Boris Johnson has repeatedly maintained he’s proud of his record in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic but the last few months have witnessed a succession of U-turns, variations of heart and shifts in the science as COVID 19 killed more than 50,000 people in the United Kingdom.
No Prime Minister could have dealt with an unprecedented disease with utter perfection, but even so, there’s been plenty of moments when the government’s strategy came under examination and buckled under the stress.
They range from cold, hard scientific matters like testing and facing coverings to the political heartstrings of free school meals and the bereaved.
England’s contact tracing app was created as a necessary means to tell if you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID 19, even if you don’t know them. But it’s gone from an NHS app that would be a key part of the system by mid-May to an Apple and Google run software that will be the cherry on top by winter.
The app was designed as a component of the NHS Test and Trace, which also uses about 25,000 human contact tracers to ask anyone with COVID 19 contact to isolate.
On April 28, the Prime Ministers official spokesperson said the app would be an important part of the surveillance programme going forward. But that date started to shift to the end of May, then the coming weeks following that, and then winter, as the abandoned app-only picked up contacts with iPhones 4 per cent of the time.
By the time Boris Johnson said this on May 20, it was already apparent his promise didn’t include the app and he said that they had increased confidence that they would have a test, track and trace operation that would be world-beating and in place by 1 June.
Ministers then attempted to downplay the app, with Matt Hancock stating it was the cherry on the cake.
On June 18, the Government then discarded the system behind the NHS coronavirus app and put all its energies into developing an app based on Google and Apple’s built-in system.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock maintained he’d always backed both horses. Yet a spokesperson for his department told on May 17 that there was no alternative app and in May, Boris Johnson U turned and dropped the Immigration Health Surcharge on migrants who come to work in the NHS or care homes.
That’s a yearly £400 charge, increasing to £624 in October, paid by foreign nationals to cover the cost of their access to the NHS.
Less than 24 hours after backing the unpopular scheme at Prime Minister’s Questions, he stated that those coming into the United Kingdom to work in the health and care service would be excluded.
In June, Boris Johnson promised to repay any NHS and care workers who had been forced to pay the surcharge, backdated to the date of his decision, but when that would happen was still unclear.
The Prime Minister said he was going to cut the fee for relevant staff as quickly as possible and that bereaved families of NHS cleaners who die of coronavirus will be permitted to stay in the United Kingdom, as part of a major U-turn announced in May.
NHS porters, cleaners and social care workers were not incorporated in the Home Office scheme granting families of health workers unlimited permission to remain in the United Kingdom if they die of coronavirus.
And at the daily press briefing, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden stated the policy was under investigation, and soon after the briefing concluded, the Home Office announced the decision had been changed.
The scheme will presently be accessible to families of all NHS support workers, including cleaners and porters, as well as social care workers. The Home Office further established the families of contract workers operating in NHS hospitals would also be eligible.
Possibly the Prime Minister’s biggest U-turn has come not at the hands of the Labour Party, or even from his own backbenchers, but from a Premier League footballer, and millions of England’s most disadvantaged children will, for the first time, be able to claim free school meal vouchers over the summer following demands from campaigners and 22-year-old footballer Marcus Rashford.
The Manchester United and England player gained hearts with a touching letter detailing his own upbringing by a single mum, asking the Prime Minister not to let children go hungry.
Marcus Rashford’s demands had been snubbed by No 10, but with tension building amongst parents and campaigners, Boris Johnson dramatically caved at the beginning of June.
Only days preceding No 10 decided to defeat campaigners demands by promising a £63 million pot for councils to support struggling families, but following the footballer’s campaign started to grow, Downing Street caved in.
Parents whose children would normally get means-tested free school meals will get a £90 supermarket voucher to cover the six weeks of summer.
For months Boris Johnson and his medical advisors maintained there was little or no benefit of covering your face to reduce the spread of the coronavirus but the Prime Minister gradually came round to the idea as evidence surfaced proving they had little impact, preventing the wearer transferring COVID 19 onto others.
For the first time on April 30, two months after the first case reached the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson declared that he believed that face-covering would be beneficial, both for epidemiological purposes, but also for giving people assurance that they can go back to work.
Face coverings were later made compulsory on public transport and advised in some contained places, or as part of the one metre plus social distancing rule.
In fairness to the government, the Prime Minister could honestly say his scientific advisors had been cool on face-covering for a long time and even when approved, they stated the effect on the virus was weak, and social distancing and handwashing were still important.
The UK quit extensive community testing and meticulous contact tracing on March 12 after it became apparent the virus was growing beyond control. It was only mentioned months later once capacity was high enough, with care home residents not being routinely tested until mid-April.
On March 12, Boris Johnson claimed that they had a clear strategy that they were working through and that they were moving to the next stage in that plan because it was not just an endeavour to contain the disease as far as possible, but to prevent its spread and thereby decrease the suffering.
But on May 27 the Prime Minister revealed that they did have a test, track and trace operation but sadly they didn’t have the capacity in Public Health England and that he believed in the harsh reality that this country didn’t learn the lessons of Sars and Mers and they didn’t have a test operation available to go on the scale that they needed.
At the time community testing was abandoned and Jenny Harries, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England insisted it wasn’t a suitable mechanism as they went forward but she too, later accepted the country would have taken a different route if more tests were available.
She then continued that if they had the unlimited capacity and the continuing support beyond that, then they possibly would have chosen a somewhat different path.
So, there’s going to be billions of pounds to get Britain booming and the Prime Minister said he’s a fit as a Butcher’s dog and is helping with nappies and night feeds as he announced his revival strategy.
What an utter embarrassment to millions of people across the country with thousands of people dying from the virus and this clown of a Prime Minister is seen doing press-ups and likening himself to a tin of dog meat.
Billions of unprecedented borrowing with the Bank of England electronically generating another £200 billion – once it was called the Magic Money Tree which never existed and Boris Johnson proceeds to be an embarrassment, but it’s what he does best.
And in front of a selected audience, he could draw a laugh and get a response that inflated his high conception of himself – now the audience is the country, even the world and they laugh for a completely different reason.
Austerity isn’t caused by the people, it’s caused by government cutbacks and we were never this poverty-stricken before David Cameron’s government began this austerity.
Boris Johnson has acid for blood and is a floating reprobate of a person and so horribly bitter and twisted.
Boris Johnson is a one-trick pony who lacks even one trick, and his speciality was playing to an elite audience as if his life was one long after-dinner speech. As far as being Leader of any country, he’s clearly unfit for purpose and I’m sure the Tory party will themselves soon be ditching him, or we could just replace the Tory party.
And when Brexit is over he will be replaced just as brutally as Margaret Thatcher or Theresa May – then when Brexit becomes an economic nightmare it will be reversed, and I’m sure there are numerous people who are now bored to death by it.
And COVID 19 is only part of the dilemma because the entire capitalist structure is disintegrating into the bargain, and with or without COVID 19 there’s no going back to normal and it will just be a different form of capitalism.
The point is our government is greedy, nefarious and self-serving and it runs on the revolving door principle, in that whatever seems attractive and grabs the headlines is the policy for that day.
A totally unfit, inadequate and destructive government led by a clown who has been bought and paid for by developers, hedge fund managers and right-wing media magnates and people are lashing out at this inefficient government, sometimes in irrational ways and this can only go three ways, violence, repression or revolution and only time will tell I guess.
Evidently, no rational person would want Labour to run this country, hence why people have repudiated them time and again, but it was Labour who founded the NHS and the welfare state, which is the envy of the world, yet both were created by Labour and both are being systematically destroyed every time we have a conservative government.
And when the Tories get their wish and eventually stop both, I hope people have plenty of savings if they find themselves out of work or retire, and let’s hope they never get sick.
The preponderance of people in this country don’t want a revolution but it’s getting there, and what if the Tories have got it wrong, will Boris Johnson still be proud of his achievements?
But one thing is for sure, Boris Johnson isn’t restructuring stuff for the sake of it, pretending he’s busy when there are decisions to be made, and there should be legislation restricting politicians from lying.
And all political decisions are made for the advantage of the bosses, not the workers, and furlough was about keeping the lower classes ready to go back to the grind to create surplus value.
It wasn’t for the advantage of the workers, and we’ve just furloughed the bosses again to the tune of £100 billion, guess who will be sweetening that?
COVID 19 was rife in the United Kingdom and there’s no possible way to tell if someone caught it here, abroad or from someone who travelled to here from abroad, but if there’s any truth in the assertion that the virus came from abroad then it’s clearly Boris Johnson’s fault for not securing our borders sooner.
These might be unprecedented times but the Tories are making decisions that are costing lives, and political decisions that are putting profit before people, and the Prime Minister runs a revolving door government – what day is it? What sounds like a good blurb? Let’s run it up the pole and it’s a grand bit of blue sky thinking et cetera.
And the old and vulnerable in this country should still have the option to self-isolate and be supported by the community, and it’s pretty obvious immense swathes of the population want to get on with their lives and that’s their choice, but the most vulnerable should still be protected if they’re not happy mingling with the population.
And the shadow cabinet must be members of the Marcel Marceau appreciation society, as they never say a word, but maybe they think that if they stick their heads over the parapet then people will see the dire straits we’re in.
But this has nothing to do with Labour, they stated from the start they would set politics aside and let the government get on with it without interference, and whenever they’ve spoken up it’s been generally in support of the government.
And it’s only right that politics are not brought into this and all opposition parties have remained remarkably quiet. However, we’ve all been appalled by the number of deaths and have had extensive compassion for those who’ve lost loved ones, but it appears that our government don’t seem to have a clue day to day, and are losing the confidence of the populace over their administration of this.
And faced with this unprecedented crisis, the economy should be taken out of the hands of the capitalists and put in the hands of the working class. In this way, we can then rationally organise the economy for our needs, and not the profits of the banks and monopolies.
Boris Johnson is fragmented and disordered in the administration of this pandemic but this article only covers the number of U-turns Boris Johnson has done and sadly not how late his response was to the pandemic, and allowing boarders to remain open even following the belated lockdown.
Along with poor PPE equivalent for NHS workers and the failure to reach their 100K testing target and fibbing about it, yet he’s proud of killing 500,000 people due to his government’s incompetence and ineptitude.
But then what do you expect from Boris Johnson, who’s failed in every position he’s had, and that’s without mentioning his stupidity getting himself infected with COVID 19, and letting the borders to stay open so that people could ramble in from countries currently in a pandemic was an absolute shambolic and dangerous mess.
The establishment, their compatriots in the media, and the right-wing of the Labour party worked to prevent a progressive government coming into leadership, and it was represented as if Jeremy Corbyn had been in control for ten years and not the Tories.
Boris Johnson was the people’s victor – talk about putting lipstick on a pig, and now the truth has come out, and Boris Johnson is a bumbling, working-class hating, lying Tory, and has been all along.
Keir Starmer knew this, but they couldn’t support a government that put the people first.
I don’t believe that any right-minded person could even infer that the government have handled this well. There’s a list of blunders and lagging governance, with the Prime Minister who missed the first 5 COBRA meetings, instead, he ran away to Chequers where he completed his divorce to his now ex-wife.
Then there was the allowance of Liverpool v Athletic Madrid – the allowance of the Cheltenham Festival which both impacted – the unwillingness to secure borders – the refusal to shut pubs until it was evident COVID 19 was widespread in the nation.
The PPE was an utter disaster – the test and trace was a debacle. Then there was the awarding of a contract to ConDems to create an app that failed – the awarding of a test and trace app to Circo – a company with a litany of failures with NHS contracts – the list was infinite.
The exclusion of treatment for people in hospital over a particular age, instead, sending them to care homes which didn’t have the expertise or the PPE to cope and therefore spread the virus.
But the very worst was the allowance of ConDems mate sitting in SAGE meetings – this politicised science and caused countless deaths, Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock should hang their heads in shame and quit.
Of course, nobody is infallible and we don’t expect them to get everything 100 per cent right in this bizarre situation, but Boris Johnson is totally out of his depth and his entire government are winging it day to day, so there’s no surprise there have been so many variations of direction.
And it comes to something when it takes a 22-year-old footballer to tell the government what to do about child poverty and hunger.
The other big problem is that Boris Johnson has stated from the start that he and the government are guided in their decisions by the best scientific advice (SAGE), yet he declines to make that advise public, so how do we know that the government are acting because of that information or in the spirit of it?
And it came out that members of the SAGE committee have said the government was easing lockdown against their advice and seems to be putting the economy before public well-being.
Boris Johnson changes his mind as frequently as he changes his undergarments, so let’s get this right, he’s a nincompoop like his counterpart in the USA, but as long as Boris Johnson runs his fingers through his hair like a mischievous schoolboy he believes he’s okay.
Boris Johnson is a rambling disaster, and he deserves nothing but scorn for what is equivalent to corporate manslaughter.
Leaders lead, they’re not supposed to be led, but our leader has distorted and spun his way through this disaster, and we shouldn’t be praising a government that allows 60,000 people to die through their utter inadequacy.
What I find difficult to accept is that there are people out there who will defend Boris Johnson no matter what he says or does, and even though the Tories have been winging it from the start, they’re actually fighting to stop the second wave by making sure the first wave doesn’t end.
You just can’t make this stuff up, and what comes out of Boris Johnson’s orifice has led straight to failure. He’s a walking time bomb.
He told everyone to go to the beach, what happened? Mass fights and children getting caught up in it. There was a shopping list of stuff that occurred and he’s called our so-called Prime Minister.
He said children couldn’t get the virus but now children are dying because of this virus. He said use your common sense but he didn’t, did he? He caught the virus, and according to scientists, if lockdown had been one week earlier, it could have saved 20,000 lives, but blundering Boris didn’t do that.
It would make a difference if the squabbling voters could make their minds up, for any issue they care to raise, they’re normally split into mutually opposing camps. But then that’s the nature of the beast – human beings for you, but to be honest, there’s no such thing as a will of the people, that’s all a myth.
The politician’s role is to make sense of these conflicting opinions and to do what they believe is most desirable for the nation as a whole, knowing that what they’re doing is going to anger a whole bunch of people.
A Member of Parliament has three duties – the first being able to act in the national interest. The second is they’re chosen by their constituents, so they must express their opinions – so an MP is their constituencies representative in parliament.
Finally, they represent a political party but anything they do in regard to that must be subordinate to the first two.
But are you guys actually going to defend a Prime Minister who’s a complete and utter baffoon? Who has the blood of over 50K people that needlessly died because of his lack of leadership, lack of knowledge and lack of not knowing what the hell to do in such distressing circumstances?
You all seem to want to show sympathy towards a fool who said that he was putting a protective ring around our care homes, and you want to support a so-called Prime Minister who believes that sending poor innocent children back to school when the rest of the United Kingdom is dropping like houseflies is okay.
You want to support this nincompoop for killing other people’s families, Uncle’s, Auntie’s, brother’s, sisters, mums, dad’s, cousins and newborn babies, the list is infinite, and on top of that, this complete clown who himself had the virus told everyone to use common sense, well, Boris, you may need to use it first.
Boris Johnson is disregarding matters concerning the COVID 19 situation in the United Kingdom because he’s only focused on financial interests and following in the tracks of Donald Trump.
Personal profit and personal notoriety rather than the well-being of the less fortunate amongst the domestic population. Sadly, this is what the majority chose when electing the overweight blonde and his disciples to run the country, which is fast falling to that of a poor banana republic, even without bananas to sell.
It’s the medias duty to report, and a leader shouldn’t be influenced by what they read. Leaders lead, they don’t allow themselves to be coerced, and scientific proof is not something that Boris Johnson can profess to have followed.
Remember all the calls for a lockdown that began too late? They were scientific calls.
This man changes his mind a lot but I can’t help thinking it’s because he gets persuaded into it by advisers or coerced into it by his own party, but then he was never a smart man, and the prevailing advice is economically motivated and it’s going way too fast with long Sunday opening hours, what a dumb approach and opening up our borders to holidaymakers is hardly scientifically supported advice.
But then the scientists advise, the government decides and numerous times they’ve openly disagreed with what the government has done, but the most natural thing for a politician to do is to follow the advice which best fits what he wants to do.