Arrogance, complacency, incompetence – you will struggle to find a better example of any of them
As the UK’s ability to conduct coronavirus tests crawls questionably upward and his promise of 100,000 tests a day by the end of April looks ever more a perverse fairy tale, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and his boss are rightly being criticised for their lack of preparation and their failure to act quickly when the opportunity was there and the need was unmissable.
But the arrogance, complacency and incompetence that underlies the Tories’ reckless and lazy approach to what has become a horrific national crisis was plain in Hancock’s statement to the House of Commons more than two months ago.
A blasé and pompous Hancock told MPs that:
- the threat to the UK was ‘low’
- the UK was leading the world on testing
- the country was ‘well prepared’ and ‘well equipped’ to deal with ‘these types of outbreaks’
- that clinicians were ready for diagnosis of the disease and for infection control
The UK’s testing capacity, which Hancock and Boris Johnson failed to build up until the crisis was already here – and even now – is a sick joke compared to countries like Germany and South Korea, which actually prepared in advance and followed World Health Organisation (WHO) guidance.
Infection control is even worse, with NHS staff left treating infected patients for weeks with utterly inadequate protective equipment and infected care home residents sent home from hospital to infect others just as vulnerable – entirely in line with the lethal ‘herd immunity‘ strategy the government has supposedly abandoned.
Meanwhile, NHS staff who blow the whistle on the dangers, shortages and failures face disciplinary action as health bosses try to cover up the scale of the government’s guilt and incompetence.
Nobody in the UK could credibly argue that the UK was ever ‘well prepared’ or well equipped’ – and the mere fact that Hancock could even say ‘these types of outbreaks’ shows how desperately he had failed to grasp the scale of the threat, in spite of clear warnings from China and the WHO.
Even now, the Tories are ignoring WHO appeals to ‘test, test, test‘ as the only way to defeat the pandemic.
Leading medic Dr Kailash Chand called today for an independent public inquiry into the Tories’ handling of the threat and ensuing crisis. This video should be exhibit A – but criminal negligence and manslaughter charges for thousands of avoidable deaths would be more appropriate.
Thanks to Andrew Godsell for his help sourcing the video. Andrew is one of the many NHS staff members taking to social media to express concern about the Tory government response to the COVID crisis
The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here for a monthly donation via GoCardless. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.
If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.