Well what a dreadful few months we have seen in the UK! At least we can say until January 20th that we don’t have the worst Government in the Western World. But even that tiny fig leaf (I’m not being personal Mr Trump) will disappear when Joe Biden is sworn in as President.
Let’s start with the incompetence or was it just lying:
We will deliver 100,000 tests a day by the end of April. Only achieved by including a large number sent in the post that day many of which were not returned.
We will have a world class test and trace system in place by the end of June. There is not one in place yet. The national system is a joke achieving just over 50% contacts whereas local systems deliver 90%+. Almost comically the Tory place woman supposed to be overseeing this charade was only informed after 5 days to self-isolate after contact with an infected individual.
We will have a first-class app suggested at several different dates in the summer. The App is working poorly and slowly. Some of us, even though we have a smart phone, are unable to use it because our phone is too old.
We have put our arms around care homes. No, you didn’t. You sent people to the care homes to die, cared for by staff without proper PPE and having to use bin bags to give themselves some protection. Many of them I turn got infected and died.
Above all, of course, was the failure to get to grips with the virus in the first place and when they did understand it they have consistently refused to take tough action quickly which has led to tougher and longer action thereafter.
There is very little defence from the Tories for this
Let’s go on to the arrogance:
Lord Snooty or Jacob Rees-Mogg as he is otherwise known declaiming patriotic but Victorian era songs to the Commons.
Priti Patel being defended by the PM after a report was issued which clearly showed her to be a bully. This has led to the Prime Minister’s ethics adviser resigning.
Dominic Cummings taking his family for a holiday and checking his eyes on an 80-mile round trip. Not sacked as he should have been but allowed to parade his drivel in the garden of 10 Downing Street.
An attack on the concept of Scottish government as the call for Independence rises based on Brexit and coronavirus blundering.
Entering into the Brexit negotiations firm in the belief that we are an all-powerful Albion which is too important for the EU to do without and then not changing their mind when they discovered that the UK was not a huge issue in EU eyes although they have made very reason effort to keep us in.
And what about the Plundering?
Well where do we start? £12 billion for the track and trace? No tender, no quality controls, no reasonable results.
Dido Harding being parachuted into a new job redefining Public Health England when she has yet to be successful at any job particularly the T and T system
£600k splurged on a comms company without tender
£20 million plus on commission to someone to act as a middleman for the purchase of PPE from a company with no experience in delivering PPE.
This is all so new to the British system. Like all political systems there has always been a tendency to cronyism; to listening to mates; to providing opportunities to mates and to allowing some contracts to get through in dubious circumstances.
But the UK has never seen anything on this industrial scale of larceny before. Never before has there been a system where Ministers and MPs can get in through the back door for the awarding of contacts on this scale.
So, what can we do about it?
Step one. Ensure that no-one from Eton can hold national public office for the next 50 years. Name one who has not been an arrogant buffoon if you can!
Step two. Break up the power of this centralised state. We have the biggest state control apparatus of any Western democracy with too many decisions being made in Westminster and Whitehall. We need to give more powers to the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Assemblies and set up regional assemblies with fiscal powers for the 8 regions of England.
Step 3. We need change the relationship between citizens and state with decision making taking place closer to the citizen and with more opportunity for them to get involved.
Step 4. We need to change the tax system and simplify it. Too many people get away with paying too little tax for the needs of the Country leaving too many of us having to pay too much tax in redress. If international companies and hedge fund spivs paid their fair whack there would be plenty for us all to provide the series which society, as a whole, needs.
Step 5. Change the law so that all MPs and Peers have to declare their tax returns so we can see who is getting away with what!!
Does this sound a bit revolutionary? Guilty as charged. What makes me a liberal is that I don’t want to change their elite for mine. I want to see a fairer society and that is only possible if power is dispersed, services are paid for by taxes which have been raised equitably and where everyone has the same opportunities in life from which to potentially benefit.
I think Tony Blair did many good things and was basically, with the obvious exception of Iraq a good thing! But he did not make the fundamental changes that I think are needed if we are to rebalance our communities, country and economy. Unless we do that, we will continue to have a cycle of better and worse government but never an introduction into the cycle of good government.