We knew it would happen. Work and Pensions Minister Therese Coffey pointed the finger over the UK’s inept response to Covid-19.
While not quite saying: ‘It’s them what dunnit,’ Coffey threw scientists under the bus in a TV interview. Ignoring the age-old credo that civil servants advise and ministers decide, she insisted that if the Government was given incorrect scientific advice, then, what’s a Government minister to do?
Scientists reminded us that the pivotal decision to stop community testing in March was made because of a lack of resources, not medical best practice. Your move, Coffey.
This stuff matters, not least because there of the 20,000 unnecessary deaths in our care homes, where staff are still not being routinely tested. Coffey, incidentally, is an inconsequential minister who famously backed Rebekah Brooks over the News Of The World’s phone hacking scandal, saying there had been a ‘witch hunt’ against her. And there won’t be a witch hunt against scientists…
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Scientists didn’t advise Donald Plump to take anti-malarial drugs, and the pill-popping President keeps reminding us that he’s no doctor.
But UK ministers are looking to buy 16 million of the pills in case their friend across the Atlantic is right. Money that might be spent on testing, PPE or track-and-tracing is going on a Donald Duck whim. You couldn’t make it up.
Still, at least we’re not copying his choice of music and playing Live and Let Die at the Downing Street Press Conferences.
The actions of some politicians are reassuringly familiar. We can always rely on BoJo to go missing in a crisis. The Sun King was on holiday during the London riots, in the Caribbean during the Iran crisis, absent during the floods and #WheresBoris has been trending again this week on Twitter.
Are people questioning the stickability of the man who avoids scrutiny on failures over PPE, testing, care homes, airport checks, herd immunity, mass gatherings and our late entry into late lockdown? The very thought of it.
Unelected centenarians, however, are made of stronger stuff. War veteran Tom Moore is to be knighted after raising more than £30 million for the NHS. He is the best of British. Arise Sir Tom.