Immersed in lies and failure – Boris Johnson needs to go
For Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings, Dominic Raab, Priti Patel and the fanatics of Brexit, 2020 was going to be an epic year. They got to the seat of power by playing on the fears of a population worn down by austerity, by adopting populist tactics, using illegal strategies of mass misinformation and propaganda, dividing society and rubbishing experts in economics and science. And as if the impending Brexit crunch wasn’t a big enough challenge that was going to push the economy into a serious recession – a crisis came to test their skills. Dramatic failure followed their every move.
At the time of writing, the UK’s response has put the country in the fifth-worst position for deaths per million population in the world – four times that of Germany. But by all expectations, Britain has another two weeks of peak fatalities to go and it will, no doubt, rise in the rankings. There has been doubt that the mainstream media will do their job and hold the feet of this rancid government to the fire but if they do, will Boris Johnson survive?
The Sunday Times exposé this week is damning at best. Social media is riddled with stories of Johnson feigning his Covid-19 illness – and as thousands needlessly die, government ministers are struggling to contain the fallout of a wartime narrative they advanced whilst its leader is in hiding from a media firestorm and the crisis the country faces. Is Boris Johnson about to be sacrificed to save the Tory party from sinking under the weight of their own incompetence?
Pandemic preparedness plan was suppressed in 2016
In October 2016 the UK government ran a national pandemic flu exercise. It was codenamed Exercise Cygnus. The report of its findings was not made publicly available, as part of the general animosity towards the NHS in general by the Conservative party. The then chief medical officer Sally Davies commented on what she had learnt from it in December 2016. The public and key workers have now paid with their lives (and still are) for deliberate government inaction and total disregard towards their primary function – to protect us all. Ideologically, the Tories binned the advice of experts and thousands died.
Then there was Boris Johnson’s support for the ‘herd immunity’ strategy. It was met with clear opposition by almost all scientists, health professionals and experts very quickly. It was a programme that, in the end, encouraged the ‘culling’ of those most vulnerable, such as those with underlying health conditions to allow the economy to continue. This culling was to be the work of innocent grand-children as the schools were pencilled in for a lockdown and release programme in a controlled spread of the virus. Such as strategy is immoral on every level no matter what – it’s not what civilised societies do. Having changed strategies far too late – it became clear after being completely unprepared – that the worst was going to happen. And it did. Following the scale of key-workers who died – it was a cynical manoeuvre by the government to downgrade the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in order to protect itself from legal action. We can expect grieving families to sue the government (or NHS or other employers) for not protecting them.
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Suppressing the numbers
In addition, the government misled the nation over COVID-19 deaths in a bid to quell officially recorded numbers. Ministers now stand accused of deliberately underestimating the impact of Covid-19 on society’s most frail, and failed to sufficiently help besieged care homes and care workers. Data from five European countries states that care home residents accounted for between 42% and 57% of all COVID deaths. In the UK, somehow this number was barely 10 per cent and even that was covered up.
Watched and waited
In addition to numerous warnings from public health experts, the world’s most prestigious, and best known general medical journal warned two months before the oncoming conflict between an ill-prepared, under-funded national health service and an indiscriminate invisible killer in the form of the 2019 coronavirus. The Lancet warned more than once of the problems that health workers would be facing and yet the government took no notice – until it was too late. It’s Editor in Chief publicly stated in anger that -“For unknown reasons, they (the government) waited. And watched – and did too little, too late”
If pensioners die – ‘too bad’
In another scandalous manoeuvre by the Boris Johnson government, older people were being pressurised into signing ‘do not resuscitate’ (DNR) forms as a means of alleviating some of the pressures faced by the NHS during the Coronavirus crisis, a group of elderly care charities warned. One charity said they were – “seeing shocking examples where blanket decisions seem to be being made about the care and treatment options that will be available to older and vulnerable people.” This also meant elderly people not having C19 as a cause of death recorded. Then there was the news that care homes were expected to accept patients discharged from hospitals who might have COVID-19. Managers were pleading across the industry they didn’t have the staff, training or equipment to safely isolate those patients from others in their care. It wasn’t long before stories emerged of seriously increased deaths in care homes. It was Dominic Cummings who outlined the herd immunity strategy at the end of February to protect the economy and if that meant “some pensioners die, too bad” – The Sunday Times reported.
Resigned to fail
Accusations by health professionals of government failure on the frontline of the battle to save people from dying came thick and fast. The most respected health Journal in Britain started one article with the words – “When this is all over, the NHS England board should resign in their entirety.” Their messages have been as distressing as they have been horrifying. “It’s terrifying for staff at the moment. Still no access to personal protective equipment [PPE] or testing.” “it’s chaos.” “I don’t feel safe. I don’t feel protected.” “We are literally making it up as we go along.” “It feels as if we are actively harming patients.” “We need protection and prevention.” “Total carnage.” “NHS Trusts continue to fail miserably.” “Humanitarian crisis.” “Forget lockdown—we are going into meltdown.” “When I was a country director in many conflict zones, we had better preparedness.”
‘Shambles, chaos, ridiculous‘: This is what the UK papers said about Covid-19 testing by early April. For once, there was unanimous agreement in the press that the government was failing to handle the crisis properly. Getting NHS staff checked and tested was just another scandal to add to the lengthy list. In the meantime, the banks were told to ‘do your duty’ in return for 2008 bailout – which they subsequently did not do. The ventilator scandal raged throughout with moronic ministers more worried about promoting big business who produced next to no ventilators, whilst the EU’s hand to help Britain with a supply line was rejected. Matt Hancock stumbled from one daily briefing to the next, with Priti Patel demonstrating once again that the last job she should be doing holding state office. We are all so acutely aware of the PPE scandal – but the Scots will never forgive Westminister for withholding what supplies there were from them.
On the chin
The scandals that have rocked Britain since 1945: Boothby, Thorpe, Profumo, Aitkin, Archer and so on, pale into the background of a more honourable age. From there, political scandals have escalated and morphed into evil with intent; from cash-for-access to the whitewash of Chilcott’s Iraq inquiry, from the failure of Universal Credit to Windrush. But none come anywhere close to the shocking attitude the Conservative government took in respect of this pandemic. It willfully and knowingly neglected its primary duty to protect its citizens and simply asked us to ‘take it on the chin.’ It used the crisis as an opportunity to further its agenda by pushing for executive powers not seen in Britain before, understandable given the circumstances – but an overreach given the two-year moratorium of democracy it at first offered itself.
No doubt there will be another inquiry, just like those names synonymous with other whitewashes such as Leveson, Butler, Hutton and Grenfell. No doubt as well that Johnson, whilst convalescing at Chequers is plotting who to throw a colleague under a bus to make his pitiful performance more publicly palatable. By then, the public, worn down by austerity and Brexit and then the economic destruction that the pandemic will cause will ingest any nonsense just to make it go away. Or will they?
Time to go?
In this crisis, we now know the Prime Minister couldn’t be bothered to turn up, let alone chair the first five Cobra crisis meetings over Covid-19. We know he preferred weekends away, holidaying and going to fancy fund-raising balls to raise money for himself instead of taking this threat to public health seriously. We know the Tory cabinet ignored the evidence of experts, we know they didn’t bother preparing the NHS, we even know they exported a large consignment of NHS PPE to China. We know a senior Dept of Health insider has said -“We could have been Germany but instead we were doomed by our incompetence, our hubris and our austerity.” We know that Singapore even copied the UK’s pandemic plan. The difference is they implemented it and the Johnson government didn’t.
Does this not confirm that these self-serving aggrandising con-artists who sell little more than a crumbling ideology has failure written all over them? Have the British people not had enough of constant political failure? Forget having a whitewashed inquiry, we all know what’s happened and how it’s happened – Johnson needs to go. This government is incompetent and needs to go and an interim government established to get us through this crisis and rebuild Britain from the rubble of its own making.