An extraordinary litany of errors – UK gov and Covid

  1. Delayed initial lockdown and failure to implement a quarantine system in early March. Result: tens of thousands more dead than need be.
  2. Transfer of untested Covid-19 infected patients to Care Homes up until mid-April. About 16,000 totally avoidable deaths. (Amnesty)
  3. 7 Nightingale Hospitals built at huge cost and hardly used. Apparently because they didn’t think about how to staff them.
  4. £12 billion on a Test and Trace system which is not fit for its stated purpose and has in fact failed. (Failure to use local Health Boards). [1]
  5. Basic failures building an app. outside of the manufacturer APIs even though a simple test (and/or checking experience in other countries) would have told them that Bluetooth doesn’t work on Apple phones when the app is running in the background.
  6. Any number of purchases of inadequate equipment. Just one example; the Ayanada Capital scandal which involves a government adviser. [2] This is just one of many such dubious contracts for the purchase of substandard equipment made with normal procurement rules suspended. Billions of pounds wasted.
  7. Second lockdown implemented several weeks after SAGE advised need for a ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown. Thousands more needless deaths.
  8. Passenger Locator Form system still not working so even 6 months in the Dep of Health can only take a wild guess as to how many people have come in from Denmark (where there is a new and dangerous strain of the virus).

None of the above depend on an interpretation or point of view. These are all simple errors in decision making and implementation. The result has been tens of thousands of people needlessly dying and billions of pounds needlessly wasted. It is to my mind extraordinary that anyone in the country still has trust in the government. Of course it is partly explained by their friends in the media covering up for them. But even so. The population is like sheep being led to the slaughter.

I’ve said litany of errors. But let’s not be naive. This is from the point of view of an ordinary taxpayer or relative of someone who has died. From the point of view of the shareholders of any one of a number of large international companies (such as Serco, Sitel, Perkin Elmer) or of many management consultants and media consultants who have benefitted from extraordinary largesse all this is cause for huge celebration. They will be whooping for joy. (As will Pfizer with their proof-of-concept vaccine which needs to be stored at -70°C but which populist governments will be obliged to buy).

So – perhaps not so much a litany of mistakes as a carefully managed transfer of £ hundreds of billions from the British taxpayer to (often US) shareholders and UK management consultants.

Notes

  1. https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m2805
  2. https://www.ft.com/content/93036435-45df-4883-b5d3-86ab96ca20e8

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer