Let’s start with the good news. One in every 200 tests are now coming back positive for Covid-19 in Scotland. From 32,021 tests in Scotland last week, 155 were positive, just 0.5 per cent. The WHO says tests should be delivering sub-5 per cent results for two weeks before lockdown easing measures are considered, so […]

Swinney’s gamble


Scotland’s new Chief Medical Officer, Dr Gregor Smith, can’t say when the lockdown measures will be lifted here. We “are not quite at the stage yet where we have got the data which would allow us to be able to pinpoint when these measures are likely to be lifted,” he told the BBC. Correct, but […]

A viable route out of lockdown


Front-line workers are making their voices heard. The Scottish Government has been sent not one, but two, open letters from those we most rely on to battle Covid-19, expressing their unhappiness at insufficient and inadequate PPE. 100 medical professionals have signed a letter stating they have “grave concerns about the adequacy of what has been […]

Why testing is the problem that won’t go away


UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in intensive care with Covid-19 should be a wake-up call to anyone who still needed one about just how dangerous this virus really is. Johnson is not of pensioner age – he’s just 55 years old. We must do everything we can to suppress this virus; no life is worth […]

Take care of the carers


It’s there in black and white on the Scottish Government website: ‘People should avoid travelling unless it is essential…This guidance is for people planning to visit second homes…”. That the Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood broke that rule not once but twice is very bad. But the government mishandling thereafter raises more questions than the […]

A tortuous Sunday


Let’s develop a little scorecard on where we are with the economic measures in the UK and Scotland to cope with our new pandemic-world.  For corporations, we have 80 per cent of the wages they owe workers affected by Covid-19 covered by government. That’s a significant drop in their costs, overnight. For banks, we have […]

The bailout scorecard


There are worrying signs about the UK’s Covid-19 trajectory. The UK’s death toll is now higher than Italy’s was at this stage, and is following the US in accelerating when other countries were by now seeing the rate of increase slowing. ITV Political Editor Robert Peston responded to that fact by stating plainly: “This is […]

The (lack of) testing scandal


There are signs of some positive steps in the Scottish Government’s approach to this crisis which hopefully bode well. The setting up of an independent expert group separate from the UK Government, which will at the moment “supplement” the UK-wide expert advice but could ultimately lead to different policies being taken in Scotland, sounds like […]

The work dilemma


The lockdown is on. The government has finally done what should have happened weeks ago. Now we are running to catch-up, and the government has to run much faster. Both governments, I should say. The Scottish Government has acted in unity with the UK Government, and as such has also been utterly inadequate so far. Without doubt […]

Lockdown: Why citizens must hold government to account


Here is the plain reality of the economic situation. The economy is going to be to one extent or another shutdown for months. We don’t know to what extent, and we don’t know how many months. But we know that the economy we have is sufficiently fragile that it can’t go on like that for […]

Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay