Andy Richardson: 'Leaders are supposed to lead by example'

It’s the everyday incompetence that is so remarkable.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

The UK has recorded a further 22,961 cases of Covid-19 after Public Health England announced it has identified 15,841 cases that were not included in previous cases between 25 September and 2 October due to a technical issue. Imagine that. A technical error that means 15,841 cases weren’t included.

Let’s pretend Public Health England isn’t dealing with the most precious commodity of all: that of life. Let’s imagine it’s a concert promoter selling tickets for a gig by Beyonce. Imagine what Beyonce would say when her promoter told her they’d forget to tell her about 16,000-odd ticket sales. Oops. At £10, that’s only £1.6 million. What’s that between friends.

Or imagine it was B&Q, messing up an order for wheelbarrows. Then the day arrives when the error is corrected and 16,000 wheelbarrows arrive. “Dave, got anywhere to store those? There’s 16 artics out the back.”

Take any field, any walk of life and look at what the Government does, day in and day out. You imagine the person in charge, Dido Harding, telling her cronies: “Don’t worry, Rodney, this time next year we’ll have a half decent track and trace programme in place.” Yeah, right. And Liverpool might be thumped 7-2 by Villa. Oh, hang on.

It’s hard to decide whether Dido, BoJo – can we include Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings in there, too, as Govo and Domo? – are as bizarre as the World’s Greatest Showman, Mr Comb Over himself, Don ‘The Donald’ Trump. With his positive test in hand, he went on a drive in a car. Pity the other occupants.

Leaders are supposed to lead by example – so when ill, when self-isolation is required, what better than to break all the rules. Actually, let’s add another one in there: Stano, that’s Stanley – mask on chin – Johnson, father of Bojo.

Bojo, you can safely bet, won’t be taking on timid regional reporters this week after the car crash that was a series of interviews last week. Presumably imagining provincial reporters would fawn, expressing gratitude for his time, he was repeatedly caught out for simply not knowing the rules and for treating those in the North differently to those in his constituency. Which is all of course true. He seemed to forget the Andrew Neils and Emily Maitlises of tomorrow are today learning their craft in the regions.

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