirms Livingston vaccine cancelled by UK Government more effective for new variant

A Senior Government Clinical Advisor on the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (COVID-19 response) and a former member of the WHO Scientific Technical Advisory Committee for Ebola Emergencies (STAC-EE) and UK Pandemic Flu group has confirmed that the Valneva vaccine developed in Scotland would, ‘in principle’ be more effective than the ones we currently use, in fighting the new Omicron variant. Readers will remember that the UK Government cancelled an order for the Valneva vaccine in September on ‘commercial grounds’ and on the notion that it would not meet UK safety standards. Professor Semple commented after reading this: Now French … Continue reading SAGE professor confirms Livingston vaccine cancelled by UK Government more effective for new variant

Andrew, new cases soaring widely but not in Scotland

Despite Andrew Marr’s desperate attempts to convince us that Nicola Sturgeon has done nothing much different from Boris Johnson, the infection rate in Scotland is far below that in many countries featuring in media reports, imposing stricter measures and it is falling while England is soaring again. Meanwhile BBC Scotland is on the phone to that Dumfries bar steward who lets folk wander round barefaced, to get his views. Continue reading Andrew, new cases soaring widely but not in Scotland

I am discrediting the data: Marr’s hatchet job on Sturgeon uses dodgy stats again

I understand why a political leader cannot be seen to get into a spat with ‘researchers’ and not go for Marr’s jugular when he, as before, repeats dodgy stats as if they were facts. First the Royal College of Emergency Medicine is not an independent, ‘expert’ group, but essentially a trade union. OK, a middle-class professional association, but still one with an agenda, first and foremost, to protect and promote their members pay and conditions. Their claims of 230 dead due to A&E delays are not even remotely credible. See below. Marr then goes on to imply reduced bed numbers … Continue reading I am discrediting the data: Marr’s hatchet job on Sturgeon uses dodgy stats again

The misrepresentation of NHS Scotland as NHS England privatises 100 times more

Private health care providers are being asked to bid on 1 500 procedures? First, we need to clarify as to what that sentence means. The text does not tell us if this means just a total of 1 500 operations with many of them the same procedure or 1 500 entirely different procedures because the latter would of course suggest full-blown privatisation and the former, depending on the percentage, would not. 1 500 discrete procedures is not plausible but the idea makes for a good scare. NHS Scotland does around 270 000 ops a year so that 1 500 is … Continue reading The misrepresentation of NHS Scotland as NHS England privatises 100 times more

Cringe Supreme

The Herald seeks again to undermine, denying its readers a sense of what is really happening around them that they might then use to guide their actions and perhaps even feel a bit better about. These graphs can do that: Scotland currently (the news?) has the lowest infection level in the UK, has had for most of the last month and overall had the lowest rate in the pandemic. That spike at the end of August was not despite stricter face mask wearing but perhaps because of lower natural immunity levels due to the earlier successes, mass tourism from more … Continue reading Cringe Supreme

SNP accused of deliberately taking Scotland out of Bottom Twenty poorest places in UK

It’s some time since Foulkes made the above statement (2008) revealing the depths of the Labour gene pool in Scotland, so I can’t source the claim in my headline. The facts, however are the facts. In 2002, the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) produced this list list of the UK’s bottom ten, poorest constituencies, a few years before the first SNP government: Glasgow ShettlestonGlasgow SpringburnGlasgow MaryhillBirmingham LadywoodManchester CentralCamberwell and PeckhamGlasgow BaillestonLiverpool RiversideHackney South/ShoreditchBethnal Green and Bow https://www.theguardian.com/society/2002/feb/18/socialexclusion Today, Scotland does not even make the Bottom 20 in this list produced by the UK’s Living Wage Commission Tendring- around St Osyth … Continue reading SNP accused of deliberately taking Scotland out of Bottom Twenty poorest places in UK

Scotland sees staggering drop in levels of people needing foodbanks, due to SNP policies

In the Herald yesterday: The £10 a week payment for low-income families with children under six has been credited for lowering the need for food banks in Scotland compared to other parts of the UK.  Scotland is the only area of the UK that has seen a marked decrease in the number of emergency food parcels from food banks in the Trussell Trust network in the past six months, compared to the same period in 2019.  https://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/19744574.trussell-trust-scotland-sees-staggering-drop-levels-people-needing-foodbanks/ The data: The Herald report suggests: We see here another clear piece of evidence that the SNP is the only large party in Scotland with a commitment to act … Continue reading Scotland sees staggering drop in levels of people needing foodbanks, due to SNP policies