Britain has just passed 100,000 Covid deaths and Boris Johnson says he accepts responsibility for all the decisions of his Tory government. Nearby Norway has had 550 and far away New Zealand has had just 25 and these are some of the countries that have now returned to a normal daily life. Here in the UK we’re amongst the worse in the world with no end in sight because there’s no strategy in sight just a bumbling ‘respond and see’. Johnson swung from herd immunity to testing then failing to test then opening all the restaurants then closing all the restaurants, then promoting Christmas then cancelling Christmas. Labour have been marking the sad day with calls for action and public inquiry.
Labour Leader Keir Starmer said “This is a national tragedy and a terrible reminder of all that we have lost as a country. We must never become numb to these numbers or treat them as just statistics. Every death is a loved one, a friend, a neighbour, a partner or a colleague. It is an empty chair at the dinner table. To all those that are mourning, we must promise to learn the lessons of what went wrong and build a more resilient country. That day will come and we will get there together. But for now we must remember those that we have lost and be vigilant in the national effort to stay at home, protect our NHS and vaccinate Britain.”
Meet the Darkness Head On
Bridgwater and West Somerset Labour Party Chairman Liam Tucker said ” Sometimes the darkness can be overwhelming. It certainly feels that way today. Bitterness, incompetence, arrogance and corruption have led us to this dark day. I call upon you all to reject these things utterly. We need to think deeply upon what kind of a nation we wish to be and in what direction we move in. In my humble opinion, what we need in this nation is an abundance of love, wisdom, compassion and sweet sweet music for the soul. I am steadfast in my belief that human beings are inherently decent, good and kind. Many we have lost were the most vulnerable amongst us and along with them those that cared for them, they acted out of a common duty we have towards one another, to shield, protect and care. They were the finest amongst us. Every death is a family shattered, an empty chair at the table. It falls upon us to carry on the struggle, to rise up and meet the darkness head on. To be the guiding light in the darkness. We are indomitable and so so noble when we choose to be. We must redouble our efforts, we must do everything possible to help one another. Fight for the public good, the general welfare and a bright future we are proud to call our legacy.”
Complete Lack of Leadership
Bridgwater Labour Town Councillors also were critical of the Prime Ministers failings. Cllr Mick Lerry (Labour, Victoria) said: “Unfortunately the Prime Minister has been more concerned about the different political views within his Conservative Party than he has been about making the right Public Health decisions to protect the the people of the United Kingdom. U turn after U turn has only demonstrated a complete lack of leadership to protect the health of the Nation. A public enquiry is necessary to make sure that the same mistakes are not repeated again, when it comes to Public Health”.
Cllr Liz Leavy (Labour, Hamp) added “The roll out of the vaccine has been a tremendous success as opposed to the mess that is test and trace. The NHS, a public service, is responsible for the vaccine roll out and has used networks already in place, whereas the test and trace operation was outsourced to a private company .”
Town Council leader Cllr Brian Smedley (Labour,Westover) said “I would like to have sympathy with Boris Johnson but I can’t. He heads a Tory government that wasn’t expecting this, they were expecting Brexit, therefore all the sensible Tories who couldn’t stomach Brexit left office and all the headbanging Tories who wet themselves dreaming of it stayed there. Their only aim , if not skill, was ‘getting Brexit done’. That was their qualification for being in this Tory right wing rump Government. Then suddenly, instead, they had a global pandemic of devastating proportions to deal with and it was just this lot left in charge. That’s probably why Boris Johnson shouldn’t be let off the hook here, nor the Tory Party in general.”
Need a Full Public Inquiry
At Bridgwater Branch, Labour members are also angry. Secretary Andrew Jeffery says “The assessment of Boris Johnson and his government’s handling of the pandemic must not be judged solely by a widely uncritical media. We need a full public inquiry.”
New member Liz Marsh said “More than 100,000 people have now died in the UK with a further 1725 people in the last 24 hours alone! The UK Covid deaths have now surpassed the Great Plague, the Aids pandemic and every terror attack and war since 1945. We now have the unenviable position of having one of the highest death rates in the world and why because of the actions of a man and his Government who put everything before the health and welfare of the people he was elected to protect. Today this man, our Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the man in charge tells us “we did everything we could.” We, what we, surely he means he? Even today he continues to lie, quite possibly even to himself! Did HE shut the borders, have a functional track and trace system, quarantine and isolation like has been seen to have worked in countries like New Zealand? Did HE make sure there was adequate PPE for our medical staff, carers and keyworkers? Did HE have clear, simple lockdown rules that made sense and were easy to follow and understand? Did HE protect our workers from unfair employment practices so that they could afford to ‘stay at home’? Did HE rush to protect the most vulnerable? Did HE listen to our teachers and parents? Did HE want to help keep our children fed? Did HE even listen to the advice that has been given every step of the way by a whole myriad of scientists and health professionals? The answer is NO HE DID NOT! His reaction has been slow, unco-ordinated, ill-prepared nonsense and as a result sadly fatal. Over 100,000 deaths, may HE forever hang his head in shame!”
Labour MP Calls for action NOW
Nadia Whittome, MP for Nottingham East and the youngest member of Parliament, has called for a public inquiry into the government’s handling of the Coronavirus pandemic to be brought forward and begin as soon as possible. This follows comments from the Prime Minister and other ministers that the government had done everything it could and had made the right decisions during the pandemic. Ms Whittome re-joined her former colleagues in the care sector during the pandemic and had previously raised concerns about the lack of adequate PPE reaching carers on the front line.
Nadia Whittome said today “Families need answers, those we’ve lost need justice and the government needs to be held to account for this disaster. The inquiry must be truly independent. Not stuffed with Tory cronies. It needs testimony from families, from frontline workers and from scientists. Ministers must be grilled. Where it finds wrongdoing, there must be real consequences. And it needs to start now.”