Jackie Griffiths out canvassing in White Oak ward for local election.

The UK in time of Coronavirus

The high death rate in the UK from coronavirus is a disgrace. Standing at 43,514 we have now second highest death rate in world.  A lot of these deaths could have been avoided with prompt decisive action taken as soon as virus was declared a pandemic. There is no excuse for this high level of deaths. We could see what was happening in Italy and Spain and had time to put plans in place.

Locking down a week earlier than we did would have saved many lives. It is not good enough to say that we saved the NHS. The NHS was saved through the dedication and sacrifices of the workers not by any decision or action on behalf of the government.

Now with a second wave imminent there seems to be no contingency plans in place and despite urgent requests for an inquiry into what went wrong with the handling of the first wave nothing has yet been recorded.

With the reluctance of the government to organise any proper coordinated strategy for the protection of the populace it is no wonder that people are losing confidence in Mr Johnson and the Upper Fourth Remove that serve as his Cabinet. The question can be asked ‘Is herd immunity synonymous with what our forebears called ‘cannon fodder’?’

Mr Johnson is renowned for his bouncy optimism but there comes a time when we need to question this. We all like to hear good news and we all want to deny the gravity of the situation at the moment. But sometimes it is necessary to be realistic and to accept that coronavirus is still out there like a tiger at large and there is a serious risk of many more catching the virus and indeed dying from it .

Johnson and his cronies should be held accountable for the catastrophe that has happened here. There is not one area in the whole sorry saga in which they have succeeded. Even his renowned optimism has been misplaced and hugely inappropriate and especially so for the relatives of the 43514.

A noteworthy postscript here is that we must now refer to the Prime Minister either by that title or by his surname. Calling him Boris implies that he is a lovable teddy bear. But he is not there waiting in his red hat and holding his suitcase at Paddington Station. He is a full grown adult male, albeit a very selfish and self indulgent one. He should be held to  account for his gross mistakes and reckless oversights.

By Jacqueline Griffiths
Labour Party Town & District Councillor for St Mary’s Ward, Swanley

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