Real world leaders show up the populists in Covid crisis

17th June 2020 / United Kingdom
Real world leaders show up the populists in Covid crisis

Jacinda Ahern, the prime minister of New Zealand, who was not well-known on the global stage – has now announced that her nation is now virus-free and all Covid-19 restrictions are being lifted.

Germany’s leader Angela Merkel used her scientific background to enable her to logically explain Germany’s pragmatic strategy for dealing with Covid. Germany’s impressive track and trace system has proved instrumental in the country’s ability to maintain a low mortality rate and the government published all its recorded deaths, including those in care homes far earlier than most countries. It was this confident approach with data coupled to technology that actually worked in the first place that saw one of the best performances in the world for tackling the pandemic.

Sanna Marin, Mette Frederisken and Erna Solberg, the female prime ministers of Finland, Denmark and Norway respectively, all decided, after the correct scientific advice to implement their own lockdowns early and life in these Nordic countries is now returning to normal.

What is it that Ahern, Merkel, Marin, Frederisken and Solberg all have in common? Two things are outstanding, the obvious first is that they are all female leaders. The second is that they lead either centre-left or centre-right governments. The third is that they all listened to their experts and the forth is that their citizens had confidence in them.

The pragmatic approaches taken by these female leaders stands in stark contrast to the arrogant, careless, disorganised and often disinterested approach taken by Boris Johnson in Britain and his populist counterparts in Trump and Bolsanaro who have all overseen avoidably high death rates. Other populists like Modi in India are following the same arrogant and deadly path.

PoliticsHome reports that – “Ardern locked down quickly in NZ and, on the same day she was able to celebrate that major victory of her strong, pragmatic approach, the UK official death toll surpassed 40,000 and the Government had to U-turn on when schools would be able to reopen, causing confusion and concern for millions of families up and down the country.

Meanwhile, confirmed Covid-19 cases have reached nearly 900,000 in Brazil. But, under the direct orders of populist President Jair Bolsanaro, the country has now stopped releasing its number of cases and has deleted all data from official government websites. Mass graves are being dug out by commercial diggers in places, with one apparently preparing for 40,000 bodies.

Across the pond, Trump continues to look the other way and is even planning election rallies and demanding lockdowns are lifted — despite the death rate being the highest in the world (over 111,000). A second wave is now being recorded and is likely to do damage to his presidential bid for a second term.

From the outset, Ardern did not downplay the gravity of the situation and implemented a strict lockdown even when the infection rate was low.

Like Ahern, Marin, Frederisken and Solberg – Merkel too insisted that Covid was a challenge to Germany “that has demanded such a degree of common and united action”. In contrast, Boris Johnson – claiming to be following the science ended up fighting a public relations war between Downing Street and their own scientific advisors – almost all of whom have now disowned the government.

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Britain has the worst death rate from Covid in Europe and currently leads the world in the death rate per million population for any country with more than 15 million citizens. It is now, according to the OECD going to be facing the worst economic outcome.

Older and disabled people have been put at serious risk by a lack of preparation in the care sector, coupled with hospital patients being discharged into care homes before crucial testing procedures were in place. Not so in Germany, NZ, Finland, Denmark and Norway.

Ahern confessed that she ‘did a little dance’ to celebrate New Zealand becoming Covid-free. Here in the UK, we have little to celebrate.

As PoliticsHome says – “Johnson and his macho populists should have taken a few tips from female leaders across the world. Sadly, his government’s aloofness and unwillingness to listen has costs tens of thousands of lives.”

These inept, over-inflated charlatans have proven to the world they also have one thing in common – in a crisis, when the country needs real leadership – they are clueless, useless and downright dangerous.


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