I’ve been browsing around Facebook and other social media and been pleasantly surprised by the number of postings from folks who are generally very supportive of what people are doing in the current pandemic. I don’t just mean praise for NHS front line and care workers, support staff, supermarket people, refuse workers, lorry drivers and all the many folks who are keeping essential things going for us all. I’m also talking about the large number of postings in praise of what our Government is doing in the face of this dreadful virus. Wow.
Now I won’t deny that many people in authority are working incredibly hard to get on top of this huge problem. But regular readers will know I’ve been critical of our Gov’t’s slowness to react to the problem initially and their cackhandedness in getting essential PPE and testing equipment in place quickly, then my anger at the massaging of targets and data to mask their failings whilst pandering to public opinion by trying to shame easy prey like overpaid footballers. And not one Cabinet person has seen fit to apologise for any shortcomings even though more than 26,000 people have now died including dozens of under-resourced NHS staff.
However I was rather shocked to see dozens of postings castigating journalists like the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg and ITV’s Robert Peston for their negativity in asking unwarranted challenging questions during the daily briefing sessions, almost as if they were trying to undermine the Gov’t and all its great work during this crisis.
Now of course I applaud hard work but come on folks. I don’t think we should give our leaders an easy ride over their performance throughout this pandemic. The journalists have been doing a questioning job on behalf of us all, not least because until very recently, Parliament hasn’t been sitting and there’s been no Opposition in operation in a democratic sense. This isn’t a totalitarian state and thank goodness it’s not the job of the press and media to kowtow to the Gov’t. A little bit like many of the journalists I sense, I just take everything they say with a huge slug of salt, as I continue to see those death numbers creep inexorably upwards. And now that they’ve been forced to include deaths in care centres and in the community, we might just see some accurate reporting at last, possibly and sadly highlighting that the UK is suffering far worse than any other country in Europe and possibly in the world if you measure them as a proportion of the population. Those figures don’t lie and at the end of all this I hope somebody asks Mr Hancock just why was that and could and should you have done better? And do you admit any failings and will you apologise if so? I bet I know the answer.
To keep my mind active I’ve been trying to come up with some lessons I’ve learned about politicians through this pandemic. It’s not all highly original but is just my twist on things and you can add your own or contradict me if you think I’m just being overly-negative for the sake of it. Here’s a few for starters:
- Politicians are like bad surgeons; they are excellent at misdiagnosing a problem and then skilfully misapplying the wrong remedies.
- To be fair to them, politicians never lie they just tell a carefully edited version of the truth.
- To make a mistake is only human; not to apologise for it and to blame it on somebody else shows fantastic Ministerial potential. He who smiles in a crisis has already found someone to blame.
- To be sure of hitting the target, Health Secretaries tend to shoot first and then call whatever they hit as the always-intended objective.
- You can easily judge the character of a Health Secretary by how he treats those who ask him tough questions.
- The daily news briefing is where The Gov’t minister begins with ‘Good evening’, and then proceeds to tell you why it isn’t.
- The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was. That’s why politicians fuck it up from the start.
Just to show I’m not biased against our own leaders, I think it’s also worth saying that for all their failings and character flaws, at least we don’t have someone in control like Donald Trump, whose recent musings included the sage advice that ingesting disinfectant might provide a barrier to or cure for the c19 virus. Within days several hospitals reported a spike in cases of poisonings whilst many more folks, especially those without medical care, were calling in to check if they should self-medicate with toilet cleaner. Of course the President now claims he wasn’t asking his medial experts to check out what a smart idea that was (for all the world that’s what he seemed to be saying) but was simply being sarcastic. Ah. So of course he now says he will take no responsibility should people sadly take a swig from the under-sink chlorine bottle.
It’s just mind-boggling. I have my daughter, son-in-law and two youngest grandchildren living in New York under this idiot’s leadership and everyday I pray that they all stay safe and well at least for the next 6 months until the next Presidential election takes place. He cannot win a second term can he? I’m reminded of two thoughts when it comes to Trump:
- It’s actually relatively simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don’t say it, FFS.
- Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for President and 50 for Miss America?