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Well, OK Owen, Hold Boris To Account

Owen Jones wants us all to know that the Tories – spit, Boris! – must be held to account for their failures during covid. Seems fair enough to be honest, those who would rule us should be accountable for the way they rule us:

As the government seeks credit for the triumphant success of the NHS’s mass vaccination programme, let us recap what it has done. From the very start, Conservative strategy was to prioritise economic interests over human life: a calamity on its own terms, which left us simultaneously with one of the world’s worst death tolls and recessions – because it was always the virus that threatened our economy the most. Years of austerity left Britain with depleted personal protective equipment (PPE) stocks and the government failed to build up testing capacity even as the virus left China’s shores. While health experts such as Prof Anthony Costello warned that “every day of delay will kill”, the government briefed journalists that it would pursue herd immunity and allow the virus to run rampant. The government finally U-turned, but no other major European country entered lockdown with infections so high. An underfunded and under-resourced NHS with 40,000 nursing vacancies was expected to pick up the pieces, while the government was reduced to paying extortionate prices for PPE, some of which was unusable.

The thing is, if we’re to do all of that then we need to do it all. Like, the vaccination programme. It’s the Army running that – the logisitics of it. The NHS bureaucracy has been trying to ensure people have deradicalisation certificates before they can volunteer to give injections.

Further, on vaccinations. The development, manufacturing and approval of vaccines has been best in the world in our silver girt and sceptered isles. That isn’t an exaggeration, it’s simply fact.

So, how was that done?

When Boris was at the Telegraph he used to do some deputy editoring. Perhaps not formally, but he might be there on the Sunday to get the Monday paper out. A common complaint was that he never seemed to do anything. Just stand around and natter with people. The Monday paper would come out and it would be fine.

Or at the Spectator, which was roaringly loss making when he took the editor’s chair and vastly profit making soon after. One description was that he just asked his friends to write for him – leaving aside that mistake of publishing Ms. Petronella, he should have stayed with just bedding her – but it was fortunate that his friends wrote interestingly.

Or the vaccines. Kate Bingham is the cousin of a buddy of a wife or something. So she got the job. Absolutely world class performance. Sure, ghastly chumocracy but still, best outcome of anywhere.

Or, as we might put it, management by wandering around and the appointment of people known, personally, to have the necessary skills. Ms. Wyatt’s being obvious even if not literary.

Hmm – we are going to consider everything, aren’t we Owen?

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Discovered Joys
Discovered Joys
1 month ago

And by the time we can express our views in the next General Election the passage of time will have lent us perspective. About the ‘hated Tories’ and ‘Vile Labour’ too.

Bloke in North Dorset
Bloke in North Dorset
1 month ago

As it happens on this day 1 year ago: SAGE recommended a policy of herd immunity: First mention of “herd immunity” in SAGE papers An ICL paper warns that “too effective” measures merely delay transmission, and considers an alternative plan: allow the disease to spread, and “fine-tune” infections until the UK population has reached herd immunity https://twitter.com/YearCovid/status/1364895163898884098?s=20 And PHE starred: In new guidance, Public Health England tells care homes it is “very unlikely that people receiving care in a care home or the community will become infected”. Staff are told they need not wear masks, which PHE says “do not… Read more »

Pat
Pat
1 month ago

The idea that the government put the economy first is preposterous.

john77
john77
1 month ago

The comment was that Boris could have got a First if he had worked five hours a week but not just five minutes (or was it half-an-hour) a week. Boris is far cleverer than Owen Jones (well, so am I – but I wouldn’t make a good PM so that’s not an argument). As Pat points out Owen Jones is, as usual, lying through his teeth – the government took a tiny bit of account of the economy because it didn’t want too many people dying of starvation, but its priority was to reduce the numbers dying of covid-19 with… Read more »

Spike
Spike
1 month ago

No, Owen, there as here, the damage from Covid (in the context of every year’s colds and flu) is overwhelmed, in human and economic terms, by the damage of the response: ordering us to curtail our lives and shun human contact until some hack concludes enough risk has passed.

Spike
Spike
1 month ago
Reply to  Spike

PS—The claim that Boris as a manager merely slapped backs and delegated does not mean he was a bad manager.

HJ777
HJ777
1 month ago

Owen Jones is an idiot.

We might have 40,000 nursing vacancies but ‘underfunding’ is not the cause. We spend, according to the OECD, almost exactly the average on healthcare of the ‘EU15’ (i.e. the richest 15 EU countries) yet we have far fewer medics and nurses than the average.

MrVeryAngry
MrVeryAngry
1 month ago
Reply to  HJ777

The ‘40,000 nursing vacancies’ is de facto proof of the failure of nationalised health care. Nowt to do with the cash.

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