Andy Richardson: 'Government’s actions were a death sentence for many'
They’ve been caught out once, they’re not going to let it happen again.
Boris Johnson is channelling his inner Ben Stokes as he battles to fight off a second wave in the UK. Like the talismanic England cricketer, he has endured a torrid time as mistakes have been amplified by the media.
Ministers were ‘reckless’, according to the Public Accounts Committee, to discharge untested Covid-19 patients into care homes during the crisis.
No amount of spin, no amount of ‘we didn’t know about asymptomatic transmission’, no amount of ‘but we were working closely with the care home sector' can disguise the fact that the Government’s erroneous actions were a death sentence for many. They got it wrong, simply, just as Stokes did during one unhappy night in Bristol.
Now, however, Boris is changing the narrative. Chastened by the critics and forced to make stumbling, stuttering apologies, he’s changed tack. The Government discharged people to free up hospital beds – then all hell broke loose because those who were infected and had not been tested spread the disease, leading to widespread care home deaths.
Implementing a blanket ban on Spanish holidays may be entirely unfair on such destinations as Ibiza and Tenerife – it’s like Spain banning holiday makers from The Falklands – but who are we to complain?
Having seen the manner in which New Zealand, South Korea, Germany and others acted decisively, while we waited for an extra week or two then suffered a death rate that was one of the world’s worst, Johnson’s not going to be caught sleeping on the job again.
Whether he delivers in the same swashbuckling way as England’s totemic cricketer remains to be seen.
The signs are good, however. He’s already shed a stone as he goes into battle with obesity and warns people of the dangers that being fat can have.
Those who are too heavy are more likely to succumb to Covid-19, as well as a wide range of illnesses, including diabetes. After a run of awful weeks, the PM is trying to turn things around.
It’s important that he does. In the months to come, we can brace ourselves for a tsunami of job losses and company collapses as furlough comes to an end. The sticking plaster will soon be removed and zombie companies will fold.
As far as the economy is concerned, the worst is yet to come.
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