Andy Richardson: 'Autumn - a time for Covid-19 to spiral out of control'

By Andy Richardson | Opinions | Published:

Aaahh. Autumn.

A time for global warming to raise the temperatures to peaks last seen in July.

A time for Covid-19 infectious to spiral out of control.

And a time for Door Matt Hancock to shuffle uncomfortably and confess he’s lost control of the UK’s not-really world class track and trace system – just when we need it most. Having had a summer to model the likely rise in cases, having been able to watch real time data from our international friends and neighbours, Door Matt has had to fess up: ‘Guys, it’s broke.'

Initially, he said he’d take two weeks to fix it. With that deadline ticking down, he told the former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt that it would actually take ‘a number of weeks’, which could mean anything. And that, of course, was the point.

So while Priti (Useless) Patel tells people the system isn’t fixed and you can get a test anywhere – despite TV cameras showing hoards of angry, sickly people unable to get tests – the system won’t cope with the volume of requests placed.

We ought not to be surprised. After all, this is the Government of contradictions. On the day when Priti Patel was telling people she’d grass on her neighbours if they broke the law and gathered in groups of seven, she’d just 24 hours earlier voted for the Government to break the law over Brexit. Priti’s neighbours, incidentally, were non-plussed by her revelation, after being quizzed by a savvy British newspaper. Ouch.

BoJo has also weighed in on law and order, telling criminals he’s after them if they break the law. Which is exactly what he encouraged his MPs to do the day before. Honk honk.


Still, as A&E admissions surge and the testing system finds itself in meltdown, it’s heartening to know the rules are as clear as fudge and we can go grouse shooting if we want to meet in gatherings of more than six.

Auntie Beeb is getting gender pay fixed after awarding Zoe Ball an extra million, or there abouts, for doing the BBC 2 Breakfast Show – that’s about £1 for every listener that she’s lost. The show, which puts the pop into unpopular – remains a flagship, though the flag is at half-mast. Free TV licences are being axed but pay is soaring. Nice work, Auntie Beeb.

It’s been more than three years since 72 lost their lives in a fire at Grenfell Tower, ample time for the Government to make good its promise to remove dangerous cladding elsewhere. It hasn’t.

Andy Richardson

By Andy Richardson
Feature Writer - @andyrichardson1

Feature writer and food critic Andy Richardson interviews celebrities, writes columns and hangs out with chefs for stories that appear across all group titles.

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