Overheard a bloke in the pub this evening telling his girl that lower Glasgow life expectancy – 15 years less than the UK average – was traceable from grandparents through parents to children. I don’t know whether he was merely quoting this analysis, or actively wanting to promote it, and to my shame I bottled out of asking him, but if it’s being used as an explanation of Scottish disadvantage then it’s a pernicious interpretation. It means that lower life expectancy is genetic; it’s simply part of being Scottish. Scots come from lousy stock, there’s nothing they can do about it, and they obviously can’t run a country with these short life-spans hanging over them. “Too poor, too wee, too stupid and too short-lived.”
The study he was referring to seems to be this one. Its key sentence is:
Conclusions: Males and females in most of the larger ethnic minority groups in Scotland have longer life expectancies than the majority White Scottish population.
The alternative explanation, that Scottish health outcomes and life expectancies have been systematically bashed into the ground by centuries of English political orthodoxy and sycophantic Scottish governmental institutions, is widely judged correct, and gets an airing here.
You pays your money, you takes your choice. And then you does something about it.