COVID-19: The rest of the world is looking at Britain’s shame
By Rob Woodward – TruePublica: In Britain, there are two wars going on. The first is against a deadly virus. Officially it has taken well over 30,000 of our loved ones and put them in graves. Unofficially and according to research by the FT, that figure is more like 45,000. The other is being fought out in the media. It was Aeschylus an ancient Greek playwright, described as the father of tragedy, who once said – “In war, truth is the first casualty.” In this war, a war of words, an informational war, the truth has definitely been sacrificed by this government desperately attempting to defend itself against its appalling performance. Right now, it is going about throwing its experts under a bus and cover them in scandal to divert the grim truth from search engine results.
Britain now boasts the worst death rate in Europe and the third highest per million for a large country in the world. No doubt Trump’s America and Brazil’s Bolsonaro will challenge Boris Johnson for podium places when all is done with this deadly encounter with mother nature.
By the end of this year, the carnage caused by the pandemic will be more visible in terms of broken families, crushed economies, unemployment and a dramatic rise in poverty – all of which will bring a new crisis to daily life for millions. The immediate future looks both bleak and cruel.
In the democratic West, true leadership has been wanting. The EU failed to collectively agree on a financial package between its geographical divide – the north and south. Britain chalked up the worst overall performance proving that the government failed in its primary duty. America called it a hoax, blamed the opposition, denied it was anything more than the flu and then started digging graves.
And whilst all this is going on, the rest of the world watches Britain in particular – in shock.
In Australia – the Sidney Morning Herald headlines with: ‘Biggest failure in a generation’: Where did Britain go wrong? That article firmly blames Boris Johnson’s government for ‘deadly mistakes and miscalculations.
Just about all of the headlines in Europe cover the same story.
EuroNews asks – “Why is the UK’s COVID-19 death toll higher than other EU countries?” Dominic Raab is interviewed and blatantly bends the truth and misinforms while scientific experts counter the lies by saying Britain was locked down too late and failed to implement a proper testing regime. The same article highlights Matt Hancock’s arrogant and rude defence against A&E doctor and MP, Rosena Allin-Khan with that ‘tone’ comment that angered many.
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Time Magazine also highlights Britain’s terrible performance and directly blames the government for “system errors.” Time also interviewed Anthony Costello, director of the Institute for Global Health at University College London, who said the U.K. “could see 40,000 deaths” by the time the first wave of the country’s outbreak is over.
Canada’s CBC mocks Boris Johnson and the exhausted ‘wartime’ spirit his government has invoked in a desperate attempt to embarrass people into supporting him. “So shiny and almost fable-like are these strands of Britain’s encounter with COVID-19 that they can sometimes seem to blur the horrors at the heart of it.” The paper also interviews a British expert – “It just wasn’t acted upon and taken as a serious enough threat,” said Devi Sridhar, chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh. The overall conclusion that Canadian’s are reading is that Britain ended up with complacency and confusion as government strategy that led to the highest death rate in Europe.
America’s CNBC and ABC both report the same and headline with – “UK death toll climbs above Italy’s, becomes second-highest worldwide behind United States.” Once again Raab is there distorting the evidence and even these compliant media corporations find it hard to believe just how badly Britain actually managed to do. The evidence for that is in the headline.
These headlines are replicated all over the world, from India to Iceland, from Finland to the Falklands. Britain is now staggering from one crisis to the next. It’s both depressing and distressing to watch.
People around the world are appalled at the one country that they thought would do so much better – a country that they once looked up to. They looked for leadership and saw nothing but failure. They looked for effective strategy and got excuses, they looked for compassion and got indifference.
These new right-wing leaders taking over from social democracy, so-called ‘populists’ – are the same everywhere in the world – good at over-promising to fix the structural problems that afflict much of society, but when tested properly, fail at the first hurdle. And they do so in the straight-jacket of their own ideology that will fail us at the next test. And that is just one is around the corner.