We will find out later today if the Scottish Government will cancel major events from Boxing Day. Under consideration are street parties, including Hogmanay celebrations, concerts and football games. Yesterday, the Welsh Government stumped up millions of pounds of public money to compensate for forcing major events behind closed doors from the same date.
As always, we should be led by the science. As usual, the politicians seldom are. Current infection rates in Scotland and Wales show no increase from recent months. Of the UK regions, only London has seen an uptick, dramatically so. Things may get worse, but the indicators are not there yet, either for infections, hospitalisations or worse.
In the second half of 2020 we saw the ridiculous consequences of playing games behind closed doors, with fans watching in crowded pubs and each other’s homes. Massive open-air, policed, stadiums were forgone for unsupervised indoor venues.
Scotland saw an uptick in infections when we gathered indoors to watch the Euros, there was no parallel impact from the return to open-air stadiums. “Follow the science,” tells us how dangerous unventilated spaces are compared to the open air.
The Welsh Government are not following science. They are spending money they did not raise because they feel the need to act.
Football fans in Scotland attend after showing a passport. This incentivised them to do the right thing, thousands of us signed up for the passport for only this purpose. The Scottish Government have other steps to mitigate risk, specifically inhibiting public transport, where the science is clear and understood.
What will the Scottish Government choose, unsupervised indoor gatherings, or well-policed open-air events? If only they were actually led by the science.
Other priorities today, but Sports Direct continued to ragdoll Newco in the courts yesterday, winning a judgement Castore sales figures should be revealed to them as part of their claim against the Ibrox club for failing to fulfil their rights to match a subsequent kit deal.
It is quite ironic that the commercial benefit from the splurge in tatty shirt sales following the Castore deal will be assessed by a court and due to be paid by the club to Sports Direct. Is it really that difficult to get this stuff right?