Sunday Blog 18: A Fumbling Government?

It is now clear that this government is a disappointment even to its enthusiastic supporters. It is not an ideology issue, nor even one of party. It is not actually about politics. It is about competence.

At the centre is the pandemic with it horrific death toll of over 50,000 if you include all deaths where Covid 19 is mentioned on the death certificate, or 40,465 if you include only those who tested positive. Either way is the worst in Europe and the second worst in the world. Until an inquiry unravels the sequence, advice and decisions we will not know upon whose shoulders blame may fall, but Boris is the prime suspect.

All along we have listened to the refrain  ‘led by the science’. We know this not to be true, because we all have access to science which demonstrates an avalanche of government missteps. These may be due to choosing to follow bad advice, or choosing to ignore good advice.

There is a sense of knee jerk decisions being made on the hoof when problems predicted by everyone else, suddenly manifest themselves to a blind administration. Everywhere there are issues with programmes not working properly or failing to meet demand. Real anxiety now permeates society about the risks of easing the lockdown, while elsewhere the risk to the economy is beginning to give rise to real fears of mass bankruptcies and unemployment.

At the centre of it all is the calamitous misfit of the hour, the prime minister himself. That broad brush, big picture motivator, hater of detail, spontaneous and wayward, Boris Johnson. It is now clear that this is the very last person you need to cope with the interwoven detail and conflicting priorities of the crises now engulfing him and threatening all of us.

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