In moments of crisis, leaders are expected to unite and support the country. Failing that, they are at least expected to turn up to work. However, the article published by The Times has made it clear that our prime minister has taken this crisis astonishingly lightly, and that his failings have endangered us all.
This isn’t unprecedented for Boris Johnson, who – throughout his entire career – has shown a staggering lack of care. He was delayed in his response to the London Riots as Mayor because he was on holiday in Canada, and amid rising tensions with Iran earlier this year, he was on holiday in Mustique. His disregard for the safety of Britain now isn’t surprising, is it? This is not to say that politicians aren’t allowed time off, but surely when you’re the leader of a country experiencing its biggest crisis in decades, perhaps it isn’t the time to take a long weekend. If a nurse or other key worker had just not shown up for work, they would face repercussions. Why is the prime minister getting away with it?
This goes beyond Johnson’s lack of attendance in meetings: he was a key architect of a decade of austerity that rendered the NHS barely able to function normally, let alone deal with a crisis. To make matters worse, the government’s advice to struggling doctors and nurses has been catastrophically incompetent. This includes asking the NHS to reuse PPE, despite the advice of scientists and medical professionals.
The prime minister and his government have shown every indication that they are completely incapable of leading the country. Before their complete incompetence causes any more damage, they must be held to account.
Last modified: 28th April 2020