Remember the 2012 Olympics in London? Now, look at what has become of 2020 Britain...


First published in June 2020.


An early The Week in Tory (from Sunday to Wednesday) but things are moving crazy fast...

1. Last week the government said “We will work around the clock to ensure nobody goes hungry as a result of this crisis”.

2. Then four days later the government ended free school meals for the poorest 1.3m children.

3. So Marcus Rashford called for free meal vouchers for hungry children during school holidays.

4. But Boris Johnson’s spokesman said “the PM understands the issues” and refused to change the policy.

5. So Rashford continued to campaign for free school meals to be provided.

6. But Boris Johnson refused to do this as it would cost £115m to feed all those children.

7. EasyJet got £600m in April.

8. And the government is spending £900,000 painting the PM’s plane with what cabinet sources called an Austin Powers-style union jack.

9. Meanwhile, the Housing Minister Robert Jenrick admitted he knew he was breaking the law when he saved a billionaire Tory donor dodge £50m tax - half the cost of feeding 1.3m children.

10. And then Boris Johnson said he hadn’t even heard about Rashford’s campaign, and did a U-turn.

11. But then a Downing Street spokesman said Boris Johnson HAD heard about Marcus Rashford’s campaign.

12. And then Boris Johnson said he had DEFINITELY heard about the campaign all along, but didn’t offer any excuse why he still thought it was OK to let kids go hungry.

13. In March, student nurses nearing the end of training were asked to forego exams and volunteer to fight Covid-19 on the front line.

14. This week their contracts were dropped, so from July they have no work, no pay and no qualification.

15. And their July wage won’t be paid.

16. Last week, Boris Johnson said that after 64,000 excess deaths, he would take “direct control” of Covid-19.

17. He immediately missed his own deadline for a review of the 2-metre distancing rule, and it was revealed he hasn’t attended a Cobra meeting for over a month.

18. In one of last week’s best U-turns, Boris Johnson said immigrant NHS workers wouldn’t need to pay a £400 surcharge to use the NHS.

19. Immigrant NHS workers are still paying the surcharge.

20. Horse-racing became the first major sport to return.

21. Matt Hancock is MP for Newmarket, and received tens of thousands of pounds of donations from racehorse owners, trainers, and Jockey Club bigwigs.

22. The Jockey Club board includes Dido Harding and Rose Paterson.

23. Rose Paterson is the wife of Tory MP Owen Paterson. The Jockey Club’s biggest event, the Grand National is sponsored by Randox Health, to which Owen Paterson is an advisor. Randox was granted a £133m contract for testing kits without other companies being given the chance to bid.

24. And Dido Harding was put in charge of the Covid-19 track and trace app, which most developers (and I am one) reckon could be done in 3 weeks, and has now taken 5 months. Its development cost is the highest worldwide, and described by scientists as “not fit for purpose”.

Professor Anthony Costello, member of Independent SAGE. / YouTube

25. Meanwhile campaigners are seeking a judicial review into why a pest control company with no experience of producing PPE and assets of just £19k was granted a £108 million PPE contract. It doesn’t appear, at first glance, that Chris Grayling was involved.

26. Bob Stewart MP, a leading Brexiter, asked in Parliament for his “French speaking dogs” (!) to continue to have freedom of movement after Brexit, something humans don’t get.

27. Michael Gove said he would aim to ensure dogs keep freedom of movement - but replied in French.

28. The EU launched a website to help travellers see coronavirus status, so we can travel safely and open up tourism.

29. The UK declined to contribute data to the website.

30. In the UK, 94% of tourism staff are not currently working, and tourism earnings are down 98%.

31. As other nations relax their lockdown, Britons are forbidden from entering multiple European countries due to our high infection rates.

32. After 3 weeks without a single Covid-19 case, New Zealand reported 2 infections – travellers from the UK, obviously.

33. It was revealed Matt Hancock failed for 11 months to respond to a report calling for an immediate injection of cash for social care, highlighting the risks of infections in care homes months before Covid-19.

34. At least 12,500 people have died of infection in care homes.

35. Two of the government’s most powerful civil servants have said there were no economic preparations for a possible global pandemic in the years leading up to the coronavirus outbreak, despite a 2016 simulation that prompted demands for a plan.

36. On Sunday Matt Hancock said there were “only” 36 recorded deaths, proving we are “winning”.

37. Next day there were 233 recorded deaths. Matt has not commented on the winningness of this.

38. The government said local councils would be responsible for “local lockdowns”.

39. And then local councils had to explain to the government that councils have no legal powers for local lockdowns, and even if they had, 26% has been cut from their budgets since 2010.

40. Sadiq Khan asked for emergency funding to fill a £493m hole in his budget.

41. A group of Tory councils said they are about to go bankrupt.

42. OECD said No Deal Brexit would knock 5% off GDP permanently.

43. So Boris Johnson made a video celebrating Brexit as an opportunity to sell Penguin Biscuits to Australia. So we can all relax.

"We send you Penguins and you send us, with reduced tariffs, these wonderful Arnott's Tim Tams." - Boris Johnson, 17 June 2020. / Twitter - @BorisJohnson

44. In response to the urgency and importance of Black Lives Matter, the government immediately pledged to never, ever remove the statue of Churchill – that nobody had suggested removing.

45. And then, after a few days, Boris Johnson promised a new commission on race equality.

46. There are currently over 600 recommendations from previous commissions on race equality between 2010 and 2020, which the government hasn't implemented and has no published plans to implement.

47. Then the government appointed Munira Mirza to head the commission. She has previously called anti-racism a “neuroses”, written that “institutional racism is a myth”, “the UK has no problem with racism”, and that race equality “fosters victimhood”.

48. And then the former Tory party chair said the new commission was “designed to be a whitewash”, and warned it would “find the answer they want to hear – there is no such thing as racism”.


Reminder: It is Wednesday. Not even late Wednesday.🔷


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[This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article on 17 June 2020 with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected, and published with the author’s consent. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.]

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(Cover: Flickr/Number 10. - Boris Johnson. | 15 June 2020. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)



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