Andy Richardson: 'Remember - it’s all our fault'

Health Secretary Matt Hancock did not equivocate when locking down the north of England.

He told people: “The spread is largely due to households meeting and not abiding to social distancing. So from midnight tonight, people from different households will not be allowed to meet each other indoors in these areas.”

But as public support for the Government’s handling of Covid-19 continues to erode, northerners disagreed. They said the Government imposed lockdown too late, provided inconsistent messaging on masks and quarantine, lifted lockdown against scientific advice, reopened schools against teachers’ advice, refused to condemn *that* drive to Barnard Castle, failed to protect the community from asymptomatic transmission and provided insufficient PPE.

The ex-Durham police chief, Mike Barton, on whose patch Cummings made his trip, disagreed with Hancock.

“His bare-faced effrontery in the rose garden was staggering,” says the man once in charge of keeping law and order. “People were using the word ‘Cummings’ in encounters with the police to justify antisocial behaviour.”

Of course, Cummings isn’t the only one to blame. The Government told people to go to work and pubs, even giving them money to eat out and mingle.

While millions in Manchester, Yorkshire and Lancashire are starring in Lockdown 2, they are merely giving the rest of us a taste of things to come. The yo-yo pattern will be with us until a vaccine is in general circulation.

The Government’s shambolic announcement of local lockdown measures on Twitter is actually the result of its failure to deliver a functioning track and trace system as promised. BoJo promised World Class – instead, we got a dodgy Reliant Robin from Only Fools and Horses.

The results are now in for Europe with the publication of a table of those nations hardest hit. It looks like a European Song Contest Table that’s been turned upside down.

Sitting at the top is England – not Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland – but England. We’re ahead of the rest of the UK, then Spain, Scotland, Belgium, Wales, Sweden – the nation that didn’t really bother at all – and the Netherlands, with Northern Ireland close behind. Imagine that, four of the nine worst hit countries are ours. Seven of the worst hit 15 European cities were also in the UK. But that horror show is nothing to do with Hancock, BoJo or Super Dom or inept Government policy.

Remember: it’s all our fault.

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