Organ donor registration in Scotland is 37% higher than in England. Does it mean something more?


From the Scottish Government website yesterday:

‘More people than ever are signed up to the Organ Donor Register in Scotland, latest figures show. In 2018, there were 148,000 new registrations from people willing to be organ donors. And the new registrations mean that the total number of people registered in Scotland has risen to a record high of almost 2.8 million – or 51.7% of Scotland’s population.’

The Scottish Government site politely makes no comparison with the non-Scottish parts of the UK, but I am less restrained and have an agenda. In particular, I want to use this data to return to the theme of ‘difference’ – Is Scotland measurably different in terms of dominant values and in terms of political actions manifesting those values? Of course, that there might be a measurable difference of this kind, is not necessary for us to want to be independent, but if true it does add something to the case.

The figure for England is up from 35 to 38%. For Northern Ireland it is up from 39 to 45% and for Wales it is up from 37 to 41%.

The gap of 14% (38% to nearly 52%) between England and Scotland is significant. The Scottish figure is thus 36.8% higher!

That we have the highest voluntary donor rate made me think. Our media and political elites are always keen to tell us we’re not so different from our neighbours in England and I do recognise we’re not radically different in that there are selfish individualists here and caring communitarians there but that doesn’t mean the countries are not still different enough in overall tendencies to be seen as worthy of autonomy from each other. I’m thinking of little things that all add up to make us less like England than we’re told. Look at this:

  1. Free bus pass for the over 60s
  2. Free care for the elderly
  3. Superior NHS
  4. Free HE tuition
  5. More GPs per head of population
  6. Compensation for the bedroom tax
  7. Stronger fire and flood safety regulations
  8. Less child poverty
  9. Lower stillbirths and early deaths
  10. Better police/Muslim community relations
  11. No junior doctor strikes
  12. Tories who support the winter heating allowance!

Don’t these add up to evidence of the dominance of a more caring communitarian set of values even in our Tories? If you need the evidence for the above, search my site. It’s all there.

Footnote: The figures for England seem likely to have been affected by the larger BAME population there. Black and Asian donors made up only 4% of the total in 2017/18 yet were 13% of the (UK) population at the 2011 census.


6 thoughts on “Organ donor registration in Scotland is 37% higher than in England. Does it mean something more?

  1. Alasdair Macdonald December 28, 2018 / 10:30 am

    There could be the makings of a Monty Python sketch in these data –

    Iain Gray character: “What did the Scottish Government ever do for us?”
    Professor Robertson – “mair organ donors, free personal care, etc…..”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fred December 28, 2018 / 1:53 pm

    1) think English have free bus passes for over 65 or 70 so just a difference in degree
    2) granted although unless it’s changed it doesnt mean free old folks home
    3) 5) and 9) are all really one thing and 11) is strongly linked
    4) achieved by reducing FE. Not saying it’s wrong just not as clear as it first seems
    6) and 8) granted but really that proves government success rather than different values. Until social housing gains greater liquidity it is unfair to penalise people because they have rooms they no longer use.
    7) ok -can give you but again all it really shows is government are happy to regulate not that builders or public are significantly different in attitude to our neighbours.
    10) I don’t know enough to comment about any Muslim/police relations suffice it to say I am unaware of major problems in that area down south
    12) Conservative voters in Scotland tend to be older and more rural so the loss of WFA would disproportionately harm them so nothing more than blatant politicking.
    In essence nothing in your list really proves a difference other than the SNP probably run Scotland better than the Tories do the U.K. as a whole


    • Jon December 28, 2018 / 5:02 pm

      Don’t want to disturb your world view too much Fred. Scots deciding to carry donor cards is not something forced on them by a government. It’s a personal decision taken by individuals in either country. Nothing to do with how well a government carries out its business.

      Liked by 1 person

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