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Blundering Boris has cost lives

The UK government incompetency has cost lives.   So many voters invested their hopes in Prime Minister Boris Johnson.  That hope has been cruelly dashed.  It will take time for this to impact in opinion polls, although the first signs of shifting public opinion are there.

The Leader of the Labour party, Keir Starmer, now offers a different style of leadership.  The contrast is stark.  The rambling, incoherent dishonesty of Boris Johnson, or the clear, inciteful, yet compassionate approach of Sir Keir.   The one evokes doubt and uncertainty; the other, confidence in an ability to deliver.

Faithfully doing as they were advised, UK citizens have been suckered into a strategy to protect, not the NHS, but the Tory government. Thousands of lives have been lost in so doing.  That is the tragedy.

So many voters put their trust in Mr Johnson as the Prime Minister to deliver Brexit.  However, it is now apparent, he had little else to offer.  Of course, any government might be put off its stride by this pandemic.  Events have a habit of spoiling the parade.  But we are where we are.

Now,  the daily media COVID-19 conferences are dominated, not by crucial questions on the strategy for ending lockdown, but on how the Prime Minister's trusted political advisor should have so brazenly disregarded the rules of lockdown.  The rules other citizens were following to save lives.

It was an error of judgment, yet it is one Mr Cummings refuses to accept or apologise for. By defending that error of judgment, the Prime Minister has torn apart what little strategy he had in dealing with COVID-19.   The strategy depends on trust. If that trust is betrayed, then that trust is lost.  The country should look elsewhere for leadership.

The lockdown was to "protect the NHS." It was a worthy cause, and the public rightly pulled together behind it, else our NHS would have been overwhelmed by COCID-19.   But if the NHS had been overwhelmed, then this would leave awkward questions about why, over the last decade when we should have been preparing for a pandemic, our government systematically starved the NHS of resources and outsourced vital services.



Austerity, we were told, was necessary to get the deficit down. But the government lied. It was required only to keep taxes low, so they would get re-elected. The poorest and least advantaged were thrown to the wolves while we were told it was counterproductive to tax the richest, and even blamed as 'scroungers'.

It was a politically driven strategy, motivated by Tory ideology that markets work better than social provision.

Meanwhile, our social care system was systematically ripped apart, as funding to local authorities was slashed. Again because of ideology, care homes have been overwhelmed by the pandemic.  Thousands lost their lives being transferred to care homes without testing and proper provision for their health needs.  It is a damning indictment of the government's strategy.

They have struggled to provide PPE and testing because there had been no logistical thought given to how they could be provided in a crisis.

The object was not to save lives but to save the government's back.

The Prime Minister tries to summon up the rhetoric of war, "we will beat" the virus; the "battle," with be wone with "world-beating" plans.  He forms a fist and talks of fighting, when what is required is funding and logistics, and above all, preparation. Prime Minister bumbles, bungles, and blusters.

There is no transparency. The government won't let us know what advice they have or are receiving, yet claim to be acting on it. Yet, they were slow to take the decisions needed - too little, too late.

They tell us what we must do, while they follow different rules because 'they know best'. We are told they did 'the right thing' because they protected their families. Yet, so many could not see their loved ones, protect them, hug them, be with them because they did the right thing. The hypocrisy is blatant.

When the government was warned early in the pandemic, we were told it was too early to conclude, now they suggest it is 'easy in hindsight.' "Now is not the time", they say, to learn lessons.

I disagree, now is precisely the time to draw conclusions and learn lessons. We have now entered a shambolic easing of lockdown.

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