I am fascinated by the recent spate of Facebook posts that always start with something like “I don’t care what your political beliefs are, there is no way that you can say that Boris Johnson is not doing a good job of handling COVID:19, etc. etc.” and suggesting things like a ‘National Boris Day’ or everyone contributing to a fund to buy the PM some cufflinks as a thank you.
Well, whoever you are I’m sorry but I for one will NOT be celebrating Boris day.
I can understand that at a terrible time like the current pandemic, some will want to try and be really positive, to desperately want to put their faith in our political leaders in order to feel that events are not spiralling out of control, but you cannot escape the truth of the matter which is that the UK’s NHS was ill prepared for an outbreak of any kind. The truth that years of underfunding and waste had left the NHS undervalued and without the resources that it needs, and the demonisation of immigrant workers during the Brexit farce, has seen the NHS under staffed due to thousands of migrant workers leaving the UK because they were made to feel unwelcome.
NHS workers continue to fight the virus, whilst struggling with either poor PPE or in some cases NO PPE, whilst at the same time politicians cover their own backsides by suggesting that the problem lays with NHS staff ‘over using’ PPE. How can you ‘over use’ PPE when you are in a genuinely life-threatening situation?
We had early warning that this pandemic was coming, and whilst other countries enacted rapid lock down, the UK government hesitated, toying with ideas like ‘herd immunity’ (which would have sacrificed the lives of thousands unnecessarily) and failing to enforce safe behaviour on a population that consistently displays a selfish disrespect of the rules intended to keep up safe.
Before his hospitalisation, Boris stood at the podium each day with the look of a man who was struggling to cope with events that each day brought. He was supposed to be having a jolly old time, revelling in his Brexit victory. Without COVID:19 he would still have had a tough time at the end of the year trying to square the circle of Brexit, and would undoubtable have done what Boris always does, which is to resolve a difficult problem, by selling out his partners and friends (anyone remember who the DUP were) and we will still likely end up with Brexit light, however Brexit itself will likely be delayed by the economic damage that the pandemic is causing.
So, I don’t envy the responsibility that Boris has and I hope that he is up to it. I am glad he is recovering, no one should have to go through the trauma of being so unwell that they end up on ICU and the country most certainly needs it’s government to function and with such a low quality cabinet as we have now, it needs the one person that has some experience of leadership, even if it was only as Mayor of London.
I will not be coughing up to buy the millionaire Boris Johnson some cufflinks and I will certainly not be applauding a Prime Minister who dithered and put our amazing NHS staff a great personal risk. He wanted the job his whole life so ‘Get Well Soon Boris’ then get your damn finger out and get the NHS the protection and support it needs, clever political statements will not help the country.