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?