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Coronavirus: ‘Make it up as we go’ approach will prove deadly

PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 September 2020

Cllr Ihtesham Malik Afzal, Preston ward

Cllr Ihtesham Malik Afzal, Preston ward

Archant

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time” - Maya Angelou

From U-turns and incompetence, through to outright indifference to the lives of poor and vulnerable people, six months into this pandemic, let’s take a look back at the actions (and inactions) of this Tory so-called government.

Firstly, not providing enough PPE or ventilators from the outset of this crisis, they then purchased 50 million masks for NHS staff, which - get this - can’t even be used in the NHS. These are the people who run our country.

Abandoning our care homes, not providing them with the necessary equipment and support, Boris and his gang then had the nerve to blame them - those working on the frontline, trying to keep our elderly alive - for the high number of deaths. These are the people who run our country.

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Refusing to feed hungry children over the summer, the government only relented after a people-led campaign spearheaded by Marcus Rashford.

And their latest U-turn; the A Level exam results fiasco, ditching their algorithm and trusting and awarding the grades given by their teachers, was too little, too late. The damage was already done. These are the people who run our country.

Oh and that’s not to mention: locking down too late; opening the lockdown too early; Boris shaking hands with Covid patients, bragging about it, getting Covid, nearly dying; Cummings’ eye-test trip to Barnard Castle; the abysmal failure that is the government’s implementation of test and trace; the wasted millions in setting up and then abandoning the contact tracing app; the denial of pay rises to care workers; the impending cliff-edge and mass unemployment when the furlough scheme comes to an end; and turning back on its promise to fund the expenditure councils have had to outlay, dealing with this pandemic.

So with cases rising again, the potential second wave, our economy on the brink; what then of the next six months? I hate to say it, but just like they had no plan up until now, they still have no plan, and this ‘just make it up as we go’ approach, is going to prove deadly.

And it will be our key workers who will be left to pick us all up again. These are the people who really run our country.

Ihtesham Malik Afzal (Lab) is councillor for Preston ward.


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