27th May 2020
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Exercise more than once a day, says First Minister

Advice on how often people can venture outdoors is being changed from tomorrow, although the “core principles” of the lockdown in Scotland remain the same.

As of Monday the advice will be that people can go outside more than once a day to exercise.

The Scottish government says this activity should continue to be undertaken close to home, and that those going out to exercise should either go alone or with members of their household.

But First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has insisted it is “vitally important” for people to maintain social distancing.

Her advice has come as Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined steps to modify measures south of the border.

Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has already voiced fears that Mr Johnson is being influenced too much by his own backbench MPs, rather than scientific evidence.

Ms Sturgeon said the changes in Scotland will still not allow people to mix with people from different households, to gather in groups, or to go out to relax outdoors.

The First Minister agreed the change following scientific advice using the framework set out by the Scottish government last month.

It was agreed that the timing was right to make the change because the impact on the vital R number – the rate of reinfection of Covid-19 – would be very limited.

The First Minister said: “The core principles of lockdown in Scotland remain the same, people should stay at home to help save lives and protect the NHS.

“We do not underestimate how difficult these measures are, particularly for those living alone, or living in smaller accommodation with children or without access to a garden or outdoor home space.”

She added: “It is vitally important that anyone going out maintains physical distancing and strict hygiene measures in order to ensure we don’t lose ground.

“We have also encouraged the public to consider wearing a facial covering in enclosed spaces, where physical distancing is more difficult and where there is a risk of close contact people outwith their household.”

Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 – a new and continuous cough or a high temperature – are being reminded to isolate themselves for seven days.

Anyone else in a household where someone has symptoms should still isolate for 14 days.


  1. Ian Tinkler

    England says thank you, Boris. “You can now sunbath!”. Now, why does not Nicola change the dictate for Shetland? We would love to sunbath also, between the snow showers!!!!!😂😂😂😂

  2. Haydn Gear

    According to news reports and scathing criticisms aimed at Bonny Boris both he and his ill advised advisers have issued confused mixed messages to the people of England in regard to revised patterns of behaviour deemed to be helpful. There is every chance that chaos could be followed by disaster. What a shower they are.
    How fortunate that the Scottish, Welsh and Irish leaders are maintaining their more sensible , balanced and wary approaches .

  3. ian Tinkler

    Enlighten us Haydn, why is the infection rate lower (R number) in England than in Wales and Scotland? I for one am not the least confused by the messages, just what is confusing you?

  4. Bruce smith

    Nicola sturgeon is all her her her . She doesn’t lead for the good off all of Scotland
    She niver agrees wIth what the rest off the UK IS DOING

    • David Spence

      Bruce, you make it look as if Nicola, is acting like a Tory……..The Tory policy being……..me, me, me and me (think of number 1 before the people of the UK priority) lol

  5. Haydn Gear

    It seems you are not up to the date with today’s news reports Ian . Very odd since you usually try to be before it !! I’m not quite sure where you are coming from.
    I don’t recall making any comments about R numbers in the current pandemic so what exactly are you on about ?
    Since you appear to not know, there has been confusion in Britain today about the actual meaning of BoJo’s statement yesterday (Sunday) and , as I write, he is trying to explain himself away on TV. THAT shouldn’t be necessary should it? But, in true B J fashion he is resorting to make do and mend bluster. I am mindful of the blind leading the blind. Let decisions be made by scientists not ill equipped dabbling politicians. That little pat on the head should appeal to you !!

    • Ian Tinkler

      Sorry Haydn, the fact “The Press” and a few politicians were too ignorant or prejudiced to understand blatantly obvious is of no surprise. The simple words Common Sense seems quite beyond some!!!!
      But never mind Nicola is letting us out exercise twice a day. It is a shame we are all being channelled into the same crowded places, through the same gates and chokepoints whilst the wide-open spaces and beaches of Shetland are closed down to the majority!!

  6. Haydn Gear

    Bruce Smith clearly holds a very jaundiced view of Nicola Sturgeon so it will irk him to know that some people are supporters of her and her stance —- me for one.
    I cannot see how she can be accused of not standing up for Scotland. If not for her native country then for whom does she stand up ?
    In the present serious crisis she is in full agreement with Wales and Ireland but not with England. How fortunate that is. Britain is no longer ruled by England now that devolution has taken place. Boris Johnson claimed to be PM of 🇬🇧 Britain.He surely meant 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 not 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Scotland or 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿Wales. Westminster is reluctant to let go

  7. Ian Tinkler

    Well, the “Good news” BO JO’s policy actually worked, at no time was the NHS swamped. The reported shortages of PPE were mostly just that, often political rhetoric from the anti-Boris brigade. The infection and death rate amongst NHS employees, all of them, from Covid19 has proved no higher than the national average.
    It is extraordinary sad news from Care Homes and Care Workers, but not unexpected. It takes months of training and years of experience to Barrier nurse to prevent cross-infection. Even the use of PPE requires extensive training. Our most vulnerable people conjugated into crowded homes was an accident just waiting to happen. Hopefully, next time, our care workers will have extensive professional training cross infection control with qualifications and wages to match. Our most vulnerable, not all be herded into care homes but perhaps into a chalet system where separation and quarantine would be so much more effective..

  8. Alastair Ball

    What is the R rate for Shetland ?

    Looks like zero?

    The politicians – all of them can “go away” (family friendly version).

    Do your gardening, go fishing, go for a walk whenever and where ever you want.

    Get the kids back into school.

    Get our economy open and people back to work.

    This is my opinion.

    Dive, dive , dive – incoming!!!

  9. Michael Garriock

    What do you want? A Country with a minimised death toll but teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, or a country that’s suffered a higher death toll, and while perhaps shaken somewhat financially, is still resilient enough to continue without any great undue hardship for the survivors.

    England at present seems to be trying to steer an admittedly somewhat shaky course towards the latter, the rest of the UK, unfortunately seem hell bent on taking the direct route straight to the former.

    You cannot sustain increased Governmental expenditure and decreased Governmental income for any longer than the very short term, it called burning the candle from both ends…. We’ve been doing it now for 7 weeks……… Very soon the time will come when Governmental leaders will have to make decisions on how many deaths are acceptable collateral damage to allow them to provide the services the majority need and keep their country afloat. The longer they leave it to make that decision, the more rushed, and by consequence, less appropriate, it is likely to be.

    There is no vaccine, there is no ‘cure’. Unfortunately some are going to have to take a hit for the team.

    • Malcolm Henry Johnson

      It’s unfortunate that three centuries of free-market capitalism hasn’t generated enough wealth to feed the country for more than three months without going bankrupt but don’t worry Michael. Many people share your concerns about the economy and the government is onto it:

      A confidential Treasury assessment of the coronavirus crisis leaked to The Telegraph argues that it will require measures including a two-year public sector pay freeze in order to “boost investor confidence” in the British economy.

      So, a round of grateful applause for the NHS Staff, Care Workers, Police and everyone at London Transport. I hope the nurses are enjoying all the clapping and rattling of pots and pans every Thursday because that is all they are going to get. It is reassuring to know that things really are returning to normal.

      At least a public sector pay freeze will not discriminate. It will apply equally across the board and affect everyone from care home cleaners on minimum wage to the head of health and social care at Labour controlled North Lanarkshire council, salary £615,550

      “Some are going to have to take a hit for the team.” Yes Michael, in more ways than one.

      • Brian Smith
      • Ian Tinkler

        “It’s unfortunate that three centuries of free-market capitalism hasn’t generated enough wealth to feed the country for more than three months without going bankrupt” How typical, socialist codswallop!!! Just look at socialist Venezuela, the whole country is starving and bankrupt!
        Incidentally, there is no freeze on public sector wages. Typical nonsense and false information being leaked, another left-wing PR leak from socialist civil servant perhaps?

    • peter smith

      I think it was the the Argntine president when speaking about Covid 19 said, “you can recover from a drop in GDP, you cannot recover from death”

      • Malcolm Henry Johnson

        Fernández makes a good point. The Argentine economy is taking a battering and so is our own but we need to see things in perspective:

        Last month, Morningstar ran an article about the likely effect of the Coronavirus lockdown on share dividends to be paid out by U.K. companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. It set out four possible scenarios, best-case, worst-case, and two “realistic” estimates within that range. In the best-case scenario, overall dividends fall 29% to £70.4 billion, and in the worst they more than halve to £46.5 billion.

        More recent comments in The Financial Times suggest that we are heading towards a midway point between the best-case and worst-case scenarios while Reuters (UK) warned of a possible 50% drop in dividends “if the situation continues to worsen.”

        If the economy can afford dividend payments of £60 billion during the lockdown, I suspect that it is strong enough to recover. Of course, the FT and Reuters are known to be simmering cesspits of socialist subversion, so possibly more fake news.

        p.s. For the avoidance of any unnecessary tantrums: “The Morning Star” is three words with two spaces whereas “Morningstar” is just one word with no spaces.

  10. Ian Tinkler

    The simple fact is unavoidable; this virus is here to stay. One day we will all meet it. The single most important thing is to keep the numbers down, so ICUs are not swamped, learn the best therapies to reduce the death toll as much as is practical and research for treatments and a vaccine. Try and avoid peak outbreaks, especially in winter, when the flu / covid combination will be nasty. Isolate our most vulnerable, maybe for a very long time and leave people to chose. I am approaching 70 years old and have no intention of isolating forever. In due course, I will get this virus and take my chances. I would instead rather enjoy my time than clamber fearfully into a sterile hole forever!!! As for Sturgeons exercise twice a day, she can stick that where the sun does not shine. The simple fact is being fit is perhaps my and everyone best chance for survival, twice a day exercising and the rest of my time on my sweet derriere is stupid, just as Nicola’s latest dictates!!!

    • Peter Hamilton

      Ian’s reply to Malcolm’s well reasoned contribution oddly fails to address it. Why?

  11. Haydn Gear

    Ian, there are times when you make mind numbing assertions by droning on and on about details which stray away from the initial comments leaving one in a swirling fog. On other occasions , you make mind boggling simplistic statements which sidestep the salient point . Your email to this column at 9-50 today made reference to” The Press and a few ignorant, prejudiced politicians”…….. Were you seriously suggesting that the furore which swept Britain following BoJo’s garbled and confusing directives was misplaced? ( confusing everyone apart from you ,of course) That includes Head teachers, Chief constables ,and masses of parents with loads of common sense. Is it not very telling that BJ was obliged to deliver a hastily assembled list of explanations in the daily briefing from No. 10 ? And even now, a cock up situation remains in place. Come on Ian, it’s time to wipe the mote from your own eye. Human beings have frailities and you are human I believe. Correct??
    I’m reminded of the proud mother watching her son taking part in the passing out parade at Sandhurst. She noticed that everyone was out of step apart from her son!

  12. Peter Hamilton

    Oh dear, did I just read “BO JO’s policy actually worked”? Thats plainly pants, pure and simple.

    Briefly, to Michael’s point, it is only recently that we paid off our war debt to the USA, so some financial mechanisms will be found.

    But I think I heard Portugal went into lockdown straight after their first COVID 19 death, whereas the UK waited for over a hundred.

    Plainly things could have been very different, very much better, and acting quicker would have been far cheaper, with far less loss of life, and a quicker return to a functioning economy. But it would have also required people being put before profit right from the start.

    So it really had been business as usual from the bottom feeding disaster capitalists that run the UK. “BO JO’s policy actually worked” indeed. That would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic.

    • Ian Tinkler

      Sadly it is not over. The deaths across the EU and world have only just started. The final count will not be altered one iota by who locked down first or last.
      About the only thing anyone can do is reduce and control the total acutely ill at any one time to keep ICU beds available.
      Sadly without vaccines and anti-virals, it is that simple. The fact is it has only just started and will be with us until we are all immune or dead. Let us pray for the former and immunity by vaccination. To coin a cliche, it will be total isolation for the most vulnerable until herd immunity develops, as with every infectious viral disease in human history! Development of immunity and resistance is what will stop Covid 19 eventually, nothing else, as with Polio, Smallpox, Measles, Herpes et al

      • Peter Hamilton

        No. We need to keep as many people alive as possible until vaccine is developed. People are not simply expendable.

        Effective PPE supplies and speed of sufficient testing is critical to this. The Tory led, Tory delayed UK response has been woeful on these. No scope for argument there.

        Thousands have died that need not have. No scope for argument there either. It has been an ideologically misled catastrophe.

      • ali Inkster

        200 genetic variations from 7500 samples when exactly do you envisage this wonder vaccine that covers all variations to be produced?

      • John Thomas

        “200 genetic variations from 7500 samples when exactly do you envisage this wonder vaccine that covers all variations to be produced?”

        I’m no orthdontist but I was hoping one of the 90 odd teams around the world working day and night might get lucky. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01221-y

        But now that you point out about all those genetic variations, we probably ought to phone them and tell them to call of the hunt since they’ve probably not thought of that. Best just let nature take its course and get the economy on track with hundreds of thousands of deaths, a swamped NHS and a profoundly sick and worried population.

    • Ian Tinkler

      Bo Jo’s policy was actually endorsed and followed to the letter by all the devolved Governments of the Uk until we got our knickers in a twist about a slogan. I never realised Nicola was a ” bottom feeding disaster capitalists ” for endorsing Bo Jo’s policy for so long. She only on Sunday became confused and what a fuss out that she made. On the bright side, we may legally exercise twice daily now, what outstanding leadership!

      • Robbie Leask

        Ian your unwavering faith in BoJo the clown, in the absence of any logical rationale or evidence for doing so, is truly astonishing.

      • Ian Tinkler

        Robbie, I have no faith in any politician, but I do find Bo-Jo so much better than the other clowns in the circus. I love the way he routed the remoners, destroyed the Socialist horror of Corbyn and so antagonised, confounded and confused his opponents. Most are left with nothing by puerile and infantile comments to make, such as Bo-Jo the Clown. Is that Robbie the level of your wit and argument?

  13. Peter Hamilton

    Again, Tory apologist spin from Tinkler. From mid-Jan through Feb Boris missed 5 COBRA meetings on COVID 19 to which Sturgeon was not invited.

    Yes the UK’s other parliaments fell into line once the Bullingdon Club realised there was to be no Britains Open for Business, herd-immunity-now approach. Elements of that thinking lingered on and are resurfacing now, not the least within the twisted outpouring of local eugenicists.

    • Ian Tinkler

      Peter, who is going to apologies for the/SNP and Nicola Sturgeon?
      The population of Scotland. 5,438,100 No of deaths. 2,094 Deaths per million. 259.7
      The population of England. 55,977,178 No of deaths. 27,432 Deaths per million. 204.1
      Boris in England compared to Nicola in Scotland. Boris does rather better.
      Take into account Scotlands savagely large fatalities in Care Homes, nearly twice that of England, perhaps political comments, especially from a prejudicial, ill-informed Mr Hamilton are best regarded as saltire sorry satire!!!!
      Best information as of 17/05/20.

      • Mike Willison

        I am sorry to disappoint Mr Tinkler, but his calculations of death rates are not correct.
        The death rate per million population is number of deaths divided by population (in millions).
        Using Mr Tinkler’s death and population figures, the death rate in Scotland is 2,094 divided by 5.4381 million = 385.1 deaths/million. In England the death rate is 27,434 divided by 55.977178 = 490.1 deaths per million.
        Using the latest figures on the UK government website https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/ on 18 May, the death rates are:
        Scotland (2,103 deaths) 386.7 deaths/million
        England (31,010 deaths) 554.0 deaths/million
        On that basis I think we need Nicola Sturgeon down here in England as well!

  14. Haydn Gear

    I don’t think anyone “ got their knickers in a twist “. Much more the realisation that the original message was becoming diluted . The quick reaction by those who are prepared to risk all just because they are selfishly impatient tells the unfolding story.
    Act in haste, repent at leisure seems to sum up such weakness.

    • Alastair Ball

      I am trying very hard to to see things from your perspective, but I cannot ignore the indicators and commentary that indicates that the UK economy will officially be in recession by the end of 2 Q.

      GDP has fallen by 2% in the first quarter of this year and predicted to be possibly as high as 20% in the second quarter.

      The Bank of England has tried to put a brave face on things by saying “the impact is likely to be temporary with activity rebounding strongly once social distancing measures are lifted”. The question is when will social distancing be lifted.

      Are you advocating that we just wait and see how things pan out, maybe the idea of a V shaped recovery will happen in the 3rd and 4th quarters, a vaccine will be developed in time and the world can go back to the “old normal”

      A simple warning from history – Recession , Depression, War.

      • John Thomas

        Recession, depression, war. Exactly. We know that the mortality rate is roughly 0.66%. UK population is approx 63 million. Let’s say we just let the virus take its course, albeit slowed due to some adjustments to how we work and 60% of the population catch it. An effective treatment or vaccine is by no means guaranteed. 60% of 63 million is 37.8 million. 0.66% of that is about 250,000 deaths. Then there are the hundreds of millions of working days lost to people off sick with the virus. Then there are the people suffering long term consequences of the virus and the cost of caring for them.

        How is this a recipe for a healthy economy? How will this level of death and suffering motivate investment or spending? Where does this assumption that we can just get going again like things were before come from? The world has changed. I know it feels good to bury our heads in the sand and think we can just go back to how things were and let a few old folks die. But that is profoundly naive. There is no simple answer. Except Mr. Tinkler’s. Make of that what you will.

  15. Peter Hamilton

    Ali asks: “200 genetic variations from 7500 samples when exactly do you envisage this wonder vaccine that covers all variations to be produced?”

    I don’t know Ali. I’m not a dentist.

    To my understanding there does not need to be an exact genetic match for vaccines to be sufficiently helpful, but as I can’t trace my male line back over countless generations maybe Ali should consult a bard or a sage instead.

    There is, and has been, something of a medical research race on; for understanding of transmission, for patient management/treatment and for vaccines. Prompter action would have kept more folk alive longer whilst progress was made.

    The usual suspects are welcome to argue that and which way they may like, but it won’t change matters.

    • ali Inkster

      There has been medical research and hard work for years into a reliable vaccine for corona viruses. How are they doing on that front? You don’t need to be a dentist to find that out

      • Ian Tinkler

        Yes Ali, but you do need to know the difference between a Virus and Venus, RNA and DNA, a vaccine and socialist vacillation, that is where humanists and left-wing ideologues come up a little short!!

  16. Peter Hamilton

    As I’m not a puller of teeth its a challenge to tell Ali how this virus differs from the common cold, or why the research may be getting more funding and focus than the industry and government gave previously.

  17. Haydn Gear

    Ali , it would appear that if research in the area of vaccines for corona viruses has been going on for years and thousands are dying like flies, not much progress has been made. Not even the common cold has been defeated which doesn’t auger well for the current world wide problem.
    You stated that you don’t need to be a dentist to find that out but, to be fair and reasonable about this , someone with medical training is likely to be better equipped than someone without to come up with insights which could be useful. In all probability Ian will not strike gold but how thankful we would be if he did !!

  18. Alastair Ball

    Fake news ?

    Trump tried to buy Moussa and replace the old stone buildings with a shiny new tower and Miss Sturgeon will use the proceeds to building a border wall.

    The deal came unstuck when China claimed Shetland as part of its North Sea and Atlantic territorial waters. It is understood that Miss Sturgeon has been learning Madrin while Scotland is locked up

    Owen Jones has denied that he supports Identity politics, woke culture and he is not a social justice warrior.

    CNN hires Greta Thunberg to appear on a panel as an expert on Covid 19.

  19. Peter Hamilton

    Best not to bother with why UK has biggest obesity problem in Europe. Such inquiry requires social science, some sociological imagination and a grain of empathy.

    Much easier to blame those poor plebs who haven’t got a grip. No need to invest on ending intergenerational deprivation and increasing opportunity too. Playgrounds for schools in poorer parts of our cities? Why bother.

    • ian Tinkler

      Simples Peter, integrate “Care” for young and old into the NHS. That would include a voucher towards joining a gym or active participation sports club for every citizen irrespective of wealth. Those who chose not to use it, be it on their heads, it is their own health and wellbeing which will suffer. Covid 19 is ruthless with the obese and unfit, blame and empathy are not part life and death struggle of potentially fatal illness.

      • Peter Hamilton

        Ian’s suggestion does nothing to end intergenerational deprivation, aka poverty. Poverty, and other social ills, can result in obesity in various ways.

        Obesity simply is not automatically a “lifestyle choice”. To suggest so is to indulge in inflammatory victim blaming and victim shaming.

        Not all single parents on benefits, depending also on whatever the Foodbank might provide, can easily promote healthy lifestyles for all of their children. Many are struggling with issues beyond Ian’s limited appreciation.

        Seven year olds don’t generally make lifestyle choices.

        Fat cells, once over produced in response to whatever unwelcome stimulus, don’t simply disappear. They hang around calling to be filled.

        Not all parents have time or money to afford Shetland Recreational Trust’s offerings. They dont all have the ability to get their children to the leisure facilities.

        It is only “simples” if you take an uncaring and simplistic approach.

        Ian knows this intellectually as it has been pointed out more than once. Yet he persists. Odd. A little more fellow feeling might stem his approach.

      • Ian Tinkler

        “intergenerational deprivation,” A very trendy left-wing academic hypothesis, relevant to Victorian times. We now, in the UK, have free education for all, free access to brilliant medical care for all. A thriving Welfare State where starvation due to food shortage is clinically unknow. Emaciated children with rickets, scurvy, and “Harold Wilson’s syndrome,” replaced by obese people with type two diabetes, decaying teeth and health!!
        All I am suggesting Peter is an attempt to control excessive eating of Junk foods (a lifestyle choice) with integrating our NHH with free access to all to a gym or active participation sports club for every citizen irrespective of wealth. Just how can that be “to indulge in inflammatory victim blaming and victim shaming.?”

    • Ian Tinkler

      Shetland has one of the worst rates of childhood obesity in the UK. Fat kids make fat adults. This is a lifestyle problem, not of social deprivation. This endless Scotish Lockdown will make matters far worse. https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/896756/shetland-has-one-of-worst-rates-of-childhood-obesity-in-uk/

      • Ray Purchase

        Where are you getting your figures on childhood obesity in Shetland from Ian? Surely not from the newspaper article you’ve linked below, which is from 2016 and quotes figures for adults from 2015?

      • Peter Hamilton

        If Ian imagines free education and access to the NHS has equalled life chances this is going to be a walk in the park.

      • Peter Hamilton

        If Ian imagines the Welfare State to be thriving why so many Foodbanks? On another planet does not just describe Boris and Dodgy Dom today.

      • ian Tinkler

        Why foodbanks, the same reason we have charity, Peter. Kind people like to help those who may be struggling. No one is actually starving due to food shortage. The fact 30,000 deaths per year are due to obesity, that should tell its own story.

      • Peter Hamilton

        There are also undernourished children in Shetland and across the UK, and parents going without in order that their children can eat. Ian might be interested to research the number of food banks before the era of Conservstive austerity and see how well the number has grown since. Quite an achievement for his “thriving welfare state”. Soon unemployment numbers will be thriving too thanks to the ghastly response to Covid 10 from Boris and chums

      • Ian Tinkler

        Thirty thousand deaths a year is a pre-covid figure; we now have obesity as a 50% factor in covid 19 deaths!! If we were talking drug deaths running a food bank would be an offence. Perhaps that is a little tongue-in-cheek but this year obesity will be a factor in about 50,000 people dying prematurely. Surely about time for gyms, fitness and participant sports organisations (Yogo, Pound, Jazzercise etc.) to be granted by integrated into the NHS with a free or subsidised entry for all.

      • Ian Tinkler

        Sorry Peter, Boris and his chums were working with Nicola and her chums on Covid 19 . All in harmony which must be a first! Covid 10 was away with the fairies, another socialist ideal.!

  20. Robbie Leask

    It is mildly reassuring that Ian Tinkler has ‘no faith in politicians’ presumably including BoJo the Clown.

    This Government has bungled it’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis on an industrial scale. Exercise Cygnus in October 2016 highlighted serious shortcomings in the UK’s Emergency Preparedness Resilience and Response Plan to a pandemic. Since then PPE stock levels were run down by 40%. Being made aware of the virus in December 2019 no preparation was started until March when the herd immunity strategy was quickly jettisoned. Britain refused to participate in the EU procurement scheme for PPE leading to farcical attempts to obtain PPE from some guy in Turkey who made T shirts. Unsurprisingly the PPE was unusable. Rather than get ventilators from established manufacturers The Government ignored their offers of help and went to Tory donors like James Dyson who managed to produce 30 of the 30000 needed. Flights bringing 15000 people a day into the Uk without test or quarantine only stopped 2 months after lockdown. People being placed in care homes without being tested. Unbelievably lockdown is being eased in England without test track and trace being implemented. We have the second highest death total in the world.

    • ian Tinkler

      Indeed, Robbie, you are in SNP/Socialist blinkers, Bo-Jo represents the UK as UK PM but in matters of Health only England. The SP/SNP (Sturgeon) had the final word in Scotland, so our Scottish record is at Nicola Sturgeon,s feet, not Bo Jo’s.
      England does not have the highest number of deaths in Europe, and England has a far higher recovery rate than many in European nations. The Care homes in England have about half the death rate of their Scotish counterparts and the Death Rate per capita in England is considerably less than in Scotland. Just to keep you up to date, Nicola has just today, reversed her political decision on lockdown. The statistics are available online; however, ferreting the Scotish records is problematic. For some reason, the SG is far less transparent with the Data than the English. Figures below are slightly out of date but show the comparison.

      The population of Scotland. 5,438,100 No of deaths. 2,094 Deaths ratio. 259.7
      The population of England. 55,977,178 No of deaths. 27,432 Death ratio. 204.1

      Care homes Scotland/England https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/coronavirus-deaths-in-scottish-care-homes-are-double-the-ratio-of-england-rzsnbvm7n

      • Robbie Leask

        So in summary, the gospel according to Ian Tinkler is that BoJo the clown hasn’t put his size 46 feet in it at all as the death rate is higher in Scotland than in England.

      • Alan Leask

        Ian, I think your calculations are the wrong way round and show what you might call a “survival ratio” rather than a death ratio. There’s also a decimal place error but for the purposes of comparison that doesn’t really matter.

        If you work it out in deaths per million of population you can see that Scotland has a lower death rate.

        Scotland: 2094 deaths from 5 438 100 population = 385 deaths per 1m
        England: 27432 from 55 977 178 = 490 per 1m

      • Ian Tinkler

        Please do not put words in my mouth Robbie. What is happening in Scotland is down to The SG and Nicola, as the FM and former Health Secretary. Trying to make political capital out of people dying is morally reprehensible, obnoxious and malign. Bo-Jo and Nicola have equal responsibility for any mistakes, they both shared and followed the best science they could. For once they were in harmony and agreement. The NHS was not overwhelmed, lives were saved, be thankful for that.

      • Ian Tinkler

        You could be right Alan, but the Care Home tragedy is accurate, but everyone did their best using the science available. It could have and may still be infinitely worse. Boris, Nicola , Arleen and Mark, were all singing from the same hymn sheet. Political point-scoring here is best left to the idiots!!
        (Talking of Idiots) Fortunately, the injection of disinfectant, we will leave to a real clown who is now mainlining hydroxychloroquine!!! Perhaps Darwinism will step in soon! God save America.

      • Ray Purchase

        Oh this is too funny to pass by! Mr Tinkler creates his own, entirely false, Coronavirus figures to make a political point and is immediately shot down. He then states that only an idiot would try to use coronavirus figures to make political points. Well, on that we totally agree – only an idiot would.

      • Ian Tinkler

        Alan, I have number crunched again using the latest data and a calculator. Mental arithmetic a bit rusty !!
        Deaths Scotland 3,213. Population 5,438,100. Death/million3213 * 1000000/5,438,100 = 590.8
        Deaths England 27,432. Population 55,977,178 Death/million27432*1000000/55,977,178= 490
        This is, to keep Ray Purchase happy, not an attempt at point-scoring but simply pointing out the truth. Any mathematicians feel free to criticise, school was awhile go !!!
        UK Death rate Covid 512.57
        References, https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/total-covid-deaths-per-million https://www.google.com/search?lr=&as_qdr=all&sxsrf=ALeKk037OsYTNqvUu7Ngqz5pdDA_gJa1UA%3A1589941072442&ei=UJPEXvXCGsOf1fAPuoq4kAQ&q=uk+death+rate+covid+19&oq=uk+death+rate++covid+19&gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQARgAMgIIADIFCAAQgwEyAggAMgIIADICCAAyAggAMgIIADICCAAyAggAMgIIADoECAAQR1DbU1jbU2DNemgAcAF4AIABf4gBf5IBAzAuMZgBAKABAaoBB2d3cy13aXo&sclient=psy-ab

      • Ian Tinkler

        Ray try and understand the difference between political comment and malicious point-scoring.


        ian seems to be using different measurement criteria between scotland and england and even different data within scottish figures. on 18 may he has scottish figure 2094 but on 20 may it has gone up to 3213.

        the lower figure is the one for deaths from positive test cases, the higher one is all deaths where covid is mentioned on death certificate.

        in his original calculation for england he uses positive test figuresthus for accurate comparison he should use the lower scottish figure also. this is what alan leask has done and produced an accurate comparison.

  21. Robin Barclay

    The vaccine is focusing on a very small sequence in the S1 viral protein which enables it to bind to the ACE2 receptor on human cells in mucosal linings and infect them. There isn’t much room for mutation there without the virus losing its ability to bind to that receptor. Other mutations mentioned, in other parts of the virus, enable “strains” of virus to be tracked. Reproduction is subject to error (it’s how evolution happens – fortuitous mutants get an advantage) and billions upon billions of virus are being produced, so mutations will take place. However the critical site for immunity is probably conserved.

  22. Ian Tinkler

    Did you read the article Ray, “Shetland is in the top five for obesity problems in the UK, with an alarming one in four children having weight problems by the time they start primary school.” That is the first header!
    Also try, https://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2018/12/18/obesity-figures-for-p1-children-are-above-the-national-average
    or https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/2631743/Shetlands-head-fat-map-of-Britain.html
    or https://www.shetnews.co.uk/2016/04/20/obesity-risk-for-one-in-four-primary-one-kids/

    • Ray Purchase

      I did read it Ian – that’s how I know it’s completely irrelevant. Now you’ve produced a Telegraph article from 2008! So, just to be straight, your reasoning for easing the Coronavirus lockdown in 2020 is a 12 year old newspaper article about obesity? I don’t think that’s the real reason is it now? Could it be that you’re putting your political prejudices first again? Not that it matters of course.

      • Ian Tinkler

        Ray, regarding obesity, how can that be a political point of prejudice? This blog was originally about Excercise. Exercise and Obesity are linked to the survival of Covid19. My comment “This endless Scotish Lockdown will make matters far worse” could not be more pertinent.
        Now even the FMs most recent slight adjustments to lockdown only allow five-mile car run to a place to exercise. That does not get a Glaswegian far from the centre of Glasgow. It just does exactly the worst thing, concentrates people together in highly populated areas. The counterargument regards spreading the virus into new areas is fallacious. Just in case our FM had not noticed, the virus has already disseminated widely and in the great outdoors of Scotland Social Distancing is a lot easier than in Glasgow or any other city.

  23. Michael Inkster

    So, the death ratio in Scotland from Covid 19, according to the self-proclaimed STE(M?) expert is 259.7. That, I believe, is patently incorrect, not to mention entirely absurd, and would mean that 259.7 people from 1 person had died from the disease.

    As an analogy, based on a notional teeth count, if someone had, let’s say, ten teeth and subsequently had one removed then the ratio of teeth removed to those not having been removed would be 1/10, or 10%.

    The “survival ratio”, as someone referred to, ie the teeth remaining, is the remainder as a proportion of the whole, in other words 9 out of 10, or 90%, assuming that the dentist extracts within remit. The two equations are not inter-changeable.

    This, however, from the statistical and other real experts acknowledged in their fields is very interesting:


    • John Thomas

      A good point and as always I appreciate a good dental analogy to illustrate the difference between death and survival rates. I know here we like to fight tooth and nail about such things, but it is good to see someone ‘filling in’ the gaps here. And as for Mr. Tinkler, he certainly puts the effort in and even though we may disagree, it keeps things on here lively. He deserves a plaque.

    • Ian Tinkler

      Michael Inkster, Try 250.1 Decimal point one, not 250 to 1 . Actually maths was wrong recalculation above. Simples absurdly so, even if mental arithmetic was a little rusty first time round!!

  24. Ian Tinkler

    Michael Inkster, nothing in this presentation you reference contradicts any of my comments. Try the arguments from Lord Sumption. I do not necessarily agree with all he says but it is a lot less boring than your extraordinarily dull reference.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJPF5j129QQ

  25. Haydn Gear

    I read a well founded report yesterday that a well respected professor at Glasgow University believes that it is more than likely that Covid-19 will not be eradicated and will sink into human life in much the same way as flu has for many a long year.
    Since it appears to be much more virulent and deadly than flu the future would seem to be less than rosy. In fact, depressingly gloomy and all the statistical information so diligently presented will be consigned to no more than being purely academic and capable of making not a scrap of difference.

  26. David Spence

    I am more intrigued into the sources of 2 major viruses having a global impact from China, and what is the Chinese Government doing about the health and safety of food products and the, apparent, lack of any proper procedures in which to prevent further outbreaks?

    What is the WHO doing in regards to monitoring potential infections from China and/or limiting the movements of live animals in poorly developed hygiene conditions, allegedly?

    We hear the origins of such viruses, but no information regarding preventative measures taking place to restrict and confine such health hazards within an area and to stop this from spreading further afield?

    Why has there been no ban on the sale and transport of certain foods from China?

    Is the whole process of live animal meat production having to be totally reviewed by the Chinese government or is it a case of waiting until something even greater forces them to act?

    Should we enforce our own standards of Health and Safety onto other countries in terms of a trade agreement or should market forces have a free for all without any restrictions, including Health and Safety?

    Should this be reviewed?

  27. Ian Tinkler

    Michael Inkster, Mike Willison, My original maths was in error. The school was long ago. Will the SG apologies for this?
    How to distort the truth. Deliberate or just an accident?
    Official .gov.scot/publications. ( Scottish numbers: 21 May 2020) :
    TOTAL of 2,221 has died. What this does not make clear is that the figure of 2,221 is only those tested positive for covid19 were included. Carehome deaths were not tested in Scotland. Previous SG/SNP Governement policy!!
    Actual figures, National RecordsOffice for Scotland, Statistics 20 May 2020:
    TOTAL of 3546 . Have died.

    • Ian Tinkler

      JOSEPH NIVEN has hit the nail squarely on the head. The statistics are not clearly put and blaming one UK politician, BoJo or Sturgeon is wrong. The SNP and Torie parties pretty much followed identical policies until last week.

  28. Peter Hamilton

    If Ian imagines free education has eliminated inequalities of opportunity he is mistaken.

    • ian Tinkler

      inequalities of opportunity frequently come down to ambition. The opportunities are there for all, not everybody wishes to take them. Sure good sound parentage and background help promote ambition, but the old adage you can take a horse to water but!!! If you wish to destroy ambition, try extreme socialism. The good old USSR and present-day Venezuela give good examples.

      • Johan Adamson

        I don’t know where to start with this statement Ian, and I’m not sure it will make any difference to you if I do. There are multiple stories on just this very subject, but since you are not a big fan of the arts, you might not have read them, seen them or heard them. You can have ambition, and even a great education, but still be knocked back by the old boy network, or because you are not white or not male. These inequalities still exist. There are statistics to show that Eton boys get the top jobs still, and the only way to get a better leader for this country will be to do away with privilege and try to level the playing field. New Zealand for example have a great leader and it is refreshing to see someone lead who has her role on merit. I know nothing of the countries you mention but I am sure they still have ambitious and educated people despite your partisan viewpoint.

  29. Peter Hamilton

    Ian might as well say the poor are frequently to blame for their lot.

    Oil rich Norway does not tolerate UK levels of inequality. Neither do many other poprer countries.

    Quite what the USSR and Venesuala have got to do with it is likely apparent to Ian. Others will see their inclusion within what passes for his argument as a clear attempt at distraction.

    The possible impacts of being brought up in poverty by others who have had the same difficulties are many. The opportunities for such children are not easily compared to, say, those enjoyed by the young Boris Johnson.

    Ian is again indulging himself in victim blaming. UK policy has not set out to create level playing fields for socio-econmic participation. It should, but won’t for as long as “One Nation” English Conservatives like Boris Johnson continue to serve the interests of those of Ian Tinkler’s outlook over those of all.

    On 25th of May Ian described intergenerational deprivation as “relevant to Victorian times”. NY pretending ambition alone can help all children born into poverty to escape it Ian is demonstrating Victorian attitudes of his own. Seven year olds brought up in bedsits should choose better parental lifestyles.

  30. Ian Tinkler

    Johan, talk about daft digressions. My appreciation of the arts is hardly relevant here! What has NZ leadership have to do with exercise and obesity. The Eton Old Boy Network is about as applicable here, as Momentum Membership or Militant tendency. Perhaps the only real difference between Militant Tendency, Momentum, UK Socialism, and the Labour Party is that they are all but dead and buried, but BoJo’s Eton Old boy network appears live and kicking and power!!! (PS I did not go to Eton nor vote Torie)
    I was unaware; Thatcher, Blair, Cummings, Callahan, Wilson et all went to Eton. Mind you, Tony Ben, Sir Antony no less went to Westminster college!!!! Quite what that has to do “With the price of tea in China ” rather like your former comments, escapes me!

  31. Peter Hamilton

    Johan, Ian’s not just a contrarian, compelled to rile others, but does so to share his quite unpleasant world-view.

    He talks of intergenerational deprivation as being a “very trendy left-wing academic hypothesis, relevant to Victorian times” but it’s a known fact that many a bairn raised in poverty, enjoying few opportinities will go on to live in poverty and have few opportunities. If they become parents, the likelihood of their bairns being able to do better lessens generation by generation without purposeful government action designed to level the playing field.

    The concept used here is social mobility and many governments globally take pains to increase it. Where those with disadvantageous starts in life go on, on average, to do better than their parents, social mobility is high. Where their lot is likely to be fixed at birth social mobility is low. Scotland has a long running research project to monitor it.

    In addition to the factors you cite, cards can also firmly stacked against children raised by semi-literate, or drug dependent parents, or in situations of domestic violence or sexual violence as well as other non-lifestyle factors.

    Ian knows obesity can have complex causes, but doesn’t care. Its quite tragic.


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