I was amazed the two UK government experts quoted the possibility of 50,000 new infections every day. It seemed ridiculous, the more so when they then explained this would only happen if nobody took any measures to stop it spreading. Was there anybody suggesting doing nothing? Was that ever a serious option?

Now there are two schools of thought with this. One is it was an attempt to shock people into following the new regulations as not to do so would lead to a disaster on this scale. The other is it is politically useful to paint the worst possible scenario so if it reaches a stage with say 20,000 daily infections it is still possible to suggest its a lot better than it might have been.

Another thing I have noticed in the last week is we have gone international again with Spain, France and Italy all being regularly mentioned . You may remember how keen the UK Government were to do this in the early stages of the first wave and then how quick these international comparisons disappeared as the rapidly deteriorating situation in the UK saw numbers soaring past these other countries. Again second wave attacks have started earlier abroad so comparatively speaking the UK is not yet as bad as we are not at the same point on the schedule, but that comfort will not last long.

Another question, a big question, is how trustworthy are the statistics? There have been a lot of alterations to how they figures have been compiled, changes which removed thousands from the figures particularly on deaths. We were at well over today’s official figure a couple of months ago. Look at even events today,  Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland announce their figures every day. They announce the actual number of new infections, other information, plus the number of deaths.

England operates the figures for publication through a Westminster system where it is the UK statistics that are broadcast, not England’s. Again this is politically crucial as it hides the fact that England i.e the Tories at Westminster, are doing much poorer in controlling the virus than the devolved administrations. As numbers rose in the last couple of weeks reporting of numbers of new infections changed to reporting the “seven day average” rather than the daily actual figure. There could be some justification if the daily numbers varied substantially up and down. They weren’t of course, they were going up each day, so the “seven day average” kept the figure a wee bit lower. Now that the daily numbers are nudging 7000 this now has only very limited benefit.So expect more changes to the system.

The Tories believe in everything being in private hands, the “world beating track and trace” system down South that Boris boasted of is useless, compared to what is happening in Scotland. In Scotland it is being run by the NHS and public sector. In England, instead of investing in the local authority and health Board systems the Tories piled the money into handing out a contract to Serco. When they went back to Serco later asking why it wasn’t working very well they discovered Serco had sub contracted it out to a whole range of different companies. Likewise the tracking App they launched today should have been out weeks before but the contract again went out without any tender or competition to one of Dominic Cummings Leave colleagues and tens of millions were squandered on an App which did not work, largely because it did not have the right software to work with the major mobile networks. They had been warned about this but had arrogantly dismissed the warnings. So while that App headed for the bin Boris hoped everybody had forgotten his forecast about it being “world beating”as well. Perhaps we should treat those two words as a warning failure is only days away.

It was much the same with buying in PPE. I was reading yesterday of a company that donated £400,000 to the Tories that was rewarded, using taxpayers money, with a £93.8 million contract for PPE. The entire purchasing system has been bypassed with all the normal controls being swept aside regularly, no competitive tendering, huge contracts to companies based offshore and often with no experience in the required product areas.

The whole thing is a scandal, when anybody raises these concerns they are met with  the response “now is not the time” or “we are in the middle of a pandemic, we can deal with it later”.

The Covid problem of course is that when we look at this later, those who benefited will be long gone, just like the loot.

We are being raided, robbed right in front of our eyes, in broad daylight and the robbers are aided with a eighty seat majority at Westminster. So there Scotland, what can you do about it? Don’t moan No voters…you signed us up for this!

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland.

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