David Rendall says a series of endless blunders has led Britain into a fatal spin.
At every stage of this crisis the government has been too slow to react, and seems incapable of multi-tasking. Saving the NHS from falling over was the holy grail and this led to care homes being forgotten. Flirting with herd immunity led to abandoning track, trace and isolate right at the beginning and to lockdown being delayed by a critical two weeks, during which time Cheltenham, major rugby and football matches and big concerts were all allowed to go ahead.
Boris Johnson’s insouciance, not to mention his part-time approach to being prime minister, and his idea that we’re different and can do things better than other countries (British Exceptionalism at its worst) meant lessons from Italy, South Korea and Germany were not learned and has landed us in the shameful, world-beating position of having more deaths than anywhere in the world apart from the USA.
The list of mistakes is endless, the incompetence astounding. The failure to quarantine arrivals into the UK from early March through April; chaos over PPE supplies and delivery; sending infected patients into care homes; endless delays in testing; Cummings’ lies; deadlines repeatedly missed; the NHSX App that was due to be up and running by mid May but has sunk without trace; the ‘world-beating’ track and trace system promised for 1st June that we are now told will not be fully operational before September; the failure to get everyone to wear masks on public transport, in shops and any other confined spaces weeks ago; and forcing MPs back to Westminster while telling everyone else to work from home.
Is it just a coincidence that the three countries led by the world’s most prominent populist leaders- Trump, Johnson and Bolsonaro – are now the top three countries in terms of number of deaths?