The apparently trusted FT has a ‘Scotland Correspondent’ in Edinburgh.
Mure Dickie has read the latest report on deaths in care homes which: ‘found no statistical evidence that discharges of hospital patients — including those found to have the virus and thousands more who were not tested — had caused outbreaks in care homes between March and May this year.’
After months of media reports featuring Scottish opposition party politicians trying to blame the SNP Government, this confirms what similar studies in England in Wales have already shown.
Any reasonable interpretation of these findings is that they have reduced pressure on the SNP and increased them on the private care home sector.
If the discharges were not to blame for the deaths then the blame lies somewhere within those care homes and, in particular, as the report reveals, in the larger corporate-owned ones.
Yet Dickie, like many others to come no doubt, ignores that and finds solace in the fact that:
Dozens of hospital patients who had tested positive for Covid-19 were discharged into care homes in Scotland, according to an official report that follows fierce criticism of the Scottish National party government over high coronavirus death rates in such institutions.
So, it seems it does not matter that these patients caused no harm because of the longstanding infection control procedures to be expected there. Nor does it matter, it seems, that the owners of these homes freely accepted the patients in return for the high fees they charge, knowing that they had infection control procedures in place
Dickie goes on to write as if the report’s conclusion had never been published.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story?
After many months of opposition politicians, platformed across the Scottish media, attempting to blame hospital discharges into care homes for subsequent outbreaks and deaths there, an independent report finds that these were not statistically significant and that other factors especially care home size were far more important.
The larger care homes are, of course, owned privately.
The Scottish study follows earlier reports from Public Health Wales, Public health England, the ONS and from the voluntary sector provider BHA, all saying the same thing and, in most, pointing to the over-use of agency staff in large privately owned care homes, as the major cause.
The reporting today, including the appalling question in the briefing from an STV brat reporter attempting to still blame the First Minister, has been one of the most striking examples of the propaganda they will resort to.
BBC Scotland have ignored the news they did not want to hear and extracted and distorted anything they can use to still somehow associate the deaths with the Scottish Government. They, above, seem to think that discharging the patients remains a sin even though it has now been shown that they caused little or no harm.
The Herald has pretended that the report just didn’t happen. Maybe it will go away?
Every so often, somebody leaves a microphone on and we hear what our media class really think of us. You can be sure the Oz-sounding wag wouldn’t have said ‘You gave her a bit of swipe there mate!‘ if he hadn’t known he was safe among like-minds sharing his broad contempt for Scots and their elected leaders.
Some readers might remember how, in 2015, John Boothman at BBC Scotland made highly offensive remarks about the daughter of SNP MSP Margo MacDonald only to be overheard by Ms MacdDonald who recorded the comments on her phone.
In 2007, when BBC Scotland still allowed comments, ‘Marianne‘ reminded us of a classic moment, camera still running:
Brian, I watched your colleague Glen Campbell on Reporting Scotland tonight and was rather disconcerted to see him flamboyantly, in fact almost gleefully ‘tear in half’ a copy of the SNP manifesto (he did it not once, but several times during his piece) by way of illustrating his thoughts on Alex Salmond’s responses to questions put to him at FMQs today.
SNP Government is the wrong term, it describes communications between British Civil Servants, doesn’t it?
Contrast with The National:
Barbara Allison told the Holyrood probe last month she did not receive the message from civil service chief Leslie Evans after being quizzed by Labour’s Jackie Baillie. However, a search by the Crown Office relating to material gathered for the former First Minister’s trial this Spring found that Allison had indeed received the text while on holiday. The search found the message was sent to Allison from Evans on 8 January 2019 – the day Salmond won his judicial review against the government.
The message and reply read: “L Evans: ‘Thanks Barbara – battle maybe lost but not the war. Hope you are having lovely & well deserved break. L’
“B Allison ‘Thanks Leslie. It is lovely here. My mind and thoughts are with you all there tho. Best wishes. Bx”
Always remember that Leslie Evans was brought in after her predecessor was deemed to have “gone native”. This is his testimony.
Former permanent secretary Sir Peter Housden has said he was “not aware of any harassment concerns” involving Alex Salmond while he was in office
Housden also said he did not discuss any “bullying or intimidatory behaviour” by Salmond with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. He was responding to questions put to him by the committee investigating what went wrong with the Scottish Government’s handling of harassment complaints made against Salmond.
As the first signs emerge of success in controlling the latest outbreaks, only in Scotland, in numbers and graphs easily available to make you feel stronger, BBC Scotland have other numbers for you throughout today:
17 wards closed to new admissions
Treating more than 600 cases
Over half of all
21 significant incidents of healthcare-acquired infections
Eleven hundred patients
Three thousand reports of house parties
40% found breaches of the rules
More than 420 fines
I gather some folk are making themselves worse, perhaps dying, because they fear going to hospital. See the one about healthcare-acquired infections? Is that a high number? What percentage is it? Why not tell us that if you must tell us that dangerous number at all?
Perhaps some folk are thinking why should they bother following the rules when so many clearly are not.
Remember these reports are the result of editorial decisions. They are only ‘the news‘ once selected from the hundreds of stories out there. There’s a reason why these were pushed into your homes. Editors in other parts of the world are behaving differently.
Have a look at RTE and the Irish press. They have half the death-rate despite even higher infection levels. Indeed most European countries do.
So, think about it. Imagine the Labour Party in Scotland votes against free school dinners in Scotland then their Westminster MPs, sorry MP, tells the UK Government to provide them and to top them up with free sweets?
That’d be another entry in the Brass Neck Award Competition 2020.
TOURISM chiefs in Scotland have warned of a ‘wave of trauma and mental anguish’ in the hospitality sector as a multi tier system was announced by Nicola Sturgeon. The First Minister revealed the provisional coronavirus restrictions that will apply to different parts of Scotland from next week.
Leaving aside the misleading use of the term ‘tourism chiefs‘ for what is an association of businesses rather than say the chief executive of the national tourism organisation Visit Scotland, the Herald‘s platforming of this quotation is another example of the damage the UK media, unlike its counterparts elsewhere, has done to the campaign to control the virus:
The British media should acknowledge that they play a key role in shaping the UK’s response to Covid-19 and this shaping often produces perverse outcomes, but with no accountability. The very process of focussing on the latest fashionable, and often media-hyped, ‘failures’ distracts from the primary challenge of saving lives.
Professor John Bryson of the University of Birmingham, above, argues that this kind of editorial policy and the reports it generates, demonises political leaders, undermines solidarity, reduces compliance and so costs lives.
I’ve looked at the Irish Times, Sun, Independent and Herald. There’s no sign of any report like the one above, challenging the democratically elected government’s strategy to save lives by allowing business interests a platform to emote in this way and to, unavoidably, weaken popular support for the strategy.
The Editor is an SNP member and Covid-19 fundamentalist. Contact: email@example.com