On security and surveillance trade-offs: ‘Even if the government is well intentioned, as many people doubtless think, are they competent to build a secure system? As the Scottish Government pauses for reflection, declining to adopt NHSX, we have an opportunity to ask these questions.’
‘As the inequalities in our economic system are laid bare by this crisis, rather than returning to business as usual, countries such as the UK would be well-served to instead build back better by creating a wellbeing economy.’
‘Our prime minister has discovered the hard way that cheery optimism alone will not protect us from this virus; the only certainty about the future is that it is uncertain. Bad things can, and do, happen. We are all ‘buffeted by events.’ I hope this reality check will extend to his view of Brexit.’
‘Science is a vital resource for modelling scenarios and developing medical and technical responses; but for many aspects of decision-making it is contested and uncertain. If we set our scientific advisors up to find policy solutions, we risk generating disillusionment with science, and, in the long term, further erosion of its authority.’
An open letter to Labour leader Keir Starmer and Scotland’s First Minister from a senior medical statistician urging at least a re-think of their refusal to break ranks with UK Government policy for containing/suppressing Covid-19.
‘While billions are being spent on our nuclear deterrent, British troops were deployed without adequate equipment, including body armour, in Iraq and Afghanistan. And now, in the midst of the pandemic, doctors, nurses, hospitals, and care home staff, are under-equipped.’
‘Perversely, in the wars evoked by politicians it was the flaming of youth untimely snuffed out. Such thoughts emerge from a new poem, written before the pandemic, the reflections of a man in his tenth decade, walking by the river near his home. And wondering…’
‘To counterbalance negativity, I suggest we also need to look towards the positives so that people can see what has been done, what is working and how things might look in the future if we encounter a second wave of the virus.’
Government could learn from local community enterprises responding with astonishing speed and efficiency to get help and food where it is needed most – including NHS staff on the frontline
The Scottish Government has yet another new group of economic advisers (on the recovery): it should think more about practical delivery of any new policy ideas, says FAI.