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:
- Free bus pass for the over 60s
- Free care for the elderly
- Superior NHS
- Free HE tuition
- More GPs per head of population
- Compensation for the bedroom tax
- Stronger fire and flood safety regulations
- Less child poverty
- Lower stillbirths and early deaths
- Better police/Muslim community relations
- No junior doctor strikes
- 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.