Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Clap for ...

You know who.
Firstly, I wish nobody ill from this virus. It's horrible, and dying fighting to breathe with nobody you know around you is an idea too horrendous to imagine. That includes our prime minister; I hope he recovers soon.
Secondly, his name is not "Boris". He is a prime minister, not your mate down the pub.
Thirdly, don't say that *I'm* politicising something. "Clap for Boris" was a blatantly political act in the first place - where do you think it came from?! It was a way of trying to co-opt the good feeling associated with the NHS and direct it towards the prime minister and the government. If you don't understand *how* that is political, you are one of the people that this government is shamelessly manipulating.
Johnson and his government have a grown-up job to do, which at the moment should at the very least be fighting for the lives of people in this country - that has to be a minimum requirement for a government, right?! That needs to still be happening even if one - or all! - of them isn't well. The political party running the country have made this much harder for themselves - which means that, yes, ultimately, they are causing people's deaths. How?
- by running down the NHS financially for the last 10 years;
- specifically by creating and stoking an environment hostile to ex-pat workers, draining medical staff from the NHS in the last five years;
- by wasting the 10 weeks effective notice we had failing to get the PPE and ventilators we required;
- by getting distracted for the last 10 days before the storm hit with poorly thought-out ideas about herd immunity;
- by undermining the civil service and reducing the availability and weight of expert advice;
- by prioritising a nationalistic, Brexit agenda over a co-operative one (refusing to take part in EU schemes which could have supported us, refusing to acknowledge other examples of international cooperation - did you know that other EU countries have helped to repatriate UK citizens? That China has sent emergency equipment and workers to this country?);
- by making loyalty to Brexit and willingness to take direction the requirement of being part of the government, rather than competence - and in fact, by creating an environment in which all the competent people left the conservative party;
- by refusing to draw on expertise in other political parties;
- by prioritising the interests of financial backers rather than the country;
- by not taking obvious steps, even when they were pointed out to them (there are still queues of people at the border at Heathrow);
- through "austerity" - which didn't extend to the super-rich - but which has left more people more financially vulnerable and more dependent.
The directors of communication in government don't want you to think about this. So instead, they quietly push the idea of "clap for Boris".

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