I wrote this tweet last night, having watched some of the PM's press conference:
I am struggling to get my head around this. The NHS is on a war footing. The military is being called in. But pubs are open, mask-wearing is not being enforced and NHS staff are still not getting decent PPE. You literally cannot make sense of incoherence of this sort.
— Richard Murphy (@RichardJMurphy) January 4, 2022
So far the tweet has been liked 11,700 times. The message clearly resonated with some other people.
What is clear is that the government has decided to treat Covid as if it is simply like flu, or rather like the cold that most people call flu, as there is a difference.
Flu kills maybe 1,500 people a year in the UK. The rest of the deaths described as such by the ONS are pneumonia and 0ther bronchial diseases, almost all caused by fuel poverty and older people suffering from over-exposure to cold conditions. There is then almost no similarity between flu and Covid as to repercussions. One causes almost no stress to the NHS. Covid causes excess deaths, and not just from those with the condition, but to many others as well. That is what is forecast or known by hospitals when they declare critical incidents. They are saying that they do not have the resources to prevent these deaths.
And we have a government that is accepting that.
It is saying it has no duty of care.
It is saying that it will not support people, health care workers, the NHS, other public services, businesses or anyone else.
What is more, it will not put in place or require compliance with the most basic of public health measures.
And it does all this because one-third of the MPs who support that government, and a fair number of members of the Cabinet including both Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, who lead the charge to replace Johnson, think that these deaths are a price worth paying to declare freedom.
In the last week former Cabinet minister Edwina Currie declared that Brexit was worthwhile for the benefit of freedom and the ability to stick two fingers up to Brussels. She could provide no other justifications. Now the same logic is effectively being used for this approach Covid. The desire is freedom from wearing face masks and the apparent ability to stick two fingers up to a virus, which really does not care what we do.
This is not just stupid; it is close to being deranged in its logic. This supposed freedom kills, and offers no gains. And people are going to die for this.
In my opinion this is culpable. Those pursuing this policy should one day be held to account for it. Reckless irresponsibility in pubic life that might lead to death has to have accountability attached to it. We are witnessing that irresponsibility now, in my opinion. I hope that one day we have a government willing to prosecute those who caused those deaths that need never have happened but will very soon.