Learning to live with … a con man

Today’s Covid announcement was no more led by science than it was by politics. It was led by “Operation Save Big Dog”. Designed to save the skin of the PM. A man not exactly renowned for his honesty and integrity.

Doesn’t matter to him that he’s throwing the vulnerable, the less well-off and frontline health and care workers under the bus.

The message would have been carefully calculated as a dog whistle to those Tory MPs the PM needs onside to cling onto power. Even if he’s charged with flagrantly breaking laws he imposed on the rest of us but which he didn’t believe he should himself respect.

By that measure he had a good day. They’ll be partying again tonight in Downing St!

It is the NHS, our frontline health and care workers, our scientists, our voluntary sector, those members of the public who have done the right thing, in spite of the difficulties and hardships it has caused, who have enabled the UK overcome what we must hope is the worst of the Covid pandemic. But it’s the PM who seeks to take the credit.

Yes it’s the same PM who has made many of the worst calls, set the worst example, wasted billions on absurdly unwise procurement of test, trace and other contracts (many with his friends and Conservative Party supporters) and, as it emerges, treated the rest of us as fools in his “one rule for us; another for the rest of you” elitist world view. It’s no wonder the UK has one of the very worst covid death rates in the developed world.

He won’t care whether the vulnerable, their families and carers feel assured by this unwise statement. All he’ll care about is whether the narrow pool of Conservative MPs – not exactly the zenith of sagacious judiciary – are prepared to forgive him.

We must all hope there won’t be another more virulent variant, that the most vulnerable will be effectively protected by well-supported caring staff and volunteers, that the public will have learned lessons to ignore the standard set by Conservative MPs and others but show respect for each other in all they do, and remain vigilant for many months until it is much clearer that we are genuinely clear of the worst of this tragic and difficult period in our history.