Last week a few newspapers and online media outlets ran a story about how Scotland had plummeted down the Wellbeing Index and was in line with Estonia and other ex-soviet states.
As usual, I did some digging, and as usual, the image portrayed is wrong and mis-leading.
Just as with the PISA scores that I wrote about, found here, the media has a good ability at being able to put out an image of Scotland, and its left to people like me to refute it and prove it wrong – something, I must say the SNP and/or Scottish Government must be doing…
The contents of this blog post are sourced from the links below.
One of the main headlines was – (Daily Express)
Nicola Sturgeon crisis as Scotland PLUMMETS down world rankings since devolution
This headline is both wrong and subliminal. They are stating that Scotland’s world ranking (in something) has plummeted and its since devolution. Well firstly, the SNP has only been in government for 10 out of the 20 years – do why is it only Nicola Sturgeon? Secondly, what they are doing is trying to foster a mindset that devolution has/is failing. We all know why they are doing this, but it doesn’t take away from the manipulation at hand. This was not just the Daily express doing this…check Google for more sources if you please.
Looking at the regional breakdown, because that’s all we can do as the OECD member is the UK. Here is what I found.
As you can see from the above chart, Scotland, on a Regional basis ranks an average score of 4.6 across all measurables taken into account. That places it joint 4th across the whole of the UK, with South West England (1st), South East England (2nd), East of England (3rd), Scotland and East Midlands (4th).
On a country average, Scotland is ranked number 1 and the best, by a considerable margin. Scotland (1st), England (2nd), Wales (3rd) and Northern Ireland (4th).
So, the headline and the story released is completely false and very dangerous in portraying a Scotland that doesn’t exist.
On top of this, Scotland ranks best in the UK for Civic Engagement, Community and Life Satisfaction and has Access to Services, Education, Jobs, Environment and Income in the top 50% of the whole of the UK.
Now, the other part of this story was comparing Scotland (and specifically the SNP) to ex-soviet states and how they are perceived in the public eye. So how did Scotland do against a select few? Lets look at Estonia, Slovakia and Slovenia.
As you can see from image one, when we look at the actual scoring in each measurable as an achievement based on the indicators of each measurable, Scotland scores an average 81.1 out of 100. The rankings, against the ex-soviet states are Scotland (1st), Estonia (2nd), Slovenia (3rd) and Slovakia (4th). Furthermore, Scotlands 81.1 wasn’t even touched by any of Estonias 5 regions (highest 61.8), Slovenia’s 2 regions (highest 65.1) or Slovakia’s 4 regions (63.8). So again, the headline and the push from the media is a lie.
Furthermore, I looked at the actual scoring in each measurable as an achievement based on the indicators of each measurable and compared Scotland against England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Below is that chart.
As you will see, Scotland achieved 81.1 (1st), England 80.3 (2nd), Wales 78 (3rd) and Northern Ireland 75.9 (4th).
So not only does Scotland rank higher across its official ranking position within the UK than any other home nation, but it also ranks higher than any other home nation when measuring the actual scoring based on the indicators.
That’s 3 out of 3 for Scotland, yet you’d be led to believe that…
- We were worse than England – WRONG
- Worse than Ex-Soviet states, and
- That devolution had failed us.
Well, I have news for you, Scotland is performing better than every country in the UK, and the ex-soviet states I had time to look at (and mentioned in articles) and we are doing it with one arm tied behind our backs.
Devolution isn’t failing us, its benefitting us and when its gone, we will be far worse off without it – we might even be performing as badly as England currently does.