Sunday Blog: Weak Links

I haveĀ  said so many critical things about this government, adding to the list seems pointless. However three issues struck me this weekend which highlight why things go wrong, leaving confusion and U turns scattered across our lives.

The first is the shameful decision not to provide free school meals during holidays, half terms and lockdowns. The rigmarole of getting help from charity,universal credit or hardship funds is mean and cruel, because it grinds down on the most vulnerable in society. These children do not all come from feckless families who snort their benefits instead of buying food, as the far right propagandists would have us believe. They come from the very families employed in lower paid jobs without whose endeavour much of our civilised way of life would collapse. It is not the decision which surprises me. Nasty governments are a hazard of free democracy. But the political ineptitude does. In the end it will be the Tory party which will exact revenge upon its own stupid government.

The second is the peculiar habit of making public appointments to critical pandemic and economic leadership roles of individuals without the skills or experience required, but who spin within the magic Johnson/Cummings circle. Most glaring of these is the hapless Dido Harding, whose track and trace is a mismanaged farce, and for whose sacking senior Brexiteer Conservatives are now publicly calling. This is a dangerous moment for Downing Street. Of course these silly appointments are driven by fear. Fear that people who would really know what they were doing would quickly spot that the Boris led government didn’t.

Finally there is everywhere an atmosphere of angry resignation. Trust in the nation’s leadership has entirely drained away.