British Conservative coronavirus mismanagement

This 6 May 2020 British TV video says about itself:

Critical care doctor explains what coronavirus intensive care is really like | Covid-19 UK

Critical care consultant in the Royal Gwent Hospital, Dr David Hepburn, explains what intensive care is really like for coronavirus patients – and says ‘it could be any of us’.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 10 May 2020:

Doctors and lawyers seek inquiry into government failures to provide PPE

DOCTORS and lawyers called today for an immediate inquiry into the government’s failure to provide adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) to front-line healthcare staff.

Every coronavirus death of a healthcare worker should be subject to an inquest that examines whether lack of PPE played a part, the Doctors’ Association UK and the Good Law Project said.

The professional bodies have listed “recurrent and systemic” failures in PPE procurement and its supply by the government.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 10 May 2020:

THE government’s latest injunction — Stay alert, Control the virus, Save lives — has come under instant criticism as providing ineffective advice.

Compare it with the earlier slogan: Stay at home, Save lives Protect the NHS.

This is a very effective piece of propaganda if by this we mean a slogan that directs people to concrete courses of action by appealing to universally accepted moral imperatives and widely held values.

A Conservative politician once remarked that his party was forever hobbled by its fierce opposition to the establishment of the National Health Service.

The NHS, he ruefully suggested, is the closest thing the British people have to a secular religion.

So how, then, do we evaluate a slogan that abandons as its priority the call to protect the NHS and substitutes for the clear instruction to “stay at home” a vague instruction to “stay alert?”

This is a government with an unlimited propaganda budget and an obedient mass media. It is led by a man who, in his rise to office, has transcended the manifestly negative impression his personal conduct gives, the opposition his ideology engenders and a promiscuously opportunist political posture to position himself as a prime minister presiding over a government with a 50 per cent favourable rating in public opinion polls.

This is a party that has at its service the most “creative” advertising professionals that an advanced capitalist economy devoted to selling us things we cannot afford and do not need can procure.

If you think this slogan is an error of judgement, a mistake by an inexperienced publicist or a simple accident of the moment, then Keith Stoddart at the Morning Star Fighting Fund, has a very serviceable bridge across the Clyde available for sale at reasonable rates.

This slogan is perfectly configured, precisely targeted and completely coherent in its objective.

It is designed to lull us into a false sense of security, downgrade in our personal list of priorities the protection of our NHS, substitute for a clear sense of direction in our behaviour an ambiguous and infinitely flexible signpost that in weeks to come will allow us to accommodate almost any personal behaviour short of physical intimacy with every stranger we meet.

Ignore the advice that medical professionals and epidemiologists offer, convince yourself that Richard Branson has a personal interest in your wellbeing, drive deep into your unconscious mind the fact that Britain has the highest Covid-19 incidence of deaths per head of population, and you might think the people who dreamt up this slogan are on the ball.

If on the other hand you don’t trust Tories and think they prioritise profit over our wellbeing, then consider what your personal reaction should be and what working people might collectively do to protect us all from infection.

Labour’s reaction that the “stay alert” messaging risked people acting as if the lockdown was lifted goes in the right direction.

But Labour needs to abandon its hitherto overly passive approach and give a clear lead that changes in the management of the crisis are not simply the prerogative of government or at the disposition of employers.

Labour must insist that health and safety at work falls squarely into the sphere of responsibility of trade unions and that individual workers have the right to refuse to work in dangerous conditions and that trade union representatives have the power to stop the job.

The battle to beat this virus is not to be won solely in hospitals, by administrative action or by vague moral messages. It will be won by resolute action that puts people before profit

By Bethany Rielly in Britain, 10 May 2020:

Unions will not recommend members to return to work till it’s safe

BRITAIN’S biggest unions will not support the government’s back-to-work plans until ministers can guarantee the safety of workers, their leaders said at the weekend.

The general secretaries of Unison, Unite, GMB and Usdaw, along with the TUC, warned Prime Minister Boris Johnson that they will not recommend millions of their members to return to work unless the “right policies and practices are in place to make workplaces safe.”

In a joint letter to the Observer on Saturday, Unison’s Dave Prentis, Len McCluskey of Unite, acting GMB leader TUC John Phillips, Usdaw’s Paddy Lillis and TUC head Frances O’Grady pointed out that many of their members have died from the virus while keeping the country running.

By Bethany Rielly in Britain, 10 May 2020:

Vigil held in Glasgow after young asylum-seeker dies

THE death of a young asylum-seeker in Glasgow has raised questions over the conditions in hotels where hundreds of refugees have been moved during the Covid-19 crisis.

Migrant rights groups held a vigil this afternoon for the young man, believed to be in his twenties, who they claim was trying to get help and was in “great distress” before he died.

One of the organisers, Glasgow No Evictions, said that the man had recently been forced out of his accommodation and into a hotel in the city centre.

By Peter Lazenby in Britain, 10 May 2020:

Reopening schools too early will cause a surge in death rates, scientists have warned

REOPENING schools too early during the current pandemic would be “crazy” and could cause a surge in deaths, forcing Britain back into full lockdown again, a group of scientists warned today.

The Bradford Science Collective, formed “to counter government propaganda about the coronavirus, untainted by political influence,” gave the warning in its first public statement.

The collective involves scientists from Yorkshire universities, and was founded by Professor John Baruch of Leeds and Bradford universities.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain, 10 May 2020:

Statistician blasts government’s Covid-19 press conferences as ‘completely embarrassing’

A STATISTICS expert has criticised the government’s daily press conference as a “number theatre,” starving the public of genuine information on coronavirus in Britain.

Today Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter slammed the press briefings as “completely embarrassing.”

He said that statistics should instead be presented by people who know the strength and limitations of the data and that could “treat the audience with respect.”

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain, 10 May 2020:

Millions of goggles to be pulled from NHS as they put staff at risk of Covid-19

ALMOST 16 million protective goggles supplied for use by NHS and care workers will be urgently withdrawn because they fail to ensure protection from coronavirus, the government admitted today.

The “tiger eye”-type goggles have been recalled after tests showed that they do not meet current requirements for “splash protection” and are only suitable for low-risk settings.

A letter from the Department of Health and Social Care said: “As a result, this product should not be used in a Covid-19 setting, and we are removing it from the supply chain.”

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 10 May 2020:

PM urged to launch ‘transparent’ independent public inquiry into BAME Covid-19 deaths

Inadequate response: Prime Minister Boris Johnson

BORIS JOHNSON was urged to launch an independent public inquiry today into the disproportionate impact of coronavirus on black and minority-ethnic (BAME) communities.

In an open letter, campaigners told the Prime Minister that only an independent inquiry could explain the “outsized effect” that Covid-19 was having on people from BAME backgrounds.

Recent analysis by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has found that black men and women are more than four times more likely to suffer a coronavirus-related death than their white counterparts.

2 thoughts on “British Conservative coronavirus mismanagement

  1. Pingback: Boris Johnson mismanages British coronavirus disaster | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Coronavirus crisis in Britain and France | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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