If Bumbling Boris Johnson thought that his tenure as UK PM would be easy he must be realising by now that it isn’t. But at least his quite shocking performance and behaviour at the start of the Covid-19 crisis here in the UK has now changed completely and he does now realise the seriousness of the situation and seems to be taking good advice – but it is far too late and serious damage has already been done that will cost a large number of lives.
Whilst openly saying that the government was following the science he didn’t mention that he was going completely against the WHO guidelines on how to deal with the pandemic. He also didn’t say that there was huge division within the department about the direction the Government was taking and that it would cost many lives. My jaw dropped to the floor when I saw Johnson on TV putting forward the concept that they might just let the virus run its course to achieve ‘herd immunity’. Seriously? A quick calculation of the UK population of c. 66m x an infection rate of say 70% x a 0.9% death rate gives 415,000 dead people. It’s amazing that he didn’t realise in a nano-second that this might not look good on his CV. The danger with Boris is that he can sound quite plausible and many people will believe him but don’t forget for one moment that he’s a liar.
Lord Michael Heseltine describing Boris Johnson said: “Well, I think that you have to see Boris as a career map. He works it out, he decides which way the wind is blowing, and that wonderful phrase about a politician - a man who waits to see the way the crowd is running and then dashes in front and says, ‘Follow me’.”
The New Statesman wrote on 16 March “Misinformation and disinformation has so far thrived in the void left by inadequate, inconsistent and conflicting communication from government. A reliance on the old political tools, such as anonymous briefings and commentary placed with friendly newspapers, has added to the noise and uncertainty at a time when clear advice is necessary not just to reassure the public, but to ensure they understand what to do.”
It seems clear that in two and a half months since the warnings from China were announced that a Coronavirus was spreading uncontrollably in their country (and had already been for several weeks but the news had been suppressed) the UK government had completely failed to:
- ensure that there was sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) for everyone working in health care and
- failed to ensure that there was a rigorous testing and tracing regime put in place as they have done in S Korea and quickly got the problem under control and
- failed to ensure an adequate supply of ventilators for use in hospitals
And what of the USA where millions don’t have health insurance, sick pay or holiday pay? Whilst the morally corrupt idiot Trump who has described the pandemic as a hoax put forward by the Democrats now says he thinks it will all be over in three weeks! And all that while the number of cases and deaths in New York is sky-rocketing. This will surely bring him down and he knows it even though the lies will get greater and greater.
When the film is shown about this sorry episode in history, as it surely will be (in fact I’m sure people will be penning it already) and the insiders spill the beans (they are already doing so) on the shenanigans and incompetence going on behind closed doors, I wonder how the world’s leaders will fare.
Of one thing I’m absolutely certain and that is that at the moment of greatest tragedy here in the UK when the papers are writing about nothing else than the pandemic, the long-awaited Parliamentary report into alleged Russian interference in UK democracy will be quietly released in the hope that the press don’t notice.