jump to navigation

North/South divergence… April 3, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Thought Newton Emerson’s piece here was rather problematic. He attempts yet again to downplay the clear divergence between medical opinion globally and that of the UK, and indeed the continuing divergence, albeit to a somewhat lesser degree of that state as the crisis progresses. This divergence has been noted and criticised by the Guardian, medical bodies in the UK and New Scientist.

Emerson ignores the reality of the approach the ROI is taking by writing:

The Irish Government is following a South Korean model of testing, tracing and isolation to suppress cases.

As one comment BTL on the article noted it is not a ‘South Korean’ model, but a WHO model. Strangely Emerson does not mention the WHO once in the piece.

Indeed he writes;

Of course, matters are messier behind the scenes. Republican attacks on Alliance for agreeing with unionist parties have been particularly cynical. However, Sinn Féin cannot walk out of the Executive during this crisis, as such an abandonment would play badly north and south. The DUP does not care if Sinn Féin agrees with it as long as it does not halt Executive business. So both parties have created an informal dissent mechanism that would be considered a miracle of the peace process in any other context.

Why is it wrong for Sinn Féin to ‘attack’, or perhaps more accurately criticise Alliance when Alliance has locked in with prevailing Unionist political approaches to this? And then there’s this:

Differences between the parties have to date been relatively harmless.
School closures were a marginal decision and other lockdown measures were introduced almost simultaneously on both sides of the Border.

No one can seriously argue that school closures are a ‘marginal’ decision. They’re actually key to containing the virus. And somehow Emerson can find it possible to write the following:

The risk of North and South “contaminating” each other looks overdone. Both are on lockdown, Northern Ireland is receiving only one commercial flight a week and nobody in the Republic can go 2km beyond their home. However, North and South have been set on different trajectories and inevitable differences in mortality figures are already being seized on, highlighted and in some cases exploited. If statistics diverge significantly, even for a brief period, there will be enormous political tension.

Exploited is a very loaded term indeed. Not good to see it used in this context. At one time no doubt some of this would be heading for the Sunday Statement category, but the situation is now so serious that that is inappropriate.

Worth keeping in mind that health is a devolved issue. There’s no onus on Stormont to follow the British approach, indeed one can see how in Scotland there have been some divergences from the British approach.


1. shea - April 3, 2020

what are the differences.

the contact tracing?

manner in which Testing is done?

Has Britain attempted to build up a reserve of health workers or is that not an issue?

sourcing? They didn’t take part in some EU procurement effort? is that outdated or still an issue.

That agreement between north and south. Whats the extent of it. Do they start doing the contact tracing?

The precieved wisdom on whatsapp, don’t get out anymore, is that england left it to late. That england is going to be in trouble. What about the north in that, the same?

Again that agreement with the north and south god forbid its needed but if it is, its a given that if they reach max capacity and we have space that patients are transferred or machines sent up?

The irish times and RTE seem to be presenting this story in a balanced way, that the DUP have their issues and SF have there issues but are people keeping an eye on this?

Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: