IT sounds like a sketch Spitting Image would have come up with.

It is being reported that the UK Government’s Union Unit, which is apparently a real thing, wanted to have a Union flag branding on the injecting kits for the Covid-19 vaccine.

As the scientists explain to ministers and officials how the vaccine works, how rigorously it has been tested and how effective it is.

Others explain how they are working frantically on the logistics of vaccination 60 million people in as short a time as possible. How it will be transported, how it will be stored and how there will be enough people to administer the doses.

Then the scientists say, ‘does anyone have anything they would like to ask’.

And up pops someone from the Union Unit grinning, eager to get out the burning question that is on no-one’s lips.

“Ah, yes. I do. Can we put a union flag on the packaging?”

Why don’t we go the whole nine yards, (none of that metric nonsense anymore now we are out of the EU) and have the vaccine itself produced in layers of red, white and blue and vaccinate us all with the flag.

A little bit of artificial colouring can’t harm us, can it?

If someone has actually come up with this as a serious idea you wouldn’t think that this was the scientific breakthrough the whole world has been waiting for.

Maybe we can set up stalls at the Festival of Brexit for people to line up to get a shot of the vaccine but only if you can knock a pile of heavy cans down with a soft sponge ball.

Yes, that’s another spiffing idea from one of the big brains. Not the stalls, well I hope not but who knows, but the festival of Brexit.

This flag waving, who won the war anyway nonsense, belongs to another era. But then they say if you hang around long enough everything come back into fashion.

Instead of a flag, which tells us absolutely nothing about the vaccine we need to be ensuring that people take up the opportunity to get protected against this virus, otherwise we could be stuck in a never ending cycle of rising cases, hospitalisations and premature deaths.

If not enough people get vaccinated then there will still be a significant Covid-19 presence in the community.

That means people will still need hospital treatment and Covid-19 will still be putting an additional strain on the health service.

So rather than messaging about this being a British vaccine there needs to be serious messaging about the effectiveness and the necessity of a vaccination programme.

Conspiracies need to be debunked, otherwise there is potential for them to take hold of enough people to jeopardise the programme.

Vaccination will not be mandatory, we are told. It shouldn’t need to be mandatory, people should feel confident and comfortable that this is in the best interest of themselves and everyone around them.

That will take a co-ordinated effort across the four nations of the UK and also with other countries around the world.

It doesn’t take long for misinformation spread on social media to be believed and amplified.

It has been happening since the Covid-19 outbreak reached pandemic status and vaccines were being researched.

Take each of the theories that are being spread through the internet and take them apart one b one piece by piece until even the most hardened conspiracy theorist cannot argue.

Replace them with a mass campaign on the safety of approved vaccines and the benefits it will bring to our health and our economies.

Remind everyone of the diseases that are now history not down to luck or wishful thinking but scientific research that culminated in a vaccination programme around the world.

And, it they really, really want to, they can even put a union flag on it.

THE Booker prize is one of the most prestigious awards in the literary world.

Now open to anyone as long as the book is written in English and published in the UK, there is enormous competition and even a place on the longlist is remarkable.

Glasgow can now boast two Booker winners. James Kelman in 1994 and Douglas Stuart this year.

Kelman is from Govan and also Drumchapel and Stuart, who now lives in New York, grew up in Sighthill and the East End.

Neither places most people would associate with literary genius.

From where I grew up, Sighthill was visible a mile up the road form our window.

A huge slab of grey across the sky, it looked intimidating and soulless.

Govan, also, known more for knocking ships together rather than constructing sentences.

But as anyone who grew up in these places, like Douglas Stuart, will tell you, they are full of good people with hops and dreams like anywhere else.

And then like now, nestling in among them are those with talent and creativity to achieve great things, it just needs to be encouraged and let out.

The moral of the story here is obviously don’t judge a book by its cover.