Tsk Nicola, Tsk

Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of misleading the UK public after she was criticised by a statistics watchdog for making unsubstantiated comparisons about coronavirus rates in Scotland and England.
Scotland’s First Minister repeatedly claimed earlier this month that the prevalence of the virus was “five times” higher in England, and opponents said she had deployed the figure to suggest her policy was working better than elsewhere in the UK
She also used the statistic to justify her controversial refusal to rule outimposing quarantine on visitors crossing the border into Scotland and taking a different approach to Boris Johnson on air bridges
But in an intervention described by her critics as “damning”, Ed Humpherson, Director General for Regulation at the Office for Statistics Regulation, said that the uncaveated comparison should never have been made as it was not backed up by sound data.
An investigation also found that the justification for the claim provided to the media who questioned its basis was different to the one provided to regulators, after Ms Sturgeon’s officials changed their story.
The accusations of citing false figures will prove embarrassing for Ms Sturgeon, who has won widespread praise for her handling of the pandemic despite separate statistics published on Thursday confirming that Scotland has the third-highest rate of excess mortality deaths in Europe.

Politician quotes dodgy figures, well I never.

And of course what’s really important here is that how may get it is not the point. It’s how many excess deaths are avoided which is. Oddly, something that would be improved by lots of people getting it then not dying from it. Because that means we can open up again earlier and do nice things like treat cancers thereby reducing the number of excess deaths.

Herd immunity being a real thing even if we’ve not got there yet.

22 thoughts on “Tsk Nicola, Tsk”

  1. Covidpanic has been used as a marketing opportunity. It’s been used to sell media. It’s been used to sell politics. It’s been used to sell “expert” careers. It’s been used to sell products. And the public are picking up the enormous bill.

  2. Unfortunately there are lots of people in Scotland that will hear the message that ‘we’re doing better than the English’ and nod. They may suspect, even believe, it’s not true – that they’re dodgy figures, but they don’t care. Cutting off the nose is a national pastime.

  3. Wee Willy Krankie has used her dodgy stats to (probably temporarily) push SNP popularity up a few percentage points. The cost could likely be £100m a point. She’ll reckon that’s our money well spent.

  4. BBC’s gloomy Covid coverage and the uncertainty caused by its sensationalist hounding of politicians (see Maitless) has produced a reversal in its decline of viewing figures. Cost of one viewer? Couple thousand pounds? Cheap at the price for the BBC

  5. BIS- true with a caveat.
    National BBC is unremittingly hostile to Boris / Tories, its nightly reports from that condescending loon in the US – Sopel are an art class in misdirection.
    The explanations about Covid from their arts graduate reporter are again severely slanted.

    However wee krankie and the natzis never get a smidgin of hostile quetioning. The past 10 years has seen BBC scotland provide continuing support for whatever the current line is. ( imagine if glasgow NHS hospital deaths were under a Tory admin)
    Can you say Glasgow shipyard eco ferries – millions down the drain and memory holed by the BBC

  6. “The accusations of citing false figures will prove embarrassing for Ms Sturgeon” Nothing embarrasses that bitch. Lying is nothing as minor as second nature to her.

  7. Lying is Krankies default setting.

    But of which UK political pig is that NOT true?

    Extra laugh over this latest supposed mossie lockdown.

    Doomed from the start –the polipork cant even say what they mean.

    I don’t know or care what mossie lifestyles are. But when I was a boy in a white working class area far more tribal than now I lived in a short street–approx. 40 houses on my side of street. One house had relatives of my Mam and there were 4 houses with relatives of my Dad. So he walked the 200 yards to see his brothers/sister/parents several times a week. But we didn’t really visit other houses regularly. My Mam had 2 or 3 friends from her youth in nearby streets and visited them once or twice a month.

    The point I’m making is –are RoP followers in and out each others houses? We were tribal–literally everybody knew everybody, most women were housewives and any suspicious activity in the street would have been quickly picked up. But we weren’t “mixing households ” that regularly.

    So what Hand Cock is talking really about is the mosques. They were supposed to be shut but there is acres of film of them open as usual with crowds milling about w’out slightest regard for virus bullshit.

    Much as I dislike the RoP that is something we should all have copied.

    However does anyone think that an edict lacking even the moral courage to name what it is actually about is going to carry the day?

    Is Plod going to crash and shut mosques and roust the inmates–none of whom will take any more notice of Hand Cocks Hot Air now than before?

    I think not–if there was the will the edict would have said what it meant. Plod wont go in because the Peacers will physically fight back ( and Plod just hates a square go numbers wise) and scream racism to boot.

    Hopefully another nail in the LD and Hand Cock/Blojob’s term of office.

  8. I’m up here in Jockland visiting relatives and watched the performance of the Scottish Conservatives on TV yesterday.
    They had a point to make about the iffy use of statistics which they should have made, then moved on. Sturgeon came across very well whilst the head of the Scottish Conservatives started well, then came across like an arsehole. Jackson Carlaw has now resigned his position, no help from the media necessary. The head of the Labour Party was so wishy-washy you just wanted to give him a good slap.
    If this is the best that the non SNP parties can do, then there is going to be devolution in a few years.
    The comparison between a laser like focussed and no nonsense Sturgeon, and a waffly, bullshit prone Boris is stark. He needs to get a grip, or get gone..

  9. She didn’t do so well against Andrew Neil did she? It is only that her opponents are mealy mouthed leftists including BlueLabour.

  10. Dear Mr Worstall

    “Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of misleading the UK public …”

    Does anyone south of the border listen to her?

    Though as far as I am concerned, the same can be said of the British government.


  11. Her entire schtick is based on lies, including the main one that she really wants full independence. But if Boris does ‘lose’ Scotland, so what? Let the porridge wogs take their freedom and run with it, as long as we don’t have to pay. I

  12. Ecks, my point was that there isn’t anyone making the case for the union.
    Sturgeon says things people like to hear, whether it’s bullshit is irrelevant. In Scotland people lap it up whilst the Scottish Conservatives are seen as useless and Boris comes off as an out of touch southern toff who’s dishonest and untrustworthy.
    I’m in Galloway, one of the few regions in Scotland that has regularly voted conservative.
    The up and coming generations will be voting SNP no thanks to constant propaganda from the BBC and the education system. The London centric news seems a world away, out of touch, irrelevant, and the likes of Boris do not inspire confidence.

  13. Guido today has an article showing Krankie’s approval rating as +66 -30 (with a few percent of don’t knows. Incredible that the land of Adam Smith and James Watt now has two thirds of its population so dim that they can’t see through this guff.

  14. Incredible that the land of Adam Smith and James Watt now has two thirds of its population so dim that they can’t see through this guff.

    All the good Scots left.

    Mind you, most of the good Europeans left to the US or were killed in the two world wars leaving just us lot here rearranging deck chairs on the titanic.

  15. Bloke in North Dorset

    “Herd immunity being a real thing even if we’ve not got there yet.”*

    It moved beyond the herd immunity debate. We’ve protected the healthcare system from that initial wave. At the time I thought it was the right thing to do so I’m not going to indulge in hindsight bias even though the data show that the infection rate was falling before the enforced lockdown.

    However, we’ve now moved to a point where the media, and therefore weak politicians, are jumping at every slight rise in numbers of infections and forcing local lockdowns, even though the data yet again show that (i) its a really small number of very localised cases and (ii) there has been no corresponding increase in NHS 111 triage calls or hospital admissions.

    The moral outrage is that we have moved to a point where saving one Covid life, likely to be someone old and with comorbidities, is far more important than saving younger people with cancer or even allowing young health people to get on with their lives. There’s going to be a massive increase in the number of what should have been preventable cancer deaths over the next couple of years and nobody in the MSM or political class that are demanding lockdowns after every reported case increase will even understand their guilt in the causes of that increase, let alone show any shame or remorse.

    This guy is well worth following on Twitter and this thread explains what’s going on with these latest local lockdown numbers.


    *Yes, we need herd immunity and we want to avoid as much as possible any likely second wave happening in winter when it will be much harder to deal with. Us oldies need to be told to take precautions and young people told to get on with life and let this thing rip in summer when its easier to deal with and the health c are system hasn’t got the usual winter problems putting it under pressure.

  16. @BIND

    I sympathise with your point of view and the concept of cost-benefit analysis seems to have been abandoned for the duration of the pandemic – to be fair it would be a devil of a job to do it with the uncertainties we have, but you can’t treat Covid deaths as the be all and end all.

    Not sure about the latter part of “The moral outrage is that we have moved to a point where saving one Covid life, likely to be someone old and with comorbidities, is far more important than saving younger people with cancer”. The health system issue is somewhat separate from the public health control measures, which is why I don’t like it when people blame lockdown for non-Covid deaths where people haven’t been able or willing to access healthcare. Cancer treatment just isn’t going to be able to return to original capacity any time soon, surgery takes longer with full protective measures in place and those probably can’t be skimped on (not least because cancer patients are often immunocompromised).

    There is a public health angle too though – if measures get relaxed in a way that lets the exponential growth spark up again, it would only be a matter of weeks before hospital capacity comes under greater pressure and cancer patients lose out that way as well. I don’t think cancer and Covid patients have diametrically opposed interests and we can easily save one at the expense of the other. I fear we may have to accept that, just as we can’t (or shouldn’t) go to extreme lengths to save every 80 year-old diabetic from Covid, we can’t go all out to save every 40 year-old cancer patient, even those who pre-Covid would have had a fighting chance.

    I don’t know what the correct solution is but I reckon it is unlikely to be either an eradication strategy (can’t hermetically seal the country) or to let the virus rip (if hospitals show signs of strain we are going to end up back in Lockdown 2). Once things get out of control, there don’t seem to be many “fine-tuning” policy responses available and governments across the world seem to lean towards the blunt instruments all too readily. Personally I’d settle for us finding some way to lead tolerably normal lives without having a rollercoaster ride of outbreaks and lockdowns. But what combination of measures can sustain that, I dunno and I don’t think the evidence is clear.

  17. It’s come to something when Janet Street-Porter makes more sense than the entire political and medical establishment.

    It’s come to something when I’m rooting for the northern Muslims to collectively rebel against UK authority.

  18. Face masks mandatory for cinemas, museums and churches next week. It’s only a matter of time until they’re mandatory anywhere outside. Probably your own fucking garden knowing these twats.


  19. 66% for Wee Wankie–I think not. Any more than Joe Whatsmynameagain? Biden’s poll results . An extra 21 % of Scots have lost their marbles since 2014 cos of Fish Faced Hags stella (sic) performance in Scotland.

    The same performance over which Andrew Neil ripped duct tape off her fanny in the pre-election broadcast?

    Also see this : https://www.samizdata.net/2020/07/macatlas-shrugs/

    No –she may be/look “focused” against flaccid BlueLabour dicks but any political hack with a minimum competence would not only destroy her but leave her with no other Scots job opportunities than working in a Bay City Rollers tribute band.

    Blojo is useless and hopefully the Great Dole Charge will see him finished.No challenge there. But Krankie against a real political–say Enoch Powell risen from the grave–would be the laugh-fest of all time. The stupid cow wouldn’t even understand the long words he’d be using.

    No –the present mess and asking the correct mugs may have boosted the bitch. But if Scots wanted to live in East Germany on the Clyde why did they defeat her Commissar for every child shite? The Game is far from over.

  20. PJF–Cinemas may close. Serves ’em right for going along with it.

    Game plan is indeed 24/7 the lot–mask /face shield/goggles/gloves –whatever they can get away with.

    But even with the cowardly ill-informed foolery of the UK pop –I think it is a bridge too far. Death figs don’t justify the irksome shite and enough will–and are– realising they are being taken for mugs. It only needs 1/3 of pop to resist and its over.

    Plus 7 million on Dole soon. V angry. And a good way to strike back is fuck the mask etc–fuck you Blojob-stuff your gear up your arse etc.

  21. “Scotland has the third-highest rate of excess mortality deaths in Europe”.

    Is that total number of deaths, or deaths per million? I couldn’t get far enough into the Telly article to see if it made it clear.

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