‘Putting it bluntly, this kind of statistical amnesia will seem a little tawdry to anyone who invested belief and political capital in the First Minister’s approach.’ Our statistical expert ends the year of the pandemic as he began: savaging the misuse of data.
‘It’s right that we do not forget that the objective of protecting the NHS in Scotland resulted in people being denied essential care for non-COVID-19 conditions nor the mistakes made in respect of care homes…But the drawing of comparisons is not a political debating ploy. It is essential to our safety.’
On R numbers and more stats: ‘Government ministers who say they are just following the science are deceiving us and possibly themselves. It is their unenviable responsibility to weigh up advice, acknowledge the uncertainty and decide what we will do.’
In his latest piece, senior statistician James Urquhart, investigates how the UK Government uses UK data to buttress policy decisions for England and asks: manipulation or malfeasance…
‘The economic statistics published by the SG tend to pick out relevant data from UK-wide surveys and administrative data. This approach needs to change if Scotland is to generate a more reliable, relevant and holistic evidence base of its performance from which to base its future economic vision and objectives.’
‘Without fundamental change in the way we produce data in Scotland, we may find ourselves reheating old data to try to answer new policy questions’: the case for an independent Scottish Statistics Agency (Pt 1)