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Sturgeon, Johnson and the lack of evidenced-based policy

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When spread of Covid in the UK was at its peak in March, two days before Celtic were due to play in front of 50,000 at Ibrox, the SFA took a decision that should have come from Government – football at all levels would stop until they knew how to resume, without endangering the health of players and spectators.

During this period, government ministers and their public health advisors were still happy to send untested patients from hospitals with Covid infections to care homes, pubs and clubs were open, and trains were packed with commuters.  These were fatal errors, literally fatal.  When the next history of the SFA is written, the Association should get enormous credit that they took the painful steps necessary while governments in both Edinburgh and London froze.

Indoor social and entertainment venues, like pubs, are again open.  Outdoor venues, like football stadiums, with their easy to enforce social distancing measures and far lower risk of virus infection, remain closed. The same government ministers who were caught in the headlights in March, again appear incapable of acting in a coherent and evidence-led manner.

Opening pubs while keeping football stadiums closed has nothing to do with public health.  No evidence is offered to support this position because none exists.  It is a random and incongruous act from a government that knows it sat on its hands while football took painful but responsible steps in March, and which has transformed its stadiums in the subsequent months to make them fully compliant with government safety advice.

Only the Holyrood cabal know why they allow you to watch football at an indoor pub but not an outdoor stadium.  It is a terrible policy and shows that their Covid public health strategy remains an evidence-free lottery.

I can’t help but think we are in this mess because Boris Johnson is a disaster of a human being and Nicola Sturgeon’s personal best interests are served if she adopts close to, but not exactly the same as, his policies.

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  1. We won the first lockdown but no long term solution yet. Stay safe everyone. Hail Hail

  2. Paul 67,

     

     

    Great article and mirrors my views exactly.

     

     

    And yet numerous footie fans will have sore hands after clapping like seals.

     

     

    HH.

  3. prestonpans bhoys on

    I would suggest that the government does not trust fans, either football or whatever, to social distance properly. I certainly wouldn’t be happy going into a stadium with current infection rate.

     

     

    Oh btw that last paragraph, did Jackson from the DR crayon it for you😱😵

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    HWG TIAR

  5. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    If and when we get back where are we going to park our cars?

     

    Hearing London Road has been made into cycle lanes meaning cars can no longer park there on match days ..

  6. Pingback: Sturgeon, Johnson and the lack of evidenced-based policy Paul67 - Celtic FC News Aggregation

  7. I think you are overstating the case, Paul67. A few thousand at Celtic Park might be able to socially distance but a full house: no way.

     

     

    By the way, a lot of (necessary) work must have been done to bring the toilets in the North Stand up to scratch, never mind comply with the current situation.

  8. Lisbon Lions Upper on

    The problem is there is little robust evidence for many of the decisions made. The scientists themselves rarely come to a collective agreement. It’s more interpretational rather than categorical.

     

     

    The best way I had many of these apparent contradictions explained to me was that it was about choice. Essentially anything you open up carries an incremental risk, therefore the more you open, the more risk accumulates. So you need to decide how much risk you’re prepared to accept, and from there decide what that risk will be made up of.

     

     

    It’s easy to say why are the pubs open and not other things eg football stadia, but part of that is the economic and jobs aspect, not pubs per se. I accept there are obviously the same issues in football, therefore it’s down to choice.

  9. Neustadt-Braw on

    sad to think if Labour had not joined with the Tories to stab Scotland in the back ……

     

     

    Scotland would have been in the position of disregarding Westminster policy …..

     

     

    smiley but the Queen stands tall thing

     

     

    Saor Alba

     

     

    Braw

  10. Buddy Morrisey on

    The measure of lack of leadership and effective decision-making from Scottish Government was that they were prepared for The Rangers Celtic game to go ahead on 15th March. Any organisation that is behind the SFA in terms of leadership isn’t doing so well. Even the day after the cancelled game Scottish Government officials were saying no problem with mass gatherings. It is noticeable that the countries with highest death rates across the world are led by nationalists or Nationalists.

  11. Buddy Morrisey on

    In terms of being responsible for policy for closing borders, social care, national health service and schools closing and reopening – all of these are in the power of the Scottish Government. No need to stick close to Westminster policy but Holyrood government did.

  12. Was anybody out in busy pubs at the weekend?

     

    It’s virtually impossible to apply social distancing in the toilets.

     

    And as some senior policeman recently stated :- ” It’s crystal clear, drunk people can not socially distance”

     

     

    Its just not logical to keep our stadiums closed.

     

     

    HH.

  13. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Pubs hold a couple of hundred people not tens of thousands

  14. I love Celtic to bits and cannot wait to get back into the stadium to watch them – but I won’t jeopardise my health or anyone else’s health to do it. Allowing large crowds into football stadia is a recipe for disaster. Allowing large numbers of people into pubs to watch football is a recipe for disaster too. Neither are right. I won’t be returning to Celtic Park until there is a vaccine or until it has been proven that it is safe to do so.

  15. ‘Outdoor venues, like football stadiums’

     

     

     

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    If football stadiums were outdoor venues you’d be allowed to smoke in them.

  16. BLANTYRETIM IS PRAYING FOR THE KNOX FAMILY on 20TH JULY 2020 11:39 AM

     

    ‘Pubs hold a couple of hundred people not tens of thousands’

     

     

     

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    They also draw their clientele from a comparatively small geographical area.

     

     

    CP, not so much.

  17. “…..while football took painful but responsible steps in March, and which has transformed its stadiums in the subsequent months to make them fully compliant with government safety advice.”

     

     

    Really? Any evidence of that? Maybe Celtic should be putting out one of those ‘behind the scenes’ films showing how safe the stadium is and how many could be safely accommodated whilst also being trusted to socially distance, take time going in and out, following stewards advice (ha!), washing their hands for 20 seconds in hot water(ha!) after their half time visit, etc…

  18. NEUSTADT-BRAW on 20TH JULY 2020 11:26 AM

     

     

     

    Did you clap for Nicola last night?

  19. Lisbon Lions Upper

     

     

    The best way I had many of these apparent contradictions explained to me was that it was about choice. Essentially anything you open up carries an incremental risk, therefore the more you open, the more risk accumulates. So you need to decide how much risk you’re prepared to accept, and from there decide what that risk will be made up of.

     

    …………………………………………………

     

     

    I share this view. It is about risk. Going to a packed stadium is a risk I’m not prepared to take.

  20. Goodness me, what a controversial article!

     

     

    Well, replies should be fun. No disagreements or fallouts today, I imagine.

  21. “Outdoor venues, like football stadiums, with their easy to enforce social distancing measures“

     

    Obviously been a long time since you tried to leave the North Stand Paul.

     

     

    QF

  22. I was unable to see Sorro play?

     

     

    High Hopes he could take over frae Broonie (that position he plays)…. IMO he needs to have the attitude of Retiring him Now.

     

     

    Big Balls.csc

  23. If CP opens it should be with one category of seats. No directors boxes, no screened off areas, no special facilities and amenities. In through the turnstiles, across the concourses, up the steps and into a seat.

     

     

    If there’s a risk to public health let everyone share it equally.

  24. Petec 11.31am

     

     

    Cheers

     

     

    Wee Nicola hit the big 50 yesterday as well … without going into politics my 11yr old daughter & her pals on “Snapchat” (???) all love the Sturgeon .. COVID-19 has been horrible from a very personable point … but like her or loathe her the first minister has gathered many young followers …

     

     

    Back to the fitba … has big Fraser signed yet ??? Got a feeling Elyounoussi will be player of the year 20/21 … you read it here first :-)

  25. I think we have an absolute Belter of a player in Hatem. He will be a Massive player, IMO, as Celtic go for 10 in a row.

     

     

    And hopefully European silverware.

  26. From a non political viewpoint I think the powers that be messed up big time at the onset of Covid 19. But it is indicative of todays “me first” attitude where people only care for themselves. Sad but true.. Initially it was stated that wearing a mask does not protect the wearer, but others the wearer contacts. So, me first, ” I don’t give a fu## about any one else, as long as I’m OK. But if compulsory wearing of masks when out doors was the order of the day in March then I am convinced the number of deaths would have been a lot, lot less.

     

    But what do I know.

     

     

    KINGLuBO

  27. Gerry,

     

     

    I’d take any Euro Trophy over getting 10. All ridiculous hypothetical nonsense obviously. 😁

     

     

    I Reckon Celtic is lined up for a very special Season. The newco Rangers are getting stronger and better every Season.

  28. Buddy Morrisey on

    GFTB 12:04

     

     

    The FM’s preference in her politics for young over old has been exemplified during the pandemic.

  29. Delaneys Dunky on

    GFTB

     

    I will make two predictions for season 20/21.

     

    Moi Elyounoussi to be SPFL Player of the year, and Marcelo Bielsa to be EPL Manager of the year. Looking forward to Leeds United/Celtic winning their respective leagues in 2021. 😊👍

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