The ignorance and incompetence of this government will make you believe that they live on another planet...

First published in June 2020.

Part 2 of last week’s The Week in Tory (from Wednesday to Sunday)...

1. The actual Paymaster General, Penny Mordaunt, suggested we spend the International Aid budget on a new yacht for the Queen.

2. And the actual Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said “taking the knee” was an act of subjugation, and was taken from Game Of Thrones.

Martin Luther King Jr. taking a knee with a group of civil rights workers in Selma, Alabama, after they were arrested on charges of parading without a permit, 1 Feb 1965. / Time

3. And then the actual Health Minister, Matt Hancock, was filmed breaking social distancing rules in Parliament.

4. And then the actual Care Minister, Helen Whately, said student nurses didn’t need financial aid as they volunteered to fight Covid-19 as they are not deemed to be providing a service.

5. And then the actual Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said theatres could reopen if we had musicals in which nobody was allowed to sing.

6. Sub-thread of quotes from anonymous Tory MPs and Ministers this week:

a. “If we were in normal times you would be hearing talk by now about removing the prime minister. It is that bad.” (The Guardian)

b. “Boris may have to go.” (Daily Mail)

c. “It’s all gone for a ball of chalk.” (Daily Mail)

d. Gavin Williamson deserves to be sacked and the Number 10 operation is “totally dysfunctional.” (The Guardian)

e. “There’s a feeling the basic level of competence isn’t there in Number 10.” (Daily Mail)

f. Cummings is the only thing they’ve actually dug in over. Everyone and everything else is expendable.” (Daily Mail)

g. “Boris and Cummings are great at campaigning but rubbish at governing.” (Daily Mail)

h. [Boris] is not a politician, he’s a brand, and one day he’ll just walk. He’ll just get up one morning and take the brand somewhere else.” (Daily Mail)

i. “Public will conclude [will] that we are a useless shower of incompetents who were asleep at the wheel.” (The Guardian)

j. The cabinet are “nodding dogs.” (The Guardian)

k. “No one seriously thinks that this cabinet is the Conservative first 11.” (The Guardian)

l. Boris Johnson’s absence due to illness made “To be honest, not much [difference].” (The Guardian)

And now onto App news...

7. In March the WHO recommended all countries launch a Track and Trace.

8. Apple and Google developed one app and made it freely available to any country. Dozens of countries use it without any issues.

9. But the UK decided to build its own world beating system.

10. Apple and Google said the UK’s approach was impossible.

11. 300 app and technology experts condemned the UK plans.

12. But the government ignored that, put the wife of a Tory MP in charge and gave her £11m, almost three times the average budget for any Track and Trace app worldwide.

13. The UK app planned to collect your data, which could be sold to any private business for 20 years.

14. The government promised the App by mid-May.

15. Then the government promised it by 1 June.

16. Then the government promised it by September.

17. Then the government promised it “for the winter.

18. Then it was revealed the government had asked Apple for access to their proprietary code, to which Apple said no, because the app breached international privacy laws.

19. Then the WHO said lock-down measures should not be relaxed until Track and Trace were in place.

20. But the UK government replied that manual track and trace would work fine.

21. And then it was revealed the UK’s manual track and trace service missed 33% of contacts.

22. After a trial of the App, a report showed it worked just 4% of the time on Apple devices and missed 25% of connections on Android.

23. And then, finally, the government announced it was abandoning its “world beating system”.

24. Matt Hancock said he had long been aware of technical barriers in the UK app.

25. Then Matt Hancock said we had long been working on both Apps, but didn’t explain why we only tested the one he “knew wouldn’t work” on the Isle of White.

26. Matt Hancock said he would now create a “hybrid system”, and had spoken to Apple about it.

27. Apple and Google said nobody had spoken to them, and it was still impossible.

28. It was reported the UK app developers had tried to block rival apps, and called them the enemy.

29. It was reported the scripts given to manual contact tracers didn’t even match the app.

30. MIT Technology Review described the UK’s contact tracing and app development as a “fiasco” and “a masterclass in mismanagement”.

31. The Welsh government released a report saying systemic racism is amongst the reasons BAME people have a higher Covid-19 death-toll.

32. The UK government continues to refuse to release its own report, or implement more than 600 recommendations from previous reports into systemic racism.

33. It was reported the government strategy on Black Lives Matter is to declare a war on ‘woke’.

34. It was reported Boris Johnson wanted Chris Grayling on the Intelligence Committee. I have checked. There is only one Chris Grayling, so they must mean him.

35. MPs condemned an “utterly reprehensible” delay in releasing the Russia Electoral Interference Report.

36. Dominic Raab said he hadn’t read it, but he knew it exonerated the government.

37. Nobody had formally accused the government of anything that needed exoneration.

38. A report showed 26,000 patients were released from hospital into care homes without testing, leading to at least 16,000 deaths from Covid-19.

39. The government defended this by saying it wasn’t illegal to negligently spread a pandemic in care homes.

40. WHO reported a record 24-hour increase in Covid-19 cases.

41. German reported the R-rate increased from 1 to 1.8.

42. The largest ever study found cutting social distancing 1 metre doubled the rate of infection.

43. The UK continues to press for relaxation of social distancing.

44. After one of last week’s best U-turns, free school meal vouchers are to be distributed for poor children.

45. But they can’t be spent at Aldi, Lidl or Co-Op, the 3 cheapest supermarkets, so they don’t offer good benefits to poorer families.

46. In May 2019 the UK declared a “Climate Emergency” and said we must reduce travel and trade closer to home.

47. In June 2020 the UK announced it would stop negotiating deals with the country next-door, and trade with Australia and New Zealand instead.

48. So Boris Johnson announced a great new trade deal with New Zealand.

49. Immediately afterwards the government issued a statement saying it will have close to zero benefit to the UK.

50. Michael Gove said border controls Boris Johnson agreed “should not be implemented”.

51. It was reported Boris Johnson signed the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement without having read it, or understanding what it meant.

52. Boris Johnson said Brexit discussions would go “to the wire” of the December deadline.

53. The next day Boris Johnson said there was “No sense” dragging trade talks on beyond the summer.

54. Boris Johnson claimed in Parliament that child poverty had fallen and 400,000 fewer families living in poverty now than there were in 2010.

55. In fact there are at least 800,000 more families in poverty, a rise of 38%.

56. Boris Johnson’s car was in an actual car-crash in Westminster. Metaphor.

If you think this thread shows the government cannot cope, please sign this petition to extend the transition period and give us a chance to get Brexit right. It does not matter if you wanted to Leave or Remain: we still have to do it right.🔷


Check their Voting Record:

🗳️ Penny Mordaunt

🗳️ Dominic Raab

🗳️ Matt Hancock

🗳️ Helen Whately

🗳️ Oliver Dowden

🗳️ Gavin Williamson

🗳️ Boris Johnson

🗳️ Chris Grayling

🗳️ Michael Gove

[This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article on 23 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.]

Creative Commons License
(Cover: Flickr/Number 10. - Boris Johnson. | 19 June 2020. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)

>>> PMP Magazine articles are FREE. Do share this article widely.
>>> Please think about the environment before printing this article.