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Thread: Baby boxes

  1. #1
    @hibs.net private member lord bunberry's Avatar
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    Baby boxes

    I must say that I find all the attempts to claim this is somehow dangerous pretty unpalatable. Fair enough if you don’t agree with it, but when we have the sun setting fire to one and the tories wheeling out some obscure supposed expert to say it increases the chances of cot death, it’s taking things too far. It reminds me of the MMR scare. These boxes have been proven to have passed all safety tests.
    Pretty shameful politics imo.

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    Yeah shock horror cardboard box goes up in flames when set on fire.

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    @hibs.net private member CropleyWasGod's Avatar
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    Finland has had baby boxes for 75 years.

    What's their experience of their causing cot death?

    Sent from my SM-A510F using Tapatalk

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    @hibs.net private member lord bunberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hibs#1 View Post
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    Yeah shock horror cardboard box goes up in flames when set on fire.
    I believe they use these boxes in Finland which has a very low rate of cot deaths. When my daughter came home we put her in a Moses Basket in the same room as us when we slept. In the event of a fire smoke inhalation would’ve been a much bigger issue than anything in the room going on fire. It’s pretty pathetic scaremongering.

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    @hibs.net private member lord bunberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CropleyWasGod View Post
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    Finland has had baby boxes for 75 years.

    What's their experience of their causing cot death?

    Sent from my SM-A510F using Tapatalk
    You beat me to it. I understand that political parties don’t want to congratulate each other on policy decisions, but this is scraping the barrel.

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    @hibs.net private member speedy_gonzales's Avatar
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    I haven't read or seen anything about the boxes catching fire, but they're made of a combustible material, what would folk expect? They're surely no more flammable than a traditional moses basket made of reeds/straw? You have to assume parents are smart enough not to leave them near sources of heat etc!


    Re the "expert", I did come across a couple of articles and perhaps it is my ignorance but I didn't realise it was the Tories that wheeled out some obscure expert. The way I read it he (Dr Blair - chair of the International Society for the Study and Prevention of Perinatal and Infant Death) was suggesting the box would be handy for a baby to sleep in had they fell asleep suddenly but advises the government to stop advocating the box as the "default" sleeping place. This is also the advice of an England charity raising awareness of SIDS (Lullabye?)
    Some media are even quoting "Finland" wading in to the argument (don't know if it's the whole country, a health minister or just a guy on the street called Mixu) and they are challenging the government (ours) claim that the boxes reduce infant mortality. Instead, Finland (again, who?) is suggesting their baby box program started at the same time as national pre-natal care started (70+ years ago).
    Re safety tests, again if the media are to be believed, there is no specific safety test (EN, BSI etc) for baby boxes but they were tested against existing cot/crib standards and passed.

    Definitely political point scoring going on here, I'm sure we don't expect anything less but this is about the premature, unrealised ambitions of our young potential citizens here, if anyone out there has actually experienced a SIDS or cot death I'm sure you'd agree it's in poor taste for EITHER side of the argument to spar over the safety when they seem to be neither safe(r) nor unsafe. The point, as others have so eloquently posted here before, is that EVERY child is treated as an equal in this country on their birthday.

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    @hibs.net private member speedy_gonzales's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CropleyWasGod View Post
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    Finland has had baby boxes for 75 years.

    What's their experience of their causing cot death?

    Sent from my SM-A510F using Tapatalk
    After a sudden increase (compared to european neighbours) in cot death in the early 40's, the Finns introduced the boxes along with enhanced pre-natal care, initially there was a steep downward trend in SIDS until the 60's whereby it remained lower than the neighbours (including the UK) but ran parallel with the steady downward trend by most developed countries as general awareness, support and health improves over the decades. The boxes themselves do not explain this but the additional support and care rolled out with them must surely contribute to the stats?

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    @hibs.net private member lord bunberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedy_gonzales View Post
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    I haven't read or seen anything about the boxes catching fire, but they're made of a combustible material, what would folk expect? They're surely no more flammable than a traditional moses basket made of reeds/straw? You have to assume parents are smart enough not to leave them near sources of heat etc!


    Re the "expert", I did come across a couple of articles and perhaps it is my ignorance but I didn't realise it was the Tories that wheeled out some obscure expert. The way I read it he (Dr Blair - chair of the International Society for the Study and Prevention of Perinatal and Infant Death) was suggesting the box would be handy for a baby to sleep in had they fell asleep suddenly but advises the government to stop advocating the box as the "default" sleeping place. This is also the advice of an England charity raising awareness of SIDS (Lullabye?)
    Some media are even quoting "Finland" wading in to the argument (don't know if it's the whole country, a health minister or just a guy on the street called Mixu) and they are challenging the government (ours) claim that the boxes reduce infant mortality. Instead, Finland (again, who?) is suggesting their baby box program started at the same time as national pre-natal care started (70+ years ago).
    Re safety tests, again if the media are to be believed, there is no specific safety test (EN, BSI etc) for baby boxes but they were tested against existing cot/crib standards and passed.

    Definitely political point scoring going on here, I'm sure we don't expect anything less but this is about the premature, unrealised ambitions of our young potential citizens here, if anyone out there has actually experienced a SIDS or cot death I'm sure you'd agree it's in poor taste for EITHER side of the argument to spar over the safety when they seem to be neither safe(r) nor unsafe. The point, as others have so eloquently posted here before, is that EVERY child is treated as an equal in this country on their birthday.
    You’re correct about the report by Dr Blair. I was incorrect to say he was some obscure expert. I was getting two aspects of the story mixed up. He’s since come out and denied he was saying that the boxes were in any way unsafe. He was only giving practical advice to parents. It has been the tories and the press that have twisted his words.

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  10. #9
    I didn't use the box for my baby to sleep in as we had a Moses basket. I would have had no hesitation in doing so though if I had needed to.

    I was a bit sceptical about the baby boxes but they are fantastic and give every child the very basics at the start of their life; setting fire to one or making claims about cot death that are, at best, disputed is a pretty despicable way to play politics. I include both sides in my last point.

  11. #10
    @hibs.net private member lord bunberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pretty Boy View Post
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    I didn't use the box for my baby to sleep in as we had a Moses basket. I would have had no hesitation in doing so though if I had needed to.

    I was a bit sceptical about the baby boxes but they are fantastic and give every child the very basics at the start of their life; setting fire to one or making claims about cot death that are, at best, disputed is a pretty despicable way to play politics.
    I think that will be the experience for most families. For parents who don’t have the money to buy things like a Moses basket, the box will be a much better option than what they would have had to make do with previously.

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  12. #11
    Coaching Staff Smartie's Avatar
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    We got one when my daughter was born a couple of months ago - and I think they are absolutely fantastic.

    The generosity of friends and family has bowled us over and we would have been able to cope without it, but we've used practically everything except the box itself.

    I realise the tough start that some folk have in life, and can see that the box will be absolutely invaluable to some people and it will benefit us all to have the poorest amongst us helped out in this way.

    I'm baffled by the criticism of them, and find the pointless point-scoring over this despicable. Everyone knows that a cardboard box is likely to go up in flames if you set fire to it. If the fears were sensible then I'd take them on board, but I'd be appalled if people were to be deprived of something we've found to be very useful over such nonsense.

  13. #12
    @hibs.net private member ronaldo7's Avatar
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    https://t.co/EjDN785nQu

    The link makes for interesting reading, and kind of puts the Guardian journo in his place.

    This is the Sun "Expert", Ryan Sommerville, at work. They sure can pick them.

    https://t.co/ZKRmNqbk6y

    And for any new parents out there, please don't let your baby smoke, in or beside your baby box.
    Last edited by ronaldo7; 05-05-2018 at 07:20 AM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by CropleyWasGod View Post
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    Finland has had baby boxes for 75 years.

    What's their experience of their causing cot death?

    Sent from my SM-A510F using Tapatalk
    I think this is the point - the SG claimed as justification for baby boxes, that evidence from finland showed they reduced cot deaths and improved safety.

    The Finnish agency has apparently noe come out and claimed that there is no empirical evidemce in finland that ahows this.

    Tge SG have now begun furiously backtracking, with the FMs spokesman claiming no minister has said that since they were inrtroduced. Weasal words, as many did i believe, say it to justify the policy.

    Apparently they also dont meet the safety requirements for cots or cribs, but do for toys?

    These bloidy boxes have become so totemic that both pro and anti snp sides have eleveated them - im quite happy to wait and see if they work or not, and in a few years we will be able to see whether cot deaths have reduced or not in Scotland.

    Personally wr habent taken them, because we can clothe and provide for our own child, and dont really see that as a job for the govt - but if they sace lives, then its a good policy, if it doesnt, its not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthsideHarp_Bhoy View Post
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    I think this is the point - the SG claimed as justification for baby boxes, that evidence from finland showed they reduced cot deaths and improved safety.

    The Finnish agency has apparently noe come out and claimed that there is no empirical evidemce in finland that ahows this.

    Tge SG have now begun furiously backtracking, with the FMs spokesman claiming no minister has said that since they were inrtroduced. Weasal words, as many did i believe, say it to justify the policy.

    Apparently they also dont meet the safety requirements for cots or cribs, but do for toys?

    These bloidy boxes have become so totemic that both pro and anti snp sides have eleveated them - im quite happy to wait and see if they work or not, and in a few years we will be able to see whether cot deaths have reduced or not in Scotland.

    Personally wr habent taken them, because we can clothe and provide for our own child, and dont really see that as a job for the govt - but if they sace lives, then its a good policy, if it doesnt, its not.
    A fair summation. The box was politicised, mainly but not totally, by he complete over egging of the initiative.

    The reduction in cot deaths was mentioned repeatedly by the proponents of the box despite there being plenty of narrative available that there was no measurable direct link to such claims. The safety standards were also over egged when in reality most folk will understand that it’s a box.

    The response however has also been similarly over the top and with no discernible objective but to gain political points. So here we are, our senior politicians and MSM squabbling over a box. Not a pretty advert for Scottish politics from either side.

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    @hibs.net private member lord bunberry's Avatar
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    I see some councils in England have started issuing them as well. It’s a box full of stuff that new parents might find useful. In the unlikely event that you don’t have anywhere for your new baby to sleep, they can sleep in the box. That’s all it is, that’s all it should be marketed as.
    In my view it’s a good thing, and I’ve never been able to understand the opposition to it.

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  17. #16
    @hibs.net private member ronaldo7's Avatar
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    It's a ***** cardboard box, you'd think it was an extension to the hoose the way some have regurgitated old news, this week.


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    Coaching Staff One Day Soon's Avatar
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    I thought both the claims of combustible baby boxes by the Tories and Sturgeon's rape clause response were pretty grim. But the quality of our political discourse now is so devalued in the UK and Scotland that it's just depressingly unsurprising.

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    @hibs.net private member McD's Avatar
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    It’s another example of how politics seems to have gone in most parts of Britain.

    no one says “vote for us/me because of my progressive, forward thinking policies”, they all seem to say “vote for me because they’re worse than us”.

    A good politician should be able to debate their policy etc sensibly, and be able to debate someone else’s policy. Done well, from any view of the political spectrum, should leave the electorate with a reasonable idea of the policy’s pro’s and con’s. For the last while, it’s all been about point scoring and whataboutery.

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by SouthsideHarp_Bhoy View Post
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    I think this is the point - the SG claimed as justification for baby boxes, that evidence from finland showed they reduced cot deaths and improved safety.

    The Finnish agency has apparently noe come out and claimed that there is no empirical evidemce in finland that ahows this.

    Tge SG have now begun furiously backtracking, with the FMs spokesman claiming no minister has said that since they were inrtroduced. Weasal words, as many did i believe, say it to justify the policy.

    Apparently they also dont meet the safety requirements for cots or cribs, but do for toys?

    These bloidy boxes have become so totemic that both pro and anti snp sides have eleveated them - im quite happy to wait and see if they work or not, and in a few years we will be able to see whether cot deaths have reduced or not in Scotland.

    Personally wr habent taken them, because we can clothe and provide for our own child, and dont really see that as a job for the govt - but if they sace lives, then its a good policy, if it doesnt, its not.
    I think your last sentence is a bit overly simplistic. Even if they don’t save lives, this is a package of things which help new parents give their child a healthy start to life. Including things they may not have otherwise afforded or known to buy. Helping them to be informed and start some good habits. Surely that can only be a good thing?

    Like you, I didn’t take a box as we didn’t need one. But not everyone has the luxury of thinking this isn’t a matter for government - what’s the downside to giving people the option to take the package?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Durden View Post
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    I think your last sentence is a bit overly simplistic. Even if they don’t save lives, this is a package of things which help new parents give their child a healthy start to life. Including things they may not have otherwise afforded or known to buy. Helping them to be informed and start some good habits. Surely that can only be a good thing?

    Like you, I didn’t take a box as we didn’t need one. But not everyone has the luxury of thinking this isn’t a matter for government - what’s the downside to giving people the option to take the package?

    Fair point, i was thinking in terms of the push to reduce cot deaths, which i think was the point of introducing them. But yeah, in a wider context, they may well have a more useful purpose, so i take your point.

    Tge problem for the govt is that they are at risk of appearing to be moving the goalposts as their previous rationale unravels.

    But of course people like free stuff, and i wouldnt have been spitting mad had my wife taken it (my wife didny take it when asked by midwife).

    Regardless of how we measure the success of this policy, it will take a few years for it to be known, so both sides should stop claiming things that they cant possibly know yet.

    The SG are trying something, and while they may have been caught out a bit politically, the policy may still be successful - we all just have to wait and see imo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Durden View Post
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    I think your last sentence is a bit overly simplistic. Even if they don’t save lives, this is a package of things which help new parents give their child a healthy start to life. Including things they may not have otherwise afforded or known to buy. Helping them to be informed and start some good habits. Surely that can only be a good thing?

    Like you, I didn’t take a box as we didn’t need one. But not everyone has the luxury of thinking this isn’t a matter for government - what’s the downside to giving people the option to take the package?
    I suppose the downside is that in a system where money is finite and insufficient, spending it on people who don't need it isn't getting best value for your resources. I can understand why people like them, but I wonder if the government's objectives would have been better met by targeted interventions / better support for those who need it. Passing on healthcare info to expectant and new mums isn't a new thing; they used to put it in the Bounty Packs that you got given by health visitors and by your maternity unit. The main difference seems to be that you get better stuff with it, and the government is paying for it where it used to be commercial. I'm not violently opposed to them, but I wonder if there's healthcare professionals working with vulnerable and at-risk groups, struggling to meet needs in underfunded clinics or outreach initiatives, thinking that they could have done with a bit of that money for extra personnel and facilities.

  23. #22
    I think the opposition to the boxes can be summed up as "****ing ESSSS NNNNN PPPPPPP"

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    Seems like a good summary of the whole thing to me, from the Guardian -

    The SNP has caused its own baby box blues
    The party’s defensive dismissal of expert safety concerns shows how emotion can take over public discourse


    If the cardboard baby boxes given out to tens of thousands of new mothers in Scotland are emblematic of the SNP’s commitment to eradicating social inequality, then the response to concerns raised over their safety is an indictment of the way it handles criticism – a testament to the evidence-free nature of much modern politics. Though the welfare of infants is at the heart of the party’s flagship policy, the claim by the cot death expert Dr Peter Blair that the Scottish government should not be promoting the boxes to be routinely used as cribs was met not with an open mind, but with a defensiveness bordering on contempt.

    While the first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, took to social media to criticise the Guardian’s coverage, her supporters openly mocked Blair – the chairman of the International Society for the Study and Prevention of Perinatal and Infant Death – for suggesting the boxes’ high sides and potential flammability meant babies should sleep in them only when there was no viable alternative.

    The same dismissive attitude was on display when the party was challenged over its insistence that baby boxes were instrumental in reducing infant mortality in Finland (a claim for which there is no empirical evidence). Instead of accepting that her government had overplayed its hand, Sturgeon went on the attack, accusing reporters of conflating sudden infant death syndrome (Sids) and infant mortality. Even when Kela, the Finnish welfare and benefits agency that administers the scheme, confirmed there was no data on the impact of baby boxes on infant mortality, the SNP refused to back down.

    One of the most pernicious features of last week’s furore was the portrayal of all those who expressed reservations about the policy as cynical and politically motivated. The assumption appears to be that because the baby boxes – with their nappies and scratch mittens and cute little rompers – are “cuddly” or heart-warming, they ought to be exempt from scrutiny. And yet, as anyone who has ever bought a Moses basket, or a cot or pram, knows, other receptacles in which you place a newborn have to comply with rigorous safety standards. It is not the Scottish government’s fault that no officially recognised standards yet exist for baby boxes; but ridiculing the idea that unlaminated cardboard might catch fire more easily than other materials, and accusing your critics of scaremongering, is unlikely to provide public reassurance.

    ‘What Dr Peter Blair challenged was the assertion that they were as safe or safer than cots or Moses baskets.’
    ‘What Dr Peter Blair challenged was the assertion that they were as safe or safer than cots or Moses baskets.’

    Equally, the fact the Scottish Tories are exploiting Blair’s concerns to their own ends – or that the Sun turned them into a cheap tabloid stunt – must be frustrating, but it does not make those concerns any less legitimate.

    There are, of course, many plus sides to the SNP policy. As a statement of aspiration – that every child is equally cherished by the state – it is pitch-perfect. It helps vulnerable women feel valued, and creates a sense of social cohesion. Some of the goods the boxes contain – such as nursing pads and ear thermometers – foster good parenting.

    Yet the truth is that even before the pilots were launched, the SNP was overstating their benefits. Comparisons to Finland, which pioneered the concept, were misleading. Sure, it is possible to chart the dramatic drop in Finland’s infant mortality (from 65 per 1,000 live births in 1935 – the decade the boxes were launched – to below two per 1,000 in 2015), but infant mortality has declined across the west, with or without a free parcel of goodies. In Scotland it now stands at about 3.7 per 1,000 live births, with 40 deaths a year from Sids. Rash promises that baby boxes could further reduce that figure were always going to be a hostage to fortune.

    In as much as the baby boxes improved infant welfare in Finland, they did so not in isolation, but by connecting parents to a pioneering maternity and early years service. It would be unfair to suggest the SNP has not invested in such services, but, while in Finland receiving a box is tied to attending antenatal and other classes, in Scotland the SNP decided against attaching preconditions and so missed an opportunity to encourage hard-to-reach women to engage.

    It is the Scottish government’s decision to promote the boxes as safe sleeping spaces, however, that has caused its biggest headache. It is one thing to suggest the cardboard containers are preferable to co-sleeping (which is linked to Sids) and quite another to encourage parents to choose them over other cribs.

    For all the ire he has attracted, Blair never suggested the boxes were actively dangerous. In fact, he clearly stated babies would be better off lying there than on a sofa. What he challenged was the assertion that they were as safe or safer than cots or Moses baskets. The SNP’s knee-jerk rejection of his concerns as “nonsense” and its failure to engage with him on an intellectual level reflect badly on it and on the general state of public discourse. It demonstrates that even putatively progressive parties are prey to anti-expert sentiment, and place more stock in appeals to emotion than dispassionate assessments and cold, hard facts.

    • Dani Garavelli is a columnist for Scotland on Sunday

  25. #24
    @hibs.net private member ronaldo7's Avatar
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    Babies all over the world are now sleeping in boxes,or so the article claims, only in Scotland can it be used to bash the incumbent government.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-35834370


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    Quote Originally Posted by ronaldo7 View Post
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    Babies all over the world are now sleeping in boxes,or so the article claims, only in Scotland can it be used to bash the incumbent government.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-35834370
    Dunno about getting bashed, perhaps getting questioned on the intimation that baby boxes prevent or reduce cot death.
    Fact is, the boxes are welcomed by those that need them but they have minimal effect on infant mortality which is converse to what some proponents claimed,

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronaldo7 View Post
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    Babies all over the world are now sleeping in boxes,or so the article claims, only in Scotland can it be used to bash the incumbent government.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-35834370
    Or.... only in scotland would people claim a cardboard box xould reduce infant mortality.

    Reduxtive and glib comments can work both ways.

    Still, im sure you know more about it than the Finnish agency and also an expert in the field.

  28. #27
    @hibs.net private member ronaldo7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedy_gonzales View Post
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    Dunno about getting bashed, perhaps getting questioned on the intimation that baby boxes prevent or reduce cot death.
    Fact is, the boxes are welcomed by those that need them but they have minimal effect on infant mortality which is converse to what some proponents claimed,

    One person's minimal effect is another's lifeline. Questioning policy is fine, setting fire to cardboard to make a point is extreme. 🔥


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  29. #28
    @hibs.net private member ronaldo7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthsideHarp_Bhoy View Post
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    Or.... only in scotland would people claim a cardboard box xould reduce infant mortality.

    Reduxtive and glib comments can work both ways.

    Still, im sure you know more about it than the Finnish agency and also an expert in the field.
    I think that might have been a suite of policies to try and reduce infant mortality, one of them being that big beastly box getting delivered all over Scotland. #braw

  30. #29
    @hibs.net private member lord bunberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthsideHarp_Bhoy View Post
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    Or.... only in scotland would people claim a cardboard box xould reduce infant mortality.

    Reduxtive and glib comments can work both ways.

    Still, im sure you know more about it than the Finnish agency and also an expert in the field.
    https://www.independent.co.uk/life-s...-a7651776.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by lord bunberry View Post
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    "The whole premisr is that people like free things..."

    Aint that the truth, especially politicians when they get to give them out!

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