Lies, damned lies and parties – another bad week for Johnson
The only thing as certain as the inexorable spread of the Omicron variant of Covid 19 is the lengths to which the Tories will go to cover up their lying and deceit, which has characterised every stage of the pandemic. It is getting difficult to keep track of the number of parties which occurred in government departments or Downing Street itself, either last Christmas or during lockdown in May last year.
The latest revelation, that the government’s most senior civil servant, Simon Case, allowed a gathering to go ahead in his office, is the icing on the cake. Case is meant to be investigating the allegations of goings on at 10, Downing St, a brief which is now fatally compromised.
If it was possible to be charged with reckless endangerment when in charge of pandemic, the Tories would be bang to rights. Apart from the obvious dangers of virus spread from the plethora of office parties and gatherings, which are making the news headlines daily, there is the shattering of public confidence in vital public health messages, which could keep the death count down and reduce pressure on the NHS by controlling hospitalisations.
The Tories one rule for the rich and another for the rest approach however is leading many to forget that two wrongs do not make a right. Just because the Tories adopt a cavalier attitude towards the health of the nation does not mean that we should all fall into the same trap. The temptation for many to adopt an attitude that ‘they don’t obey the rules so why should we?’ is great but it is ultimately a self defeating one.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) estimate that in most regions Omicron infections are doubling in less than every two days, suggesting that cases could reach a million a day by the end of the month.
Dr Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Advisor at UKHSA said last week,
“The biggest worry is that if we have very high numbers of people getting infected at the same time, with the doubling rate that we are seeing at the moment. Then it will find all those people who had less immune responses or those people who have yet to get their booster dose or have not been vaccinated yet, remembering that there are still significant numbers in the population – more than 5 million in England – who have not yet received a single dose of vaccine.”
The Tories are doing all that they can to avoid bringing in any restrictions they would regard as unpopular before Christmas. At the same time they know that, as scientific advisers on SAGE point out, failing to impose any additional measures will undoubtedly lead to a spike in infections in the New Year, resulting in further disease, hospitalisation and death. The NHS is already creaking, as the unvaccinated take up bed space across the country, and Covid cases displace the health service from giving attention to vital operations and long term conditions such as cancer.
Giving in to the Tories’ relaxed approach to public health will ultimately backfire this time, as it has at every stage of the pandemic so far. Covid 19 is not a phenomenon which the Tories can simply bluster their way out of, try as they might. Each stage of the pandemic is just another roll of the dice for the Tories, as they gamble with the health of the nation. The UK’s position as the Covid sick man of Europe, such that the French have now closed borders to British tourists, is the latest testament to this.
It is already clear from the Tories’ catastrophic showing in the North Shropshire by-election, losing a seat they had held for 200 years, that the double standards are hitting home, even with voters who would historically never vote anything but Conservative.
In response, knives are being sharpened inside the Tory Party for Boris Johnson, now being seen as more of an electoral liability than electoral asset. The focus upon Johnson, bumbling and incompetent as he may be, is nevertheless a diversion. The Tories will always elect a leader they see as best fitted to serving the interests of the ruling class at any given time and just as quickly dispense with them when they have served their purpose.
Johnson’s mission was simply to ensure the defeat of Jeremy Corbyn at the 2019 General Election and get a Tory shaped Brexit deal across the line, whatever the cost. He has served that purpose and the pandemic has exposed his failings as a Party leader and Prime Minister.
Johnson’s departure, whenever that may come, will not change the fundamental mission of the Tories or signal any departure from their core modus operandi; to defend the interests of the rich and privileged and use any subterfuge necessary to defend capitalism.
Getting Johnson out may give the appearance of being a step forward but getting rid of the Tories and the whole rotten system which supports them has to remain the ultimate goal, for the good of the nation’s health.