There is a view in Scotland that Nicola’s handling of COVID has been very good. In UK terms that may be true although even on that measure Scotland is no longer measuring up as well as before. The real problem however justifying any five star rating comes when any comparison with other nations of similar population situated across the globe. There the evidence is Scotland is either at the bottom of the table with THREE TIMES the number of deaths or second bottom of the table when it comes to the number of infections.

Have a look for yourselves. This information comes from Worldometers on the 11th June 2021.

Now we know about the New Zealand performance. They probably did everything right, if not it was only a small matter they could have overlooked. They moved early, they closed their borders. Here is what New Zealand did. It worked, it was effectively over in 100 days.

How Did New Zealand Control COVID-19?

August 9, 2020Kevin Kunzmann

The island country of 5 million declared the pandemic over in approximately 100 days. A team of clinicians explain the decision-making and rationale which drove their successes.

New Zealand, coronavirus

New Zealand, a modern small island nation, has become an emblematic champion of proper prevention and response to the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Leading into this weekend, the country of approximately 5 million has just 2 dozen active COVID-19 cases—a full month after having reported absolutely none, on the backbone of strict initial travel policies, science-based government action, and strategies responsive to testing limitations.

What else went into New Zealand’s pandemic response—and what could serve as guidance for other countries?

A new correspondence published in The New England Journal of Medicine from a team of New Zealand-based investigators at the University of Otago highlighted the public health successes of the country—measures which have brought New Zealand to the post-elimination phase of response approximately 100 days after its first case.

The trio of authors—Michael G. Baker, MB, ChB; Nick Wilson, MB, ChB, MPH; Andrew Anglemyer, PhD, MPH—wrote SARS-CoV-2 introduction to New Zealand was known to be imminent early on, due to a great rate of visiting tourists and students from Europe and China annually.

In fact, their disease models showed estimated wide pandemic spread, with capability to “overwhelm” the healthcare system and disproportionately affect Maori and Pacific persons.

“New Zealand began implementing its pandemic influenza plan in earnest in February, which included preparing hospitals for an influx of patients,” they wrote. “We also began instituting border-control policies to delay the pandemic’s arrival.”

The first New Zealand COVID-19 case was diagnosed February 26, around the same time that global agencies began reporting the SARS-CoV-2 infection was behaving more like a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) than an influenza—giving investigators hope for containment.

Because of lacking testing and contact-tracing capability in mid-March, the country’s leaders made a dramatic and critical switch in strategy: from mitigating the disease, to eliminating it.

A countrywide lockdown—Alert Level 4—was implemented on March 26.

“After 5 weeks, and with the number of new cases declining rapidly, New Zealand moved to Alert Level 3 for an additional 2 weeks, resulting in a total of 7 weeks of what was essentially a national stay-at-home order,” authors wrote.

It was in early May that the last identified COVID-19 case was observed in the community; with the patient placed in isolation the country had ended its community spread. On June 8, the New Zealand moved to Alert Level 1—in 103 days, they had declared the pandemic over in the country.

At the time of the paper’s publishing, New Zealand had just 1569 cases, 22 deaths, and a coronavirus-related mortality of 4 per 1 million—the lowest reported rate among 37 nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

“Many parts of the domestic economy are now operating at pre-COVID levels,” authors wrote. “Planning is under way for cautious relaxing of some border-control policies that may permit quarantine-free travel from jurisdictions that have eliminated COVID-19 or that never had cases.”

However, the post-elimination stage of the pandemic is not certain for safety. The authors noted the only cases identified in the country are via international travelers kept in government-managed quarantine or isolation for 2 weeks post-arrival. Failures of border control or continued quarantine/isolation policies could result in new spread.

“New Zealand needs to plan to respond to resurgences with a range of control measures, including mass masking, which hasn’t been part of our response to date,” authors wrote.

But there are takeaways from the early and immediate successes of the New Zealand response. The authors credited the combination of immediate risk assessment driven by science, with the decisive actions of the government.

Additionally, the country’s border-control strategies, as well as both community-based and individual case-based control measures, were overall effective in eliminating the virus’ presence when mitigation was no longer feasible.

Lastly, the authors praised their leader’s message.

“Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern provided empathic leadership and effectively communicated key messages to the public—framing combating the pandemic as the work of a unified “team of 5 million”—which resulted in high public confidence and adherence to a suite of relatively burdensome pandemic-control measures,” they wrote.


Take a look at the date of that article August 2020. Take a look at the reason they give for their outstanding success, strict border controls and restrictions on International travel alongside a policy based on elimination, not control, extensive testing and track and trace and above all an early lockdown.

In the UK we did everything wrong, the Cheltenham Festival was given the green light, lockdown came late, international and domestic travel from heavily infected England into Scotland was allowed to continue for months after many nations across the World had closed borders and restricted travel. It still is allowed.

Let me make it simple. The much vaunted “four nations” approach was and continues to be a disaster area. Throughout the crisis it delayed or stopped Scotland taking the measures that could have saved many thousands of lives.

Take a look at the table at the top of this article. Note that Scotland has THREE TIMES the number of deaths to even the second worst example. That is a HUGE STATISTICAL DIFFERENCE. Unless there is as yet undisclosed genetic explanation why Scots are more likely to die from COVID then the “four nations” strategy is responsible. Thousands of Scots lives lost for the lack of political courage.

Now I sure Nicola’s supporters will reject all this. Nicola can do no wrong for the cult. I can hear it now “she didn’t have the powers to close the border” she couldn’t act on her own she had to work with Westminster. I would argue she could have done much more to follow a more independent, effective strategy. It might have caused division and argument with Westminster. What’s wrong with that? If it saves Scottish lives it would have been worth it, particularly if it resulted in much better control measures in Scotland.

Oh and before it starts, this is not wisdom after the event. This blog called for border closure and restrictions on international travel. It also highlighted the folly in England of privatising track and trace and the scandals of the PPE purchasing fiasco. We did so from the beginning of the crisis.

Those that argue Nicola is a good operator of other people’s strategy, with good communication skills, have undoubtably a point, those who hope for an innovative strategy and determination to develop the best tactics for Scotland, and take the political risks to implement them, will be disappointed once again.

The need for a full investigation into Scotland’s handling of the COVID pandemic must also examine how our lack of important powers, and the unwillingness on the Scottish Government’s part to reveal these facts and demand those powers, is going to count against any positive marks for the SNP Government from many Independence supporters.

We could have done better and thousands are dead because we didn’t. If not, explain to me why Scotland’s statistical performance is such a disaster when compared to the other countries of similar populations?

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland.


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  1. The minute Jacinda Ardern had her ducks lined up she fronted the nation and said “We go hard, we go early”. That attitude was key. Sturgeon, in comparison, did not either say anything similar or understand that she should have dug down and found the right attitude. She could have declared an emergency and assumed the powers needed. Doubtless the clown Johnson would have challenged her and it would have been legally fraught, but the death rate headlined here could have been predicted, in rough figures. The prediction would have been based on the same information available to others, plus the known incompetence of the Johnson Gang.


    Liked by 7 people

    1. I’m thankful that I now live in NZ & though, when we initially locked down at the beginning of the pandemic at level 4 & had to wear masks & gloves. The period was for approx 3 months.
      Since then having isolation centers for any incoming people has kept the virus out of the community. We had a set back a few months ago when someone working in catering for an airline got infected & we had two infections in the community. We all went back into lockdown for 2 weeks at level 3. Since then we have been living life normally.

      All in all life has been stress free & though people still use hand sanitizers regularly “I even have a bottle in my car & handbag.” I’m in my 70s, I still haven’t been vaccinated. I will get the vaccination if I intend to travel or will try to hold off till after the experimental trial is over in the two years.
      Travelling for me at the moment is out of the question, as spending 2 weeks in government isolation undesirable.
      Also there are still too many countries with high infections.

      Scotland should have closed off it’s borders & put all travellers into isolation for 2 weeks to manage the pandemic. Nicola Sturgeon IMHO failed badly as FM, in protecting Scotland’s people. She is all mouth & no action, a real disappointment as a leader.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I don’t see how you can blame “domestic travel from heavily infected England into Scotland was allowed to continue for months”
    For the majority of the pandemic Scotlands infection rate was around the same as England’s. Our testing rate has always been lower with England testing at up to 6 times the Scottish rate since December. Sturgeon kept test rates low to keep the case numbers low for PR reasons but that also affected our ability to fight the virus.

    All the decisions taken in Bute house were hers, and we’re identical to those taken by Boris.
    The flaw wasn’t the English border, or the so called 4 nation approach – it was her using Covid from the start to boost her own popularity and power.

    Decisions taken in London were committed decisions which could be challenged in Westminster.
    Decisions taken in Scotland were by Sturgeon alone and she was answerable to nobody.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I was interested in that assertion, Iain, so I checked the Bing covid map.
        The current state of play shows that, of the people known to have been infected in Scotland and England, the mortality rates were 2.8% for England and 3.1% for Scotland. So, you were slightly more likely to die from covid in Scotland than in England.


  3. You really cant help yourself Ian Lawson can you. ! I think you must spend every waking moment thinking of another way you can do down the FM whom you so ostensively loathe and whose popularity you find inexplicably offensive. It also seems necessary to be gratuitously offensive to people who have different loyalties even those who just might be as intelligent and as insightful (or even moreso !) than you obvs consider yourself. I have never belonged to any cult and I and the FM ( who has acknowledged it) know they have got many things wrong thro’out the pandemic But perhaps the most important word you failed to highlight discussing the small modern island nation of NZ is the word INDEPENDENT which truly does make all the difference whether you admit it or not – furloughing prob the most important
    To me you come over as a man with a grievance ,an axe to grind but , whatever, you certainly are doing the unionists work for them assiduously sowing division in the movement Division which they are relying on because its all they have left.
    Methinks you do protest too much to be committed to Independence: could I have that wrong

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am sure you have that wrong. Iain, like me, wants independence, and doesn’t see it in the present circumstances and can’t see it coming any time soon. Please try to be open to opinions which are different from the SNP. I, too, belonged and believed in the SNP and yes, I too believed in Nicola Sturgeon but NO LONGER.

      Liked by 9 people

      1. Florence, ‘don’t shoot the messenger’. Iain is passing on information and his perception of it which we may or may not like. I was never an SNP member but I admired Nicola Sturgeon and her leadership of the party and considered myself an SNP supporter/voter. One year/18 months ago I started to question her leadership, around the time when news of Alex Salmond’s trial was coming out. I do not believe the FM wants, or is able, to deliver Independence whether that is because she is happy with devolution or she is not capable of the actions that would be required to bring it about. I am also unsure that the SNP will survive if she remains leader for much longer. In my opinion she has outstayed her welcome and produced very little of any great note. Party membership has fallen considerably with a consequent fall in party finances and the party is now engulfed in gender ideology which is proving unpalatable for many people in Scotland. We must be able to criticise, that is how we learn and how we adapt. Sometimes it lets us know when is the best time to leave.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. The point surely is Florence that NS is luxuriating in the entirely erroneous public perception that she handled the Viral Outbreak much better than Johnson : as Iain points out , she did no such thing . Would it be better , do you think , if such cynically exploited ( by NSNP ) false perceptions/narrative were left unchallenged ? What will it take for loyalists to acknowledge her personal flaws and , more importantly , the damage she is doing to our cause , and the country generally ? Will we have to wait until Scotland has been completely fragmented , our aspiration crushed , our absorption into a Greater England ( with the fig leaf of Great Britain still intact , of course ) complete before sufficient numbers of Indy supporters admit she’s a total liability ?

      Liked by 7 people

    3. Florence you regularly post this type of nonsense. You did read the figures did you? Are they true or have I convinced Worldometers (the source) to write them up badly so I can grind my axe on Nicola?. My article is factual, your contribution is opinion, not knowledgeable opinion just cult like obsession that your hero can do no wrong.

      Liked by 10 people

      1. At no point Ian Lawson did I cast any doubt on you figures but shocked you were not honest and transparent enough to mention that the countries you compare Scotland with, are all Independent with complete autonomy over the decisions they take, particularly important on borders and finance borrowing .Dismiss such a situation if you will but I consider it highly influential on outcomes – I focussed on NZ because you did ! But the real point of my comment is why are blogging about this , at this particular time, when you know well there is to be a full enquiry. Seems mighty like pre- emptive trouble making to me, rallying the ‘troops’early, so to speak , influence their ideas now. Much of your unending negativity and personal vilification probably stems from your abject frustration that even AS didn’t break through in May altho Alba may yet be a force That’s politics and I am equally frustrated with many politicians including the FM (btw I am reasonably knowledgeable despite spouting ‘nonsense’ (in your opinion) and have a master’s from Edinburgh in Social and public policy )


        Liked by 1 person

      2. Would suggest you read my article again. I make the point we are not independent. I bemoan the fact that Nicola is scared to explain how this holds us back, makes it more difficult. So I am afraid your spouting nonsense again.

        Liked by 1 person

    4. Florence I am a 70 year old diehard independence supporter I have never been a member of any political party and I can say without fear or favour that I loathe what Sturgeon and her coterie of deviant science denying lunatics have done to Scotland and Scots

      This woman has presided over the denigration and destruction of the independence movement , she has lied openly and repeatedly to our parliament , our citizens and a judicial review set up to investigate the criminal misuse of our taxpayer cash , she continuously and openly maligns Alex Salmond and infers that the jury came to a wrong decision . I think your continuous protestations of Sturgeons goodness says more about your morality and acceptance of corruption and lies

      Liked by 12 people

      1. Florence thinks that “when you know well there is to be a full enquiry.” you shouldn’t be questioning anything.
        Presumably she’s not expecting it to be another blatant stitch-up like the one into Sturgeon’s behaviour against Salmond and her extended forgetfulness when facing the Inquiry at Holyrood.
        She’s more of an optimist than I am…

        Liked by 1 person

    5. Florence, yes N. Zealand is independent and Scotland being shackled to Westminster undoubtly kills Scots. So why is Sturgeon doing nothing to advance independence?

      Liked by 7 people

  4. Sturgeon identified a double political opportunity and held it close – Daily briefings and the means to express her deep sorrow, and also to put independence on ice as she – without any medical expertise – declared that she would devote her every waking hour, and restless sleep, to – holding her grasp on political power.
    her time is up, she has to go if independence has any prospect of success.

    Hope this looks OK, I cannot see the text, it is 50% cut off at the legs!

    Liked by 8 people

  5. In the lead up to last Christmas I couldn’t believe NS was to go along with the Westminster idea of a removal of sanctions to allow families to see each other. All that stuff about how mean it would be to cancel Christmas that BJ was reeling out ! This was the point at which I realised that NS was talking tough but was doing as she was told by WM. What saddened me more than anything was that many family and friends who had been demanding that everyone follow NS rules to the letter of the law fell absolutely silent at the clear madness of promoting a Christmas break from Covid regulations. At that point the cult leader status of NS for so many otherwise sensible people became clear to me. The same folk attacked anyone who questioned SNP policy and this bull shit about doing the Union’s work was reeled out. We have very little to be proud off in our Covid deaths record but to consider this objectively would for many SNP supporters be too uncomfortable. Like those who have got rich from providing protective aprons etc and the test and trace debacle one have had a significantly better pandemic than others.

    Liked by 7 people

  6. Yes there’s an illusion that Sturgeon somehow has handled Covid better than the rest of the UK, but the figures say otherwise.

    Meanwhile our hard worked NHS staff are being pressurised into supporting Gay Pride month by being told to wear a badge of support, some NHS staff members feel as though NHS bosses are acting like the Stasi, Stonewall and the Scottish government have organised it.

    Liked by 10 people

      1. Look on the Greater Glasgow and Clyde website for the Sanyford clinic and you’ll see yjst the NHS service is now displaying the “LGBT Charter Gold Approved” kite mark logo.

        Absolutely outrageous that NHS medical services are now being approved by gay rights organisations.

        No doubt all part of the same LGBT mindset that through a jar of Nutella and a banana teach our schoolkids that the medically unsafe anal buggery is acceptable practice.

        No surprise then that NHS staff are now being instructed to wear LGBT badges. High time that we took back control and eradicated this nonsense from our public services.

        Time in fact for more ordinary people to stand up and say no more as Marion Millar and others are doing in relation to the removal of women’s protections.

        Liked by 6 people

  7. Please don’t be disingenuous or you are no better than the rest. Why don’t you compare to Belgium especially or Slovakia or Czech Republic ? Similar sized European countries with a worse rate than Scotland !


    1. Please don’t be so insulting I compared the countries a Google search suggested had populations closest in number to Scotland. Only guessing here but given that Belgium and the Czech Republic have over 10 million each in population that is why Google omitted them. I think in those circumstances your suggestion I was being disingenuous is a bit of a stretch.

      Liked by 10 people

  8. Given the recent election result and the potential deal with the Greens (who have not raised many questions about Covid strategies), it would appear that NS is in a strong position, unless and until something substantial emerges to change that? I am stumped!


  9. Johnson and Hancick made a total bollocjs of everything to do with the pandemic aoart from the vaccine programme and that according to Cummings is because it was taken away from Hancock up and run by a seperate unit . Sturgeon was fortunate that when the UK lockdown finally came along Scotland was a couple of weeks behind England in terms of infections. Scotland has paid a very heavy price once again as a result of being part of the UK. Sturgeon is a phoney who is happy to be a modern Toom Tabard. It appears now that Trump was trying to use the USA Justice system to attack his political opponents. Sturgeon is showing him how it can be done if you have complete control of the media and control Parliamentary Inquiries. Any new Inquiry in to her handling of the pandemic will be a rerun of the Salmond persecution Inquiry.

    Liked by 8 people

  10. Sturgeon’s daily conferences with her increasingly faux bleeding heart performances made me quite nauseous. What I felt that I was witnessing more and more was the actions of a manipulative narcissistic liar, who was completely detached from reality. Her contradictory and irrational changes of direction at Christmas and all the way up to the present with the soon to be catastrophic ‘fan zones’ betrayed a lack of scientific coherence and in reality an expediency in pretending firm and independent leadership when actually in lock step with Bojo’s anarchic agenda.

    Her economic idiocy in stop/start lockdowns, which now appear to be inevitable and ongoing, combined with her customary lack of courage in not shutting borders and facing up to the furlough challenge which could have expedited Scotland’s establishment of borrowing powers and fiscal independence. Following on from her incomprehensible failure to challenge Brexit, the Covid crisis failure by her and her gang of virtue signallers confirms her unfitness for any kind of political position and to be the most bogus ‘leader’ that we have had the misfortune to endure since the Devolved disaster was visited upon us.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. It’s not just only Nicola Sturgeon who has failed , remember this article about these two as well that was in the Daily Record last October , I may have missed it but I’ve never seen or heard either of them apologise for their actions .

    “ Two Scots ministers for elderly rights are ‘missing in action’ as coronavirus killed thousands in care homes “

    Liked by 6 people

  12. Well done Iain Lawson. I am relieved to see an article like this appearing. For months I have been perplexed at the lack of focus on just how badly the covid death rate in Scotland compares with elsewhere in the world. I think that for decades the media has behaved as though London and Washington are the twin-centres of the universe and consequently simply by being better than Boris Johnson and Donald Trump Nicola Sturgeon appears to shine. It is only when looking at a wider picture that it becomes apparent how badly Scotland has really done. (When I last checked only one in ten countries in the world had higher death rates than Scotland)

    I appreciate there is an issue of not yet having Independence and hence not having powers. However the First Minister’s response to that could have been to be publicly seen to ask Westminster for a temporary transfer of the required powers, perhaps via a Section 30 order like the Independence Referendum of 2014.

    As an SNP supporter I have felt distinctly uncomfortable hearing about a four nations approach because that has aligned Scotland with one of the most stupid governments in the world. I first joined the SNP in 1977 and have never before felt so disappointed with my leader.

    Liked by 7 people

  13. Why are you overlooking the fact that Scotland was not in control of its own borders? She didn’t have the power to close physical borders nor flight corridors. We were all calling for the Border to be closed and wished she had just gone ahead and did it but it wouldn’t have been supported not policed by Police Scotland who made it clear tjhat they would not police the Border.


      1. I wonder how Alex Salmond would have handled this situation had he been FM. I’m pretty sure he would have demanded a border closure, like the Welsh.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Policing is devolved, as is health – given the state of the emergency, she most assuredly could have instructed Police Scotland to introduce road blocks at the border, and extra policing at the air, rail and bus stations.

      It would not have been full proof – nothing ever is – but it would have sent a powerful message to all the holiday home owners and campervan tourists that decamped to Scotland during peak Covid. Selfish bams that they are.

      Wales made the effort. Nicla did the opposite.

      Liked by 7 people

    2. She could have done so under emergency powers but didn’t. When Indy supporters stood at the borders trying to persuade English holidaymakers to stay at home, not to come into Scotland where the ‘r’ rates were lower, Sturgeon & her fellow MSPs called those Indy supporters RACISTS! These people were trying to save Scots from being infected by a plague from holiday makers coming from higher rate regions – and were called RACISTS?? This from the Scots government – the very government that were supposed to be fighting to SAVE Scots!

      This ‘we wouldn’t have furlough money’ is all the excuse needed to persuade people Sturgeon could do nothing. Yes, she could have if she had really wanted to! If bozo had said no money for furlough, Sturgeon was in a position to say, ‘Fine, a perfect time to call a Ref & keep our money to pay our people’. Is Sturgeon now demanding we go for Independence, to make sure this never happens again? To make sure he can’t use the IM Bill to get his way? No. She’s sitting playing with the trans people, making sure they’re alright and TOUGH BEANS to the refugees that need her help, to the foodbanks short of baby milk, to the jobs that are being lost left, right & centre. She’s doing NOTHING about all that.

      Sturgeon had it in her power to help Scots & when Scots tried to help Scots, she called them racists. That woman needs to stand down. Scotland will NEVER be safe with her in the driving seat.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. I’ve never thought Scotland, or ‘Nicola’, was handling the pandemic well – and have been bewildered by people thinking her oratory skills somehow compensates for the lack of good decision making and allaying uncertainty. Totally agree with you Iain – the first thing that should have happened was borders should have closed, within the uk and into the uk. Countries like Vietnam, used to dealing with pandemics, immediately did this and controlled spread – unfortunately they’ve had to keep borders closed because most other countries didn’t. Now, Treating the vaccine as though it’s some kind of hallowed cure is not a good strategy, it’ll need years of population-wide vaccination programmes to suppress it, so to my mind there is still not good handling.

    What I’ve been thinking recently is – why are we still under emergency powers? All our governments have had over a year to learn how pandemics need to be handled – and now this fabled ‘Covid recovery’ (they mean the economic recovery, not medical recovery as far as I can make out) – without giving an overall strategy is just poor governance. Businesses, and people, need a level of certainty in order to function – not this lurching from one crisis to another, not knowing what random overly complex ‘rules’ might be in place next week. And it turns out the economy runs because us plebs are out working and buying stuff (ie not the money markets in London).

    What my point it here is that there should be regulations and maybe even laws in place by now that encompass our ‘new normal’, like that every business has to be capable of certain levels of infection control for different risk levels, and modelling should be able to predict further ahead than it does now. The U.K. Government should have the surety of guaranteed furlough schemes and business compensation schemes when certain risk levels are reached – stuff like that. Yet we are still in emergency mode, still don’t know what any of the government’s might do or say one week to the next – and it says to me the governments think somehow things will go back to normal (despite advertising the ‘new normal’), and/or they are using the emergency powers to perpetuate a state of constant crisis, and therefore fear, within the population for political and economic manipulation.

    I see no reason, apart from government incompetence, and ignorance, for emergency powers still being used, and I’d like to see it stopped being used as a permanent feature. It’s laziness and power-brokering on their part, and it’s time they pulled the finger out and bring about the certainty needed to get society functioning again.

    Liked by 6 people

  15. Yes, Nicola just loved it in front of the TV cameras, she could lie with impunity and the gullible would believe it because, after all this is the BBC, bastions of truth and light. She played it for all it was worth (not a moment goes by in the day when I am not thinking or working to keep the country safe) now we know she was just following her leader Boris Johnston, he is the real power in Scotland, for he holds the purse strings. Still, it paid off big time for her, won her another 5 years in power and escaped any need for calling indiref2, her bank manager will be pleased, and no one will be held accountable for all the unnecessary death in care homes. Our arse is oot the window until the people wake up to reality and kick Nicola Sturgeon, oot the window.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. What scares me is having to deal with covid-19, Brexit, and gender woo woo, all at the same time. I’m sure the SNP’s leadership have been advised as to lunacy of forcing Scots law to support material fantasies. Though perhaps not, as this is what British nationalism does for a job.Unfortunately, the FM appears to think her judgement superior to international law and the rule-of-law doctrine. Which requires law to take account of both man-made and Nature law (i.e. universal truths discoverable through human reason). Of course, the same applies to Westminster (see Brexit).


  17. Iain, I think you are being very unfair here. Let’s take your conclusion as an instance

    “The need for a full investigation into Scotland’s handling of the COVID pandemic must also examine how our lack of important powers, and the unwillingness on the Scottish Government’s part to reveal these facts and demand those powers, is going to count against any positive marks for the SNP Government from many Independence supporters.”

    We could have done better and thousands are dead because we didn’t. If not, explain to me why Scotland’s statistical performance is such a disaster when compared to the other countries of similar populations?”

    If we take the second sentence first, we all know the answer to this – that we were yoked to another country led by a fool, subject to the demands of his party’s sponsors.

    The problem is that to make a choice there has to be at least one other possible alternative. What was that?

    You seem to be looking for Sturgeon to demand the necessary powers during the course of the pandemic? At what point? Right at the start people, in my view, were scared for their very lives. Perhaps over time as fear diminished it might have been more possible, but at any point – even now – the response would have been “listen to her, even now, when many could die from this pandemic, she can think of nothing but independence”. How would that have played in the public domain – and I mean the one we have and not the one we would like to have? How far have the BBC conspired to conceal Johnson (and Hancock’s) incompetence? Just one wee example. They are happy to release figures for Scotland when it suits them (eg Marr) but figures for England are usually wrapped up in figures for the UK as a whole.

    But there is more. What powers are “important”? You dont actually cite that many, but you do mention testing and contact tracing (the latter really does need the former) but the fact is that UK testing capacity was at just over 6k when this struck. Why? Why were there not adequate supplies of the right PPE? Well both these powers were in the hands of WM – but what good would it have done to devolve them then? Would the SG really have been able to increase testing capacity from a standing start? Then there are other “important” powers, such as borrowing to support schemes like furlough. Yes we could have done a better job – I would suggest Denmark is a better example – but do we have the infrastructure to be able to do this? Right now? I think we have to do the best we can from the position we are in.

    Nor do I think the comparison with New Zealand is all that appropriate. For one thing it has no land borders with anywhere, and the closest large country – Australia (itself more than a bit isolated) – is 2580 miles away. Scotland has a land border, and a good deal of interaction with a large country which is making a right Horlicks of the pandemic (John Robertson’s Talking Up Scotland is a good source of data). We are just not as isolated as New Zealand and unless or until that is admitted much of the argument is by the way.

    But, the main asset for the independence movement is an analysis of what might have been possible if Scotland had been a well established independent country when the pandemic struck. For instance we would have had the powers to close things down in February 2020 as Devi Sridhar was advising Sturgeon at that time. BUT you can’t lockdown without the financial powers to allow those laid off/ unable to work to put food on the table – or put another to stop the economy going into complete meltdown.

    While I dont think we could have achieved the kind of isolation that Ardern achieved, we could have done more if we were independent with powers over our own borders (probably important to remember that the closing of borders in the EU/ Schengen area was a bit of a circus with govts taking their own initiatives).

    We could – as a general point – been better prepared. The lack of testing capacity at the beginning – and that it’s not being shouted from the rooftops – is a scandal. I mean its not as if they werent told. There were at least two simulations which found lack of testing capacity and PPE were important omissions, but they were never acted on. Austerity at work again?

    Timing is always important and the time is not now, but later. Revenge after all is a dish best served cold.


    1. Iam you say ” There were at least two simulations which found lack of testing capacity and PPE were important omissions, but they were never acted on.” those two simulations were conducted by WM and the SG and BOTH did nothing < BJ is in charge at WM he is a clown who did NOTHING , who is in charge at Holyrood , Sturgeon , what did she do to alleviate or minimise the threat to Scots , anyone can attempt to excuse Sturgeon's ineptitude and incompetence but the fact remains SHE is responsible for the governance of Scotland , she took the job and is being paid handsomely to fcuk it up

      Liked by 3 people

  18. There was nothing stopping Nicola Sturgeon from appointing someone to take control of the independence fight whilst she concentrated on Covid. She didn’t do it because, I believe, she is a fanatical micromanager. Her micromanagement continues to damage the independence cause.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. If I was to suggest some reading that might prove instructive, it might be “Competing Narratives and Complex Genealogies: The Ecosystem Approach in International Environmental Law, Journal of Environmental Law, Volume 27, Issue 1, March 2015, Pages 91–117”.


  20. I might even suggest following that up with a look at “A Quest for an Eco-centric Approach to International Law: the COVID-19 Pandemic as Game Changer, Jus Cogens (2020)”. 😉


  21. Just been reading the news or should I say the daily spin.

    Seems that variously the new so called Indian variant has set things back. Seems that in London the combined figures of those inoculated is only 45% of the population and that this is setting things back by ten weeks. Seems too that the low vaccination rate is due London having a high number of young people as a constituent of the overall population. Obviously the government didn’t know that 2.5 million haven’t received their first jag, with another 3.6 million not having received their second – out of a London population of 8.4 million that’s quitecastounding numbers not to know about.

    And so the black charge goes on between Boris Johnson and his glove puppet Queen Nicola as professor Goebels ( aka Sir Jason Leach ) solemnly tells how things have unfortunately taken a turn for the worse.

    And meanwhile with the sham empty testing stations around the country and restrictions being maintained the gullible, and I use the word correctly, the gullible think their governments are doing a grand job.

    Like animals in the farm, or is it mushrooms, I think at least some of us know what we are being fed.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I think the risk from covid-19 is very real, and it takes a ‘special’ kind of thinking to imagine it a hoax perpetrated by the Establishment.


    1. No doubt covid is real. It does not pose the same risk to all age groups, though. So why the one-size fits all approach?
      And now they’re looking to vaccinate children, who are probably more at risk from vax side effects than they are from covid.
      The lunatics are indeed in full control of the asylum.


      1. That sounds like you’re suggesting our ability to access our right to health, is dependent on our underlying health. Which is a position I think those who support private health insurance would welcome. It also sounds like you’re suggesting health-risk is evenly distributed across age, sex, class and ethnicity. Which again, is a position I think those who support private health insurance would welcome.

        Though death is obviously incompatible with good health, I’d suggest our own death isn’t the main risk society face from covid-19. It’s the long-term damage it can do to our overall health (‘long-covid’). Which will simply add an additional, avoidable, burden on already over-burdened (global) health-care system.


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