The blame game is now Boris Johnson’s reply of choice. The retraction or clarification will often follow, but it’s too late because the seed is planted in the minds of the easily convinced, and the damage is done.
He uses the same tactic for his general lie spreading or his abuse of ethnic minorities.
It’s the blame game that Cummings and Johnson are playing. It’s dangerous and divisive. They know this, you know this, everyone does. The problem is, not enough people care about it.
The recent attack on care homes and their underpaid, overworked and grotesquely unprotected care workers was no accident. The retraction followed but Johnson repeatedly refused to apologise. This isn’t the behaviour of a leader, this is the behaviour of a dangerous despot, a Poundland Trump.
But the damage was done.
Boris Johnson failed to lockdown soon enough. This is widely acknowledged by most people (without a fondness for statues and a Twitter profile that includes flags, St George, and the word “patriot). It’s not political point-scoring, but a reality of the disaster that unfolded in March.
One former Government scientific advisor, Professor Neil Ferguson said, “Had we introduced lockdown a week earlier we’d have reduced the final death toll by at least half.” 20,000 lives could’ve been saved if he didn’t dither, and ordered a lockdown just 7 days sooner.
But this wasn’t his fault, of course. It was the fault of the science this time.
Let us be entirely clear. These were political choices. Like austerity, like the hostile environment – the decision of when to lockdown was political.
It’s easy to find the committed media supporters that help Boris Johnson spread blame, misinformation and blatant lies. The PPE shortage was and still often is a national scandal. While most of us understand this was down to government incompetence and negligence, the Daily Torygraph had the nerve to blame the NHS for the government’s failure.
Poundland Trump has got his Poundland Fox News, so the truth doesn’t matter.
What a revolting spectacle it was seeing Matt Hancock repeatedly claim that NHS workers are overusing PPE – He was blaming nurses for overusing (wholly inadequate) PPE.
But do you see the theme? Don’t blame us, blame them.
Do you remember when Britain missed the deadline to join an EU procurement scheme to produce ventilators and other urgently needed medical equipment to combat the coronavirus crisis? They blamed lost emails – because it’s never their fault, is it?
What about the disastrous expensive test and trace app? Was that down to a blatantly corrupted bidding process that left us with Dominic Cummings buddies trying to build this app on a Commodore 64? Not according to the government. It was Apple’s fault – obviously.
The government made several unrealistic targets for testing. They manipulated the figures to the point of where they couldn’t even understand the figures themselves. Both Hancock and Johnson made these promises, and they were both telling lies. But who is to blame for this government-caused screw up? That will be the failure in the test labs – of course.
But at least the workers in the test labs were allowed to share the blame with a testing chemical shortage.
Now, this is far from a comprehensive list of the people blamed by this irresponsible and unaccountable disgrace of a government. I just don’t wish to bore you to death.
Have we ever had a government as bad as this before? No. They have no redeeming features, and if you’re going to start shouting “but Rishi Sunak” at me, save your breath. He had to be publicly shamed in to feeding hungry children over the summer.
He didn’t need to be shamed into giving you £10 off a greasy pile of cholesterol served up by the homeless Thundercat at Wetherspoons.
Don’t ever let them get away with blaming the victims of their political decisions.
They tried it with Grenfell and Jacob Rees-Mogg’s “common sense” comments. But you didn’t let them get away with it.
We are ruled by soulless moral cowards. Profits before patients. Wealth before health. Rich before poor.
Them before us.
Don’t blame nurses and doctors, care homes and care workers, scientists, chemicals, Corbyn, Meghan Markle, the Black Lives Matter movement, the sunshine, the moonlight, or even the good times, whenever they were supposed to be.
The blame lies with Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings, and the rest of the Vote Leave cabal currently occupying Number 10 Downing Street, and history will be their judge – we all have a duty to make sure of it.
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