The sunlight is now breaking on the damage that this Government has done.
Despite the protestations of the 1922 committee in recent days that many businesses are not going to survive, the Lockdown still continues as if the only game in town is those who are suffering with COVID-19 related illness and there is absolutely nothing else involved.
Whilst it will be foolish to try and blame the Government for the COVID-19 outbreak itself, the way that our Politicians have managed and continue to manage the emergency is a very different story and one that we will all become very concerned with in the coming weeks if we have not done so already.
Many suspect that things aren’t right. Other’s, that things don’t add up. Some already know that what the Government is doing is wrong.
When the questions start, these are the points where they are likely to begin:
Taking the Media’s lead
Whilst we can all see how difficult the media age has made it for almost everyone with the creation of the court of public opinion, we go to the polling booths at a General Election with the understanding that those who have put themselves foreword to represent the interests of perhaps 75,000 people in their own Constituency and many more if they accede to a role beyond that of just being an MP, will be discerning enough not to have their views and decisions swayed by those who make the most noise.
There is simply no doubt that many of the key decisions taken in the run up to the imposition of the Lockdown on 23rdMarch 2020 were heavily influenced by the noise that the media was making, which is driven by the most negativity that it can generate at best.
The weakness in leadership that the Government has shown by being led by the tone and approach of the media, at the most critical point of a national emergency when highly consequential decisions were made, has resulted in the UK being pushed into a dire situation that is set to get much worse – not because of the Coronavirus – but because of the impact of the decisions that were made in response.
Misuse of behavioural insights to ‘brainwash’ the population
Over recent years, the pseudo-science known as behavioural insights has become a population control tool actively used by Government at both National and Local Level, primarily through the use of messaging or marketing that encourages people to change their behavior in some way, usually without them realising what has been done.
Whilst this so-called science can be used to influence behaviour for the common good, it can also too easily be misused for non-direct aims and in the same way as decisions should be made on the basis of the immediate here and now, using behavioral insights with a view to doing something because you can whilst you have something else in mind means that those driving its use are likely to lose control of the result.
By creating the ‘stay at home’, ‘protect the NHS’, ‘social distancing’ mantras, the Government bought the participation of the masses in the dubious Lockdown by installing a level of fear of dying from Coronavirus for many of us like it has been installed like a programme.
What they have done is no better than brainwashing or mass manipulation – as illustrated best by the 8pm call to clap for the NHS on Thursday evenings and rainbow posters being put up everywhere like it’s the only fashionable thing, and that it would be somehow wrong for any of us not to be involved.
However, whilst many still think this all to be a good thing, the approach taken has been akin to letting a genie out of the bottle with the Government playing the role of an Aladdin that has no real concept of the trouble that it has made.
People may have accepted the unnecessary Lockdown on the basis of the manipulation as being the only way to deal with the COVID-19 emergency. But their reciprocation in going back to work as if the whole thing was done with an on/off switch will prove to be a very different thing.
It is highly irresponsible for a Government of a democratic country to deliberately influence people in this way.
In the coming weeks and months we will see the price that has to be paid.
A Lockdown that has caused many more problems than it could ever solve
So much has the Government and the Establishment bought into its own hype over the Lockdown and what it was important to do, the very people who should know better in an emergency have overlooked all of the out of sight things that needed to be considered as they rushed to show the media and the world around them what they were going to do.
On the face of it the Lockdown seemed like the ideal way to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The problem is that the spread of COVID-19 was not then, has not been since and never really will be the problem that needed to be the number one priority itself.
Responding to it in the way that the Government has done so has created a growing number of developing and already substantial problems that are far more serious than the Coronavirus emergency and are going to be very difficult to fix – especially if we still have the creators of that problem left in charge and running the Country.
- Job losses
- Business closures
- Businesses becoming unviable
- Shops refusing to take cash
- Safeguarding Issues
– are all issues amongst many more that are growing disproportionately in number as a direct result of the Lockdown, and would have been avoidable if the Government had not implemented the Lockdown by choice.
Financial ‘Support’ given in response to the Lockdown rather than imposing a corresponding Lockdown of the Economy
The severity of the impact and the consequences of the Lockdown would have been completely different and arguably negligible if the Government had chosen to address the impact of the Lockdown on Businesses and workers who lost income – no matter their tax or employment status – by taking a blanket approach to all.
Instead of dolling out cash from the ‘magic money tree’ that the Conservatives have so mercilessly attacked the Labour Party over for years whilst stating that it doesn’t exist, the Government should have locked down the economic system for all those people and businesses who suddenly found themselves unable to earn as a result of the Lockdown and removed the need for them to pay any bills for goods or services that they have not ordered during the Lockdown itself.
As a temporary measure, this would have been the surest way to help and to be fair to everyone from the top to the bottom of the economy, whether they are a billionaire or they are unemployed.
Nobody would have had to pay the bills it would have been right to stop. So the only money that anyone would have needed help to find would have been for the basic necessities such as food and essentials each week.
Paying out something like £100 per week per person who had lost their income and for their dependents too would have cost the UK Taxpayer significantly less than the sums that have already been spent on a series of loans, grants and wage subsidies which hasn’t reached everyone and has left substantial gaps in the provision it was supposed to provide.
Businesses that couldn’t operate wouldn’t have had bills to service whilst they had no income and could have effectively been mothballed until life was ready to resume. The jobs they provide would then have still existed for all the many thousands of people who are now likely to have none to return to.
Some will argue that what the Government has done has literally been the way of the world in responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic in the way that it has. But that doesn’t make it right.
If anything, it demonstrates just how dangerous the mindset and culture of national leadership across the 21st Century World has become when so-called leaders are too afraid to overrule economists and bankers because they are more concerned with the risk to themselves than the impact of getting it all so very wrong on the people they are there to represent.
After the impact of the mismanagement of the 2008 Financial Crisis when politicians lived up to the lie that the banks were too big to fail and then saddled the UK with unnecessary debt whilst the bankers took bonuses and were allowed to roll on like nothing had gone wrong, the stupidity of this Government in printing money to solve a problem like this that could have been solved differently is not just going to go away.
The Government has committed us to a level of debt that will hurt us all first through the damage they have done to the National Economy. It will then trickle down and hurt us all directly through the loss of our jobs and an even greater dependence upon personal debt when we cannot afford the debt and commitments that we already have.
The only way that the Government of the UK and possibly all Governments of the World will be able to address the mess that has been created will be at the very least to go through a process of significant debt forgiveness. Alternatively, they will have to conduct a complete reset of our economic system and revise the way that money is made so that basic living is something that an average wage earner and someone on benefits can actually afford, and money is available where and when it is really needed, rather than automatically flowing back to the pigs with their heads in the trough where it starts.
Straightforward as it might sound, if these problems were to be left in the hands of the clowns that got us to where we are now in the first place, it would make it all but inevitable that they wouldn’t get the cure to the problem right.
The politicians we have simply don’t understand or appreciate anywhere near enough about the people, the businesses and the way of the world over which they have responsibility to get any of it genuinely right – that is if they were able to think beyond the benefits of whatever they do for themselves and however anything they do will look.
Doubling down rather than turning around and being big about the mistakes they have made
It would be ridiculous to think that good leaders don’t make mistakes. They do, and they make them often too.
The difference between good leaders and the ones that we have got in Government today is that good leaders accept and learn from their mistakes and are prepared to change course or direction as soon as they do – no matter what anyone or in particular the media says.
We have been burdened at a time of national crisis, with so-called leaders who are obsessed with controlling how everything looks, rather than focusing purely on the robustness, reach and impact of what it is they do.
Even the biggest mistakes that the Government has made during the COVID-19 emergency so far such as the Lockdown and the so-called Financial Support Measures that they followed up with could have had significantly less impact if the Government had changed direction and done a u-turn after they had been announced and gone a different way.
What is clear is that the political class that we have just doesn’t do things that way. They see changing their minds as a sign of weakness and so double down when they are questioned or challenged – no matter what will be the outcome or cost.
Like everything political since spin took over in the days of New Labour and Tony Blair, the politicians we have are obsessed with the words they use rather than their actions, when actions will always speak to us much louder than any of the words.
The ongoing irresponsible use of propaganda.
Propaganda is now being used as the basis for the story rather than the story being used as the basis for the Propaganda itself
Talking up vaccines, antibody tests, contact monitoring, PPE shipments, the Nightingale Hospitals – to name but a few. All of these topics are being used to manipulate and persuade people that the Government has, is and will be doing much more than it actually does.
Whilst it is a poor illustration of the political culture that we have got, its use during ‘normal’ times would be questionable. But its use during a national emergency is knocking on the front door of it being a real crime.
The Government cannot cope with the responsibility that it has because the politicians within it are not of the quality or outlook of the politicians that we as a Country should have at any time, let alone a time of national crisis.
If they were good leaders, they would be able to work with reality as it is and use it to inspire and encourage the people as genuine leadership always will. Instead, they have to use trickery to make us believe that we are being led by a group who know what they are doing and actually have an end game in mind whilst they have the wherewithal required to get there.
Our politicians might not actually be lying to us in the strictest or black and white sense. But they are being very economic and selective with the truths that they are telling us and using them as smokescreens to hide the growing proof that will eventually come out and hurt them – but only after they have caused significant harm to all of us.
It will be all the worse because if they had chosen to come clean and stop spinning everything at any point since the COVID-19 emergency began, their honesty could then have prevented pain and even death from happening for others – instead of for what for them has been all about nothing more than consolidating their position and personal gain.
Letting ‘Experts’ lead a specialist response to a medical emergency and including everyone when a general approach of facilitation was what was needed
One of the worst things of all that this Government has done has been to fall into the trap of believing that so-called experts and specialists are the best people to call on for solutions in a crisis that reflect on everyone, when their experience and knowledge is subjective and the response requires a wholly objective view.
The role of good political leadership is to be very much like a grand facilitator or chairman of sorts, bringing together, discerning and recognising the value that comes from all perspectives and then putting it all together and applying it in a formula or policy that actually works.
The Government has not done that and instead has been swayed by listening to the most obvious voices rather than all of those that should have and should now be being heard.
An increasing number of activists, commentators and writers are being vocal about the real depth and breadth of the problems that the Government has caused and is causing, and the realities that people are now facing and will have to face just to exist.
Some are already advocating legal action against the Johnson Government at the end of the COVID-19 emergency – whenever that time should come.
Whilst we might wish them well in the process of getting to the bottom of what was clearly done wrong, it would be much preferable that we do everything to head off as much of the coming catastrophe as can be avoided – rather than waiting until the only thing we have power over is the decision of who to blame.
This means that the UK must now look to doing Government in a very different way.
We cannot continue with politicians of the kind we have left in charge.
A new world is now set to emerge from the era of COVID-19 and the politicians we have are simply not equipped, of the quality or possess the ability that the UK needs to see us through the crisis for the UK that they have created, nor the impact upon us that is coming from the crisis that is set to engulf the entire world.
We cannot wait for the end of the existing Parliamentary cycle before there is the opportunity to replace them, as even then the system is so shut down and closed to new influences it will be impossible to displace their kind.
We need new leadership in the UK now. That new leadership must come from none of the usual suspects, but from people who might be just as skilled and as intelligent, but also care, love others as themselves and above all have the humanity to understand how the world works in different people’s minds as well as within the systems that we can openly see and interpret at work.
When the time comes for that change, those in the Johnson Government will not be forgiven for harm it has caused us that it had the option to avoid.