Analysis

Video: another Whately car crash exposes utter nonsense of Tories’ pandemic response

Hapless health minister’s vacuity and lack of self-examination exemplifies Tories’ shamelessly hopeless handling of coronavirus crisis

Health minister Helen Whately suffered yet another car crash interview on multiple channels today as she tried to explain why the Tories gave four hours notice to UK holidaymakers in Spain that they will have to self-quarantine for two weeks when they return to this country.

Whately and her party act as if it’s new news that there is a global pandemic and are asking UK people and businesses to swallow the cost of yet more Tory failure to prepare or think ahead.

It’s far from Whately’s first such disaster. She laughed at mention of COVID-19 deaths during an ITV interview and visibly squirmed when challenged about voting against a pay rise for nurses, but her woes are just a pale reflection of the appalling and often intentional failures of her government.

The Tories have put thousands of British citizens into a dire bind, who travelled in the government’s so-called ‘corridor’ only to find their return will lead them into quarantine – with those arriving a minute before midnight last night free to travel but those a minute after facing two weeks at home, with no entitlement to statutory sick pay or unemployment benefits and a government simply ‘asking’ employers to be helpful.

And all this comes after the Tories spent months telling the country that quarantining international travellers wasn’t necessary – while allowing passengers from global hotspots at that time far worse than the UK unrestricted entry and onward travel in spite of constant calls for temperature checks and quarantine. Now, with the UK’s COVID-19 death rate 32 times higher than Spain’s, the government has decided to impose a snap quarantine on those already abroad.

Nor is travel the only area in which the Tories have delayed inexcusably. Boris Johnson’s slowness to impose lockdown – since lied about by Matt Hancock – has cost this country at least 25,000 needless deaths, for which Johnson refused even to express regret.

Likewise, Johnson and Hancock’s delays in obtaining PPE have contributed to the deaths of approaching 600 NHS and care staff and unknown numbers of patients, while their slowness to react to the catastrophe they were creating in care homes has cost many thousands of residents their lives.

Helen Whately’s incompetence in interviews is a mere hint of the Tories’ disastrous and arrogant mishandling of the crisis.

The SKWAWKBOX 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 SKWAWKBOX can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

17 comments

  1. FFS it’s only that dan walker interwiewing it as well…I’d hate to see her being ‘interrogated’ by hugh ‘wellard’ pym for Chrissakes…

    FAO moron & the GMB team….You simply MUST do a montage of the car crashes this imbecile’s made over the last few months.

    F**k me, but whately abuses the term ‘idiot’.

  2. Yes, Whately is a disaster. This morning on R4 one of her fill-in comments was ‘Now is a moment in time…’ which was either a deep philosophical comment (grasshopper) or a statement of the bleeding obvious while she scrabbles around for something meaningful to complete the sentence.
    There seems to be know middle ground for this government, and it’s either procrastinate forever or jump out from behind a door with a new and immediate intervention. The inconvenience to people and the real safety implications simply don’t apply, as the inconsistencies Skwawkbox has outlined so well demonstrate.
    Meanwhile people don’t know where the fuck they are up to with their travel/holiday plans, many are having to take two weeks off work just like that, and already hard hit British travel companies are seeing their business which was tentatively beginning to revive knocked right back. It really is shambolic. Nothing nuanced or subtle (or indeed the s word sensible) about this at all. Let’s see Catalonia where there’s a growing spike treated differently to the Balearics where there isn’t. And let’s also remember that the prevalence of and mortality from the virus in England is in any case far higher than in Spain, so some explanation for this policy would be, well, nice. Perhaps people travelling from Leicester to Manchester should have to quarantine for two weeks?
    And please you Tory twats try be grown up about it and stop trying to shock us with decisiveness (OK, yes it worked) never seen before but suddenly crass and abrupt to the point of sheer stupidity. This is a government that really doesn’t have a clue, and continually operates on the basis of trying to give an appearance of being this or that (in this instance decisive) rather than acting in a measured way to deal with problems. They need to grow up and look beyond their shallow incompetent selves for once, and start to work in a way that puts people first rather than either doing nothing in case people don’t like it, or going bonkers overnight to show they are decisive hoping that people will. It’s really very sad, and utterly pathetic.

  3. The Spanish ban is pure politics not least because there is no way the current 600,000 there will be checked on their self isolation when they return. Who would do that? If France and then Germany follow it becomes even more clearly an anti EU kicking. The Govt is seeking somebody to blame when there isn’t agreement on free trade in December; ‘they hate us because we messed up their tourism”. Gibraltar looms in the background as the UK faces ‘losing’ that along with Scotland and N Ireland. Johnson is already rattled as even he begins to appreciate the disasters waiting to unfold, thus his ‘change of tone’ PR campaign and concentrating on his own weight loss! He’s not afraid of the electorate, he’s got that sown up but the Tory party getting shot of him like they did Thatcher.

  4. Someone we know flew out to Spain just before this was announced, because the holiday company wouldn’t allow them to cancel. When the quarantine was announced they were contacted by their boss who said you might as well come home now because if you don’t come in to work for two weeks after you get back you won’t have a job.

  5. But there’s no follow through on this so-called ‘quarantine’ requirement
    @elisled2 #FBPE #HopeDiesLast
    27/7 13:27
    Woman rang @mrjamesob She flew back from Spain yesterday. Everyone had filled in contact info cards for tracking & tracing but there was no one around to hand them to so they just took em home.
    Wonder if Gov bothered to tell airports in time for them to prepare

  6. This is really very very good news of course , as it shows directly to the electorate the utter tosser they have elected to govern and in a typical sterotype for which I make no apology , it will hopefully be the Sun reading Benidorm bashing Tory voting working class idiot who will suffer .
    Mind you there is no way whatsoever that the authorities will enforce it … it’s as usual just Johnsons empty bluster and BS
    . In fact if the 60 or 70 , 000 excess deaths and 600 NHS staff dead isn’t exactly bringing folks out in protest on the street then I can only assume no one gives a 4X .
    Vote Boris get Brexit done fuck up the country and kill its citizens ,, great British Boris Barmy ex UK soon to be just little Engerrland . CHrist how I hope the Scots get their independence .

    1. It doesn’t sink in though…

      Reading elsewhere in the web today, an old lady was talking to her butcher about Johnson. Butcher reckons Boris isn’t that bad, and he’s doing an okay job.

      To say there is an uphill battle is an understatement.

      Scots will not get their independence (pity)

  7. Would it be very shallow of me to mention that she looks like she’s been dragged through a hedge backwards?
    And then slept in the hedge and run a couple of miles to the studio in the same clothes and last night’s makeup?
    I’m just saying – she’s looked better 🧟‍♀️

    1. Ran through a hedge frontwards I think. Why do these people think that they are beautiful celebrities first and then wonderful constituency m.p’s. They are neither. How do these incompatents of all tinges, humourous and gorgeous, pass their interviews and stay in place for years? Regards ☮️

    1. They want to construct a defence to No Deal along the lines sabotaged by cross Spaniards. It’s a provocation.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: