Back where we started

We’ve been cooped up for weeks, and finally there’s a faint glimmer of hope that a plan to end lockdown is starting to take shape. Only it may all be for naught. The UK is sleepwalking into the risk of a serious rebound in the infection rate, which will mean the reimposition of lockdown and we’ll all be back where we started. At least those of us who haven’t died will be back to where we started.

In an important article in The Guardian (click HERE), Devi Sridhar – who is a professor of global public health at the University of Edinburgh and an acknowledged expert in the field – warns that the UK is heading towards another Covid-19 disaster. Over two years ago Professor Sridhar warned of the risk of a coronavirus type outbreak. Experts in her field were aware of the risk and were talking about it publicly, but still the British Government allowed its pandemic preparations to run down. The UK entered the crisis woefully unprepared for it. It’s exiting the lockdown in exactly the same way.

According to Professsor Sridhar there are basically only three possible responses to a viral epidemic for which there is no vaccine. Firstly you can do nothing, and allow the virus to spread amongst the population. When one infected person infects two or three others, the virus spreads exponentially. Within a surprisingly short time a majority of the population contracts the virus. Most people will experience only minor symptoms and will develop a natural immunity. Their bodies fight off the virus and in the process create antibodies which remain in the body, primed to spring into action should they encounter the virus again.

When most people in a population have immunity, then the virus cannot spread effectively. This is essentially the herd immunity strategy that the British Government was considering at the start of this crisis. It is only an ethical strategy when the illness that the virus causes has a very low fatality rate. It’s also only an ethnical strategy when you are certain that infection and recovery creates a lasting immunity. There is simply not enough information about this virus in order to be sure of that. Not enough time as passed between the earliest infections and now in order to be sure that any immunity is going to last. Additionally there is now a growing body of evidence to suggest that people who suffer a severe reaction to infection are at high risk of being left with lasting health problems as a result.

However even a fatality rate of 1%, which sounds low, is going to cause mass casualties. Assuming that 60% of the population becomes infected, which is the figure that epidemiologists generally bandy about when they’re talking about effective herd immunity, that would mean 32500 deaths in Scotland alone, and about 400,000 deaths in the UK as a whole. By the time the British Government realised that it was facing death on such a scale, and an NHS and public services which would be unable to cope, the virus has already spread widely in the population.

That left the second strategy. This is to impose lockdown and ensure that people stay indoors and minimise contact with others in order to reduce the opportunies that the virus has to spread. This is successful in reducing transmission rates and spreading the load so that the health and caring services are able to manage. Yet it comes at a heavy price. It wreaks havoc on the economy and creates huge stress amongst people who are cooped up at home all day. Rates of domestic violence rise, mental health issues increase. Other illnesses and health conditions go untreated as people feel that they should not trouble an already stretch health service. There is an enormous cost in jobs which are lost as businesses are unable to survive the lockdown. People are unable to pay their rent or their mortgage, they worry about ensuring that there’s food on the table. Yet without other remedies, a society is condemned to repeated cycles of lockdown and release. Unless other measures are in place, when a society begins to loosen lockdown, the rate of transmission of the virus will start to rise again.

The third strategy is the only proven way of controlling a viral epidemic in the longer term until an effective vaccine can be developed. It entails the introduction of a rigorous scheme of mass testing, tracing those who have come into contact with infected people, and instituting quarantine and isolation measures on those who have the virus or who are in contact with infected people. This last requires a significant infrastructure to be in place, an infrastructure which doesn’t currently exist in the UK. The UK is still struggling to meet even the relatively low testing targets that the British Government has set. There is no reliable mechanism in place to trace those who have come into contact with infected people.

This is a strategy which ideally needs to be implented early in the outbreak, before the virus has had a chance to establish itself in the wider community. The UK has dithered and delayed, squandered the head start it got, and has missed the boat. By allowing the virus to become widely established, the British Government has made considerably more diffcult to get it under control.

Worse, there is clearly no consensus within the British Government about what strategy it needs to take. Westminster’s response has been characterised by confusion, mixed messaging, and contradictory statements. If those in charge of the UK’s response to the virus are unsure what to do, it’s hardly surprising that the public is as well.

In order to come out of lockdown successfully, Professor Sridhar identifies a number of measures that need to be in place. Firstly there has to be “mass testing, surveillance and real-time data to identify clusters of the virus and quarantine those who are infected.” PPE must be supplied to everyone who needs it. There must be effective checks on the health status of those entering the country and mandatory quarantine for all arrivals. Yet in the UK we are nowhere near ready to provide mass testing. The Government’s app is still in the early stages of testing, and there remains huge suspicion amongst the populace about what the British Government – which does not have a good track record with privacy and personal data – would do with the information it collects on all of us. After all, you can’t keep all your decision making secret as this Government has done, allow the UK to have the highest death toll in Europe, and then expect us to trust you.

The UK is loosening up some of its lockdown restrictions in a confused and confusing manner. This runs the risk of us seeing a new peak in infections which will force us back into lockdown again. We will be back where we started – at least those of us who are still alive and healthy – only with an even higher death toll, more grieving families, and more lives ruined. And all of this could have been avoided if the British Government had kept its eye on the ball. We’re all paying the price for Conservative negligence, for their ideologically motivated destruction of public services, and for their prioritising private greed over the public good.

And finally, because we could all do with some cheering up during these difficult times…

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66 thoughts on “Back where we started

  1. Smokin’ hot keyboard these days Paul; hope you’re not neglecting those significant others during the lockdown. ‘Kept its eye on the ball’, or alert, as some might say.

  2. South Korea have 350 recovered patients testing positive again, but are still investigating whether faulty testing is to blame. A worrying trend.

    • It seems they have concluded it was false positives at least party due to inactive virus in their samples. Inactive viruses can persist in your nose for eg for some time and PCR testing is so sensitive* it can detect those. Which is why those people tested positive.

      *I worked in a lab where a common dna cloning plasmid was so abundant you could PCR it out of the air. I did that once and it worked. We had to limit the number of PCR cycles when genotyping our mice and include lots of negative controls for a similar reason. In another lab a colleague trying to PCR up the same genes from different organisms kept having to change benches due to contamination from the last organism or the dominant one in the lab. I was using PCR to generate something, it wasn’t working, I pushed it too hard, produced something but it wasn’t the right thing.

      Interpret PCR results carefully.

  3. The sad thing is the resources to save lives are there and always have been. In 1939 London, overnight, had an additional 60k hospital beds were installed cause they thought the Germans would embark upon an indiscriminate bombing campaign against the civil population. The beds arrived the German bombs didnt. Today the “bombs” have arrived the beds haven’t. Utter folly. Scotland needs a leader who can deliver Independence not an administrator who can negate.

  4. C Avery,
    So Independence in your view is worth how many lives? Elderly , young, nurses, doctors, care workers, train drivers, shop workers etcetera? If you cannot spot the leader in our first minister you are suffering the worst case of myopia ever. Of course you could just be an underminer britnat.

    • Aye still typing pish eh Hamish , and just waiting to jump on anyone who questions the current management of the SNP to deliver Independence ,

      5 years progress made F/ all , as the heading reads ” back where we started ” and you chumps are still falling for it , you have more chance of catching this plague than seeing Independence with the current leadership . GUARANTEED

      • Sorry if you think that dealing with the current crisis of 2000 Scots dead is not worthy of the First Ministers full attention. I believe her stewardship has improved our chances of independence. It seems the underminers myopia is catching.If we had a referendum in the past year or so we could not be guaranteed victory. One defeat is enough. I do wonder if you guys actually want Independence.

      • Yah another troll just what we need. I think you might be lost should you not be on the online comments of the National thats where the whingers normally hang out or that other blog of course

  5. Another great article, Paul. You’re on a roll to the point that I’m struggling to keep up, lol.

    ‘England risks a Second Wave of Death.’


    The BBC is still at it tonight in relation to the Nicola Sturgeon great big coverup. Thousands of lives could have been saved if she had put Scotland into lockdown earlier and so on. Everyone should think of getting copies of this off to the MSM, BritNat politicians etc.

    ‘Fact-check: Scottish Government COULD NOT have locked down earlier to save lives.’

    • ‘England risks a Second Wave of Death.’

      Reports today that Germany, which had been doing better than the UK (not hard I know), is seeing a tripling of cases now that they’ve eased their lockdown. Doesn’t bode well for us does it.

  6. 1. You left out the fact that if government inaction or incompetence, or both, collapses your national health system, a fatality rate of 1% becomes 5% or even 10%. Five or even _ten_ times worse; a 10% fatality rate as Italy experienced in Lombardy. So 400,000 UK deaths becomes 2 million. Or 4 million.

    2. Also, this was the policy that the Tories signed up to, despite already knowing these numbers. That’s what a psychopath does. They don’t care. They can’t care; that’s the problem.

    3. Further, this policy is still being pursued.

    There are many excellent trustworthy UK Public Health doctors and Professors who denounce ever Tory lie. They have pointed out the following. The UK policy is _still_ ‘herd immunity’, but by stealth. International flights to the UK have not been banned and there is _no_ mandatory quarantine in government facilities as done by both China and in New Zealand. Anything less is _not_ a real isolation policy. “Y’all be careful and promise to isolate for two weeks” is a bad joke, not an isolation policy.

    4. Chris Giles of the FT has a running total of the UK excess deaths. Today it’s 59,700 – 12th May 2020.

    A better measure than the government’s figures which are a gross undercount because they leave out Care Home deaths and those without a positive test. He published a free-to-read FT article on it on 21st April 2020 – google ‘FT coronavirus deaths double official figures’.

    5. Professor Anthony Costello and others founded an ‘Independent SAGE’ committee that is transparent and open and which _you_ can listen to, live. See Source #2 below.
    SAGE – Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies. The Tory one had Dominic ‘career psychopath’ Cummings and a gimp sidekick attending

    See Sources –

    1 – Prof. John Ashton CBE (@Johnrashton47) / Twitter

    2 – Independent SAGE * – Prof. Anthony Costello (@globalhlthtwit) / Twitter

    3 – Prof. Gabriel Scally (@GabrielScally) / Twitter

    4 – Dr. Richard Horton Ed @The Lancet (@richardhorton1) / Twitter

    5 – Prof. Paul Garner (@PaulGarnerWoof) / Twitter

  7. Test, trace and isolate is the only way to allow strict lockdown to end and allow people to return to work and a more normal but not the old normal way of going about their business. We are weeks away from getting the systems in place to undertake that in Scotland yet.

    AS well s TTI, I would like to see Scotland split into either local authority or health board sized areas and the responsibility for monitoring the level of virus and suppressing of the virus kept at a local level. If it started to get above a certain level then that area could put back into a stricter lockdown regime.

    It’s possible that a vaccine could be two years away so if you want to get through this with minimum deaths and minimum economic damage then you must put such a system in place, it can be managed as Soth Korea, Vietnam, New Zealand and Australia have shown along with Germany, Norway and Denmark to a lesser extent who have used TTI to good effect.

    Right now there are still far too many new cases each day in Scotland and the UK, lockdown restrictions cannot be relaxed until new cases fall a good bit further yet. Else the risk ia an immediate return to increasing numbers of new cases and no means of containing them by tracing and isolating.

    Nicola Sturgeon is going to have a hard time in the next couple of weeks in fending off the media and her right wing political critics to try to hold off relaxing lockdown as long as possible while trying to get the infrastructure and systems in place for the testing.

    Westminster will not want Scotland to succeed when it can be shown to fail so watch for the attacks on Nicola Sturgeon to increase in the coming days, with her out of the way they will hope to steamroller a weaker leader. I believe she will handle the pressure despite already looking exhausted. She won’t let them win.

    • The glaring differences between the SG and UK gov approach to care advice was highlighted by a London DR on Twitter, there is a thread, but not to long. The Scottish document is the one Myles Briggs was claiming had not been seen by the Jeanne Freeman, which had inadvertently been put on line before being signed off. It’s mentioned at the end of the thread.

      My own opinion is that test, trace ,isolate is where the SG wanted to be all along. It’s taking time to put the infrastructure into place, training and proved testing equipment not helped by UK Gov which appears to be hell bent on hindering the process and undermining confidence in the Scottish Government.

      • Thanks for that, a very interesting comparison and clearly shows the differing approaches of the two governments. Look at how confused people are in England about going back to work without any guidance in place. In Scotland this will not happen before guidanace on a sector basis is provided prior to easing restrictions.

        What are those in power in Westminster thinking? It almost looks as if the entire civil service in Whitehall had given up working at all and now all decisions and statements appear to be coming directly from some genius based at No 10. Probably not a good way to come out of the biggest crisis the UK has faced since WWII.

  8. Excellent Article

    There you go again, using facts and logic and, ER, Scots common sense. How can Domo ‘Career Psychopath’ Cummings’s compete, with his London spin ? He can’t !

    Though I would call for a swift and, ER, terminal end to the rule of the ‘Career Psychopaths’ who by design have caused the unnecessary deaths of 59,700 citizens. The same end that Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu got in 1989.

    Particulary as they are now apparently determined to genocide the full ‘we think it was worth it’ 1% fatalities of 60% of the UK population, or 400,000 deaths. OR up to _ten_ times more if they succeed in overwhelming the health service, which still does not have adequate PPE. This before the lockdown is loosened unconscionably early, sending infection rates soaring.

    Harsh? Ya think ? After 59,700 deaths ? How many more elderly and poor and innocent have to die before enough people say “it’s get them before they get us” ?

  9. Just keep on voting them out. The psycho bastards. Their own description. The death rate in Scotland is half the rest of the UK but no mention of it. It just shows how well the Scottish Gov has managed. Compared to the rest. A few weeks to save lives in nothing in a lifetime.

    The nobsense Press. No one watches it or buys it. The rubbish the non Dom criminals publish.

    Now taxes are going to go up and pensions will fall. The Tories will be milking it in on Gov contracts for them and their associates.The reason they join the Tories. Vote Tory to die younger. The tax evaders getting away with killing people. The Westminster unionist way.

    Illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion. Scotland pays dear for it. There is another way out of this. Scotland could take it.Vote SNP. Vote for Independence. Not paying for Westminster poor, bad decisions.

  10. I was born SNP, but even I am becoming disillusioned with Nichola Sturgeon. Firstly, because I worked for many years in the Scottish Government and watched, and suffered from, the changes that happened after NS ‘took over’. It became a place where people were afraid to speak, to have a laugh, to say anything remotely non-PC, and where managers were afraid to ask people to do their jobs. Secondly, she dropped the ball, let the fire go out, on independence. Thirdly, there was the Alex Salmond carry on, unfortunately what happened to Alex Salmond is not uncommon practise within the Scottish Government. I await his next steps with anticipation and hope he will expose the truth. Finally, there was the Scottish Chief Medical Officer fiasco, where Nichola should have taken immediate action and dismissed her.

    I was late to the party on the virus due to a disillusioned self-imposed avoidance of media. In January or February I did not know that this virus was coming but Nichola Sturgeon did. I have looked in vain for words from her at that time preparing her people for what was to come, within her limitations, or words asking the British Government what they are going to do about it. I can’t find any, they might be there, but I can’t find them. All of the UK governments watched and waited, waited too long. Hindsight is a great thing but in this situation they already had the evidence they needed from other countries who were ahead of us. Hindsight was not required.

    I agree that Nichola Sturgeon is now showing a strong skilled leadership style, but as I have said somewhere else on this site, is she really doing anything that different other than delivering the same messages in a less bumbling idiotic way that BJ. Yes, she is extending lockdown, sticking her neck out at the wrong end of the problem. The UK could have and should have acted much earlier. We are an Island and that presented so many opportunities that were not taken. It’s to our shame that places like Orkney and Shetland have any cases at all. All our leaders should have stuck their necks out at the start.

    I am no fan of the British Government, believe me, and I really want to see Scottish Independence in my lifetime. I agree with all that is said here about the British Government, but, and it pains me to say it, our Scottish leaders could have done better too.

    It’s worth reading Dr Malcom Kendrick’s views for an alternative style lockdown.

    • I’m not really surprised about Orkney and Shetland the oil and gas industry flies in people not just from elsewhere in the UK but other countries all the time. There was some shift on that but it seems too late. They may be islands but they are not insular. The oil and gas saw to that.

    • Marlelc,
      What a confusing post.

      There are many Islands that have COVID not just Orkney or Shetland. Even the Lib Dem’s couldn’t stop it!

      The Scottish Government had no control over the business man flying from overseas to meet his friends in the Italian Ski resort then to his home in the South of England before the spread started. The infection came to the U.K. also from other sources because in the main there was no controls on entering or travelling via the channel tunnel, train, plane, bus or ferry. No doubt som elf the carriers were symptomless.

      The U.K. Government is considering quarantine at the end of this month! I repeat the end of this month. Unless you come from France and Ireland (airports only!) Ferries and the channel tunnel are COVID free obviously.

      Today Ireland and France are visited from people from across the globe. Guess where they can then travel too?

      Based on the above, despite not being born SNP I have no option but to say hurrah to Johnson and join a Brit nationalist party. Make sense? As much sense as saying “.. I was late to the party on the virus due to a disillusioned self-imposed avoidance of media.”

      If only your blinkers could be used as a mask……

      Now what was the real reason for your post ? Attack the first minister? praise Alex Salmond? I will wait and what see Comes out of any book. Will it appear just before the Scottish elections? Before a referendum? Who knows. Time marches on.

      Who knows how many folk will have succumbed to CoVid by then.
      Back to COVID
      Is she saying anything different? Yes. Complete opposite? No.

  11. A bit OT.
    I was throwing out old magazines and came across an article about bombing villages in Kenya in the 50’s. Written by a Colonialist.
    Here is a little piece to think upon how our Colonial masters think and ACT.

    The Mau Mau Uprising (1952–1960), also known as the Mau Mau Rebellion, the Kenya Emergency, and the Mau Mau Revolt, was a war in the British Kenya Colony (1920–1963) between the Kenya Land and Freedom Army (KLFA), also known as Mau Mau, and the British authorities.
    Dominated by the Kikuyu people, Meru people and Embu people, the KLFA also comprised units of Kamba and Maasai peoples who fought against the white European colonist-settlers in Kenya, the British Forces, and the local British colonists, local auxiliary militia, and pro–British Kikuyu people.
    The capture of rebel leader, Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi, on 21 October 1956, signalled the defeat of the Mau Mau, however, the rebellion survived until after Kenya’s independence from Britain, driven mainly by the Meru units led by Field Marshal Musa Mwariama and General Baimungi. Baimuingi was killed shortly after Kenya attained self-rule.
    The KLFA failed to capture widespread public support. Frank Füredi, in The Mau Mau War in Perspective suggests this was due to a British policy of Divide and Rule but fails to cite any contemporary British government documents which support this assertion. General Sir F Kitson, who served in the British colonial forces in Kenya describes the tactic of manipulating the Mau Mau into rival gangs and pitting them against one another. The Mau Mau movement remained internally divided, despite attempts to unify the factions. The British, meanwhile, applied the strategy and tactics they developed in suppressing the Malayan Emergency (1948–60). The Mau Mau Uprising created a rift between the European colonial community in Kenya and also resulted in violent divisions within the Kikuyu community.
    Suppressing the Mau Mau Uprising in the Kenyan colony cost Britain £55 million and caused at least 11,000 deaths among the Mau Mau and other forces, with some estimates an order of magnitude higher. This included 1,090 executions at the end of the war, the largest wartime use of capital punishment by the British Empire

    How come we never learn.
    Independence first then sort out our own internal politics, don’t forget the mission.

      • The colonial master race,the dressing up and the inspection of the troops.

        We would consider now that the Kenyan’s were seeing their land and resources taken to support a failing empire.

        The propaganda was to keep support in the uk and world elsewhere.

        Thanks for the information, My comment was really to show that they stilluse the tried and tested methods.

        Independence first.

    • But, Dave, they had street parties and a fly past by the Red Arrows last Friday to celebrate VE Day in 1945 when England/UK defeated Hitler and crushed tyranny and life in the British Empire returned to ‘normal’.
      Then came India/Pakistan, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, Palestine, Kenya, Malaysia, The Suiez Farce, while Murdo Fraser getting paid by the Hootsman (where are they getting the dosh to stay afloat?) to lie and assert that Johnson’s new Herd strategy, so that his backers in the building trade could get back to building jerry built little boxes in flood plains at £500k a pop, was a ‘small difference’ to the continued lockdown strategy in Wales N Ireland and Scotland.

      He bemoans the fact that a ‘line on a map’ should stop Scots crossing the border and playing golf in Berwick.
      Yet murdo will draw 27 lines on maps on 31st December 2020, and place Scotland under house arrest under Martial Law by England’s Homeland Security?

      So Serial Loser Fraser is encouraging Scots to break the law of this land, sneak in to England, mix with English folk who are carrying the virus on trains, buses, and garden centres, then sneaking back across the border, and spreading the virus, all for a game of fucking golf.

      Surely this idiot, who has never been voted into office, and who doubtless gets paid by Dark Money via the Scotsman to whip up law breaking chaos, is himself breaking Scots Law, and merits a visit by ‘Scottish’ (as opposed to Kenyan ‘British’) Authorities?

      Divide and Conquer.

      The English Empire tool of destruction.

      BY Christ it’s remarkable how the Brit Nats can politicise Covid 19, at the same time accusing me ‘weaponising’ the Plague by preaching Self Determination when so many of my fellow citizens are dying, but middle class Scots can sneak across into the Motherland because they are the elite, and have the cash to become criminals (not ‘flout the rules’) and spread English Covid among the poor Scots Plebs, infirm, and elderly, upon their return from 18 holes in the Motherland.

      Divide and Conquer? We are already ‘divided’, but shall never be ‘conquered’.

      Fraser, fuck off and live in England, permanently, since you cannot bring yourselves to obey the laws of your country, Scotland.

      And take your golf carts with you.

      A question?

      Since the Dead Tree Scrolls must be running out of cash, and their circulations were down to the thousands before Covid, how are they keeping going?

      If I was a face painter at the Herald Christmas Party and hadn’t been paid yet, I’d be worried.

      Perhaps some entrepreneur will step in and buy the Herald for £1 and save the day?

      If I were a religious man I’d be tempted to consider that Covid 19 was God’s punishment for the madness greed and sheer fascist destruction of civic society that has run rife in Scotland during a decade of Brit Nat Red Blue and Yellow Tory ‘austerity’

      Food Banks, Rape Clause Two Child Cap on UCS (who feeds a third child during lockdown? The SNP Government, that’s who.) the Bedroom Tax, 320,000 children in Murdo Fraser engineered poverty, 500,000 Scots in Jackson Carlaw Engineered below poverty wretchedness, awaiting golfers sneaking back across the border and infecting them and hastening their departure from their Red Blue and Yellow wretched lives.
      I am as you can see, sick fed up of the crap emanating from the Press and on Brit Nat TV>:
      I’d imagine that my blackening mood is echoed by millions of my fellow Scots who don’t give a flying fuck about Rangers’ dilemma, or Celtic’s right to the Crown.
      The new normal will see chancers like Fraser consigned to obscurity. 2020, the Year of the Toilet Roll.
      I’m posting this before I calm down.

      To all Duggers who are golfers, sorry, guys, but there are more important things in life, never more so than now, when idiots like Fraser are abroad and rousing the mob to anarchy.

      • Forever now, as ‘the year of the toilet roll’…hope the black cloud has dispensed with its wrath Jack and rained on the biased broadcasting et al. You would think, that at this point in time, they could support the country in which they live, the FM too, rather than demonise with hell, fire and brimstone at every turn…like you Jack, fitba can go shite, golf too and Gleneagles can shove its ‘tourists’ up its arse. Not so long ago, a glesgae high heid yin of the lap-clubs had his vehicles firebombed outside his timeshare there in the wee sma oors, it was kept under cloak and dagger. There may have been a snippet in a rag, but that was it.

  12. Anyway back in bojoland.

    You can meet a parent in the park on Thursday, the other one on Friday, keep TWO metres apart,no cuddles.


    You can get on a bus with 52 strangers and go to work,repeat at finishing time.

    The CULL continues.

  13. Really? It’s Nicola by the way.
    I’ve been unable to ascertain when Nicola was informed, we know that Johnson was briefed sometime in December and that there had been a previous government briefing prior to that, dates haven’t been forthcoming.
    Without proof that Nicola had an early briefing, my gut instinct powered by the fact that the uk gov have form on keeping the devolved governments in the dark, for instance the SG read about the Scottish budget allocation in the newspapers not having been informed by the gov, denied access to Coronavirus test results carried out in Scotland, it’s a long list. I do believe that the SOS as a cabinet member would have been, maybe, such is the disrespect shown to Scotland.

  14. And now Gleneagles has stated it will be reopening, mid-July, with full occupancy. The Glenmor timeshares alone, have multiple families descending from all over to stay in the same house together, and the staff are expected to be their slaves.
    It’s shit.

    • And they will be arrested under current Scots law, deelsdug, and after a jail sentence, transported to the border.
      That’ll look good on their record when they apply for jobs.
      ‘Do you have a criminal record?’

      ‘Yeah, but only in Jockland.’

      ‘ Oh, that’s ok then. Can you start on Monday?’

      Has anyone checked out the impact of travelling illegally during lockdown has on the validity of motor insurance yet?

      J Galt…Whit?

      • Whit dae ye mean “Whit”?

        Politeness costs nothing.

        Sweden’s death rate is less than Scotland’s.

        Sweden’s measures are very different from ours and appear to be working better than ours.

        • “Whit dae ye mean “Whit”?

          Politeness costs nothing.”

          Oh yes it does, J Galt. It costs a big fat juicy grant, much of which is my taxes, to the Hon Sarah Smith’s Mother, the Baroness her sister, and Kezia Dugdale to run a pointless sinecure Think Tank promoting ‘politeness’ in politics.
          We still don’t know how much Dugdale, yet another Brit Nat political failure, is earning as a ‘salary’ (some would call it a brown envelope for services rendered, but I couldn’t possibly comment, fair or otherwise) as ‘Chief Executive’ of this nice little earner.
          It produces nothing, is accountable to no one, yet holds out the begging bowl and money seems to mysteriously appear from nowhere to keep it going, or so it seems. I’m prepared to be contradicted.
          As hundreds of thousands of my fellow Scots are tortured and die prematurely while the Rich Get Richer, and Labour lords walk this land, I refuse to be polite and mannerly to the elite whose Brit5 Nat Empire dogma is causing the complete breakdown of civic society.
          Fettes College is a Charity?
          You couldn’t make it up.
          I refuse to be polite to colonialists, Uncle Tams who sell their country Scotland for the British shilling.

          I am done with being nice, measured and polite with the Neil Findlays and the Coel Hamiltons of Scotland.
          None of them will die poor; they will always be paid well to keep Scotland as a colony of London.

  15. Or we can just do as Sweden has done.

    From what I can find out deaths in the last 24 hours appear to be Scotland 50 and Sweden 57.

    Sweden has double Scotland’s population so a death rate just over half of ours.

    Severe Lockdown – Apparently not Working.

    No lockdown with sensible measures – Apparently Working.

    • Different demographic, different societal behaviours, different everything to UK, bordered by countries in complete lockdown ?
      I admire the Swedes for trying this different method, and Anders Tegnell is delightfully open and frank about the risks and what went wrong. They got very close to lockdown as fatalities climbed so it is no silver bullet, Swedes correspondingly altered behaviours to recover.
      To presume that such a method could work in a country of quite different demographics and societal norms where it’s government routinely lies to it’s populace is perhaps a touch naive.

  16. There are signs appearing on SKY that their instructions are being altered as public opinion has turned against the England stands alone approach to the pandemic
    Sky news has begun reporting some truth now instead of just parroting the UK government briefing papers, even now they’re running with a more truthful look at actual mortality rates in care homes in England and if those numbers are what we fear they’ll be even the Daily Mail won’t be able to save the Johnson crew

    Your blog must be becoming even more popular than it already was Paul because the FM haters are making their way across from that other blog to have a go on yours, I hope you weed them out before they get going with their death to the FM just because nonsense

  17. The whole U.K. cabinet now and for the last 3 administrations should be investigated for gross misconduct and any individual who was part of the decision making process regarding Pandemic preparations and/or part of this governments management of the pandemic should go to jail. No one must be allowed to hide behind a judge led enquiry. They must be held to account.

  18. When it comes to life or death statistics for future for any country to do with viruses, it might be wise that we look to the last Spanish flu pandemic,
    While doing some research I came across a site on YouTube called, Biographics, he mainly deals with facts or figures from history,
    He mentions the first wave of the influenza virus across the world, then the second and third wave, these are mainly what killed so many people, due to countries thinking they were in the clear.
    I do wish we could police our boarders and stop incoming flights from elsewhere, and make it mandatory to wear masks and gloves,
    This is a good example as to why we need to be a independent country more than ever, one of those situations where Scotland could handle the covid 19 virus entirely different,
    and perhaps develop our own vaccines in our own country, with stricter safety regulations than Bill gates vaccines, this would save us having to import or wait for supplies from outside Scotland.

  19. Radical action is most needed during crises. We are in the middle of a health crisis and an ongoing political crisis. The time is right to save lives and save Scotland. Independence, first and foremost.

  20. Ah but Dr Jim – you clearly are not privy to the motives of the FM. You can’t read her like a book. If you could you would then be able to understand why superior minds would have solved this pandemic thing this year after getting independence done last year (at the latest).

    In the fullness of time there will be a reckoning. I can tell you on good authority that Alex will set aside his lifetime commitment to independence and destroy any possibility of it ever happening because he is upset. I know this because I get subliminal messages from him via his half hour tv slot that I enjoy each Thursday

    Anyway, now that the virus has been eliminated in England, I need to get onto the task of finding a golf partner since my usual partner is shielding from something. I look forward to deaths here dropping like a stone now that England is following Sweden’s lead.

  21. J Galt often, on this blog and others, mentions that Sweden is doing ‘much better’ without a strict lockdown and ‘we’ should have followed suit. Sweden has actually had 3,300 deaths to date from Covid-19 and currently has over 27,000 ‘known cases’. The numbers may be greater although like all countries it’s difficult to be precise, so it’s not working totally, but there are various issues at play here.

    Firstly, who are ‘we’? If you’re meaning Scotland specifically, then I might have a slight degree of sympathy with your views if our country were independent and had the absolute power to do its own thing, like closing borders, for example as done by New Zealand. But we don’t. Our hands are tied financially and otherwise. We are attached by a ‘union’ to a country of 56,000,000 + with a colonialist attitude of dominance and control, reinforced by its local colonial placemen/women some with seats in Holyrood, and a hostile foreign-controlled media.

    Second, if ‘we’ refers to the UK as a whole, a free-for-all could (and I say ‘could’ because no one really knows) have ended up as a horrendous nightmare with a massive death toll. Freedom which we all crave and demand comes with huge responsibility for its citizens to behave with respect towards each other. Frankly, I don’t think that applies to large sections of the UK population. Scandinavian and oriental countries have a slightly different attitude.

    We’re all desperate to get back to ‘normal’ but we have to be very aware of the potential dangers and not just to the elderly. This virus has killed a number of not so old, fit and younger people and seems to target men particularly. If I took the attitude, “but, hey, I’m a woman, why should I care”, I’m sure I’d get a bit of a backlash! As it is I’m old, so ……….

  22. JoMax. Good post.

    So many of the follow the Johnson rules seem to forget that this guy went around a hospital shaking hands with nurses and doctors at the same time saying not to do so and giving the appearance it was a bit of a joke.
    The disease is real. over 35000 in the U.K. dead and if we don’t get it right another 35000 may follow. Why? Because there is no vaccine, there is no cure oh and the Tory government is inept.

  23. For a true comparison between Sweden and it’s Scandinavian neighbours, Denmark, Norway and Finland make up your own graph for these 4 countries here.

    I recommend you remove the default countries first, also for Measure choose “Total” Scale “Linear” and “Per Capita”.

    Which countries appear to have made the correct choices in restricting both Cases and Deaths.

  24. Comparisons between countries is at the moment almost impossible because of whatever their particular rate and speed of transmission is, such things will come later when this is over and some countries may have done well in their efforts some may have been unlucky in theirs and some may well be condemned out of hand for just crossing their fingers and hoping they’re not worse than anyone else by luck, we’re not even off the field for half time yet

    Maurice Golden Tory MSP you know him, he’s the guy who doesn’t posses a pair of scissors in his house because his hair has grown so much it’s now making him five inches taller, makes an appearance on Gordon Brewers BBC politics programme and accuses the FM and the SNP of animosity towards care homes, at long last Brewer does his job and asks Golden to provide evidence for such an accusation, Golden says every time the SNP or the FM speak they show animosity to care homes, once again Brewer challenges Golden to clarify his statement and produce evidence to prove this claim of animosity, MSP Maurice Golden with the hair sticking up says, I just did

    I don’t know about Brewer, but I’ve run out of time

    I did notice today that senior doctors and medical officials in England are informing the public there not to pay attention to UK government advice and to listen to Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland

    Oh yes, and the FM still hasn’t turned up at my house to make sure I’m alright or bring me a sandwich or Lucozade or anything, so I’m thinking about reporting it to the Media and the opposition because there’s no way she’s *that* busy, I mean c’mon!

    Oops there’s ma doorbell mibbees that’s her noo

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