Your regular reminder that this government is led by incompetent politicians...
First published in July 2020.
This episode of The Week In Tory is just stuff since Friday...
1. Ineptitude alert: Due to Brexit the UK is leaving the EU’s Galileo satellite scheme, which is vital for satnav.
2. Independent experts said developing our own satellite system would cost around £4bn.
4. But they are too close to earth to be used for GPS positioning, so cannot work.
5. A space policy expert said “The fundamental starting point is, yes, we’ve bought the wrong satellites.”
6. Democracy news: It was reported that the PM “wants a Brexiteer to head the Civil Service.”
7. But the Civil Service Code of Conduct says Civil Servants “must not act in a way that is determined by party political considerations.”
10. A replacement – David Frost, a Brexiter – was appointed, and will now be National Security Advisor and simultaneously lead Brexit negotiations.
11. The former Cabinet Secretary Lord O’Donnell said “I’m worried about the appointment” as it was “made without any due process”, and Frost “doesn’t have much background in security.” He also said “it shows an erosion of civil service impartiality.”
12. Public safety news: 3 years from Grenfell, the National Audit Office found only 14% of dangerous buildings have had their cladding removed.
13. The UN warned the UK may breach international law over its failure to remove combustible cladding from high-rise buildings.
15. If you take away some of the letters and add different ones, “Donation” is an anagram of “Bribe”.
16. And now, onto Covid. On 1 June the government said “We will work around the clock to ensure that nobody goes hungry as a result of this crisis [Covid-19]”.
17. This week government data revealed 7.7m adults missed meals, and 3.7m used food banks during the crisis.
18. Senior police officers warned government that lifting the lockdown was “total madness”.
19. The next day the government lifted the lockdown.
20. The day after that, a major incident was declared as 500,000 people crowded beaches, and illegal street parties broke out across the country.
23. Trading Standards, which investigates fraud, also had 70% of its budget cut.
25. I have looked into this, and Dominic Cummings is still in his job. So, remarkably, is Robert Jenrick.
26. Matt Hancock said “a protective ring had been thrown around care homes” by the government.
27. A report this week showed the risk of Covid-related deaths in UK’s care homes is 13-times higher than in German care homes.
28. The government told parliament there are sufficient supplies of PPE.
29. Then government confirmed that the phrase “200 pieces of PPE equipment” refers to 100 pairs of gloves.
30. UK Statistics Authority issued a second official rebuke about the trustworthiness of government data.
31. To address the financial crisis caused by Coronavirus, the PM pledged a £1bn school building programme over 10 years.
32. This is 1/7th of the cuts to school budgets since 2010.
33. The Blair government increased school budgets by £12bn in 3 years, which is 40 times as much per year.
34. A SAGE scientific report said fully reopening schools without substantial improvements in the performance of the test-and-trace system could risk a new surge in cases of Covid-19.
35. So the government announced it would fine parents who didn’t send their children to school.
36. Boris Johnson compared himself to Roosevelt and promised a £5bn “New Deal” to boost the economy, and said “this is what the times demand”.
37. Roosevelt’s New Deal expenditure was up to 40% of US GDP at the time.
38. Johnson’s £5bn is slightly less: about 0.2% of UK GDP.
39. PM promised £100m for 29 road projects – around £350k per road.
40. The Manchester Airport bypass alone cost £290m.
41. And then it was revealed Johnson’s “New Deal” is not new at all, it just brings forward money already promised in previous budgets. So... Old Deal.
42. The government refused to rule out tax rises to pay for the coming crash.
43. Then Boris Johnson explicitly ruled out tax rises for the rich, saying we should clap for bankers who make the NHS possible.
44. So if the rich aren’t being taxed, that means… oh, it’s you and me again.
46. On 24 June (the same day) Jeremy Hunt (the same Jeremy Hunt) voted in parliament against mass testing of NHS and Care staff.
47. The WHO said a second wave of Covid-19 is a highly likely outcome and advised all nations to begin preparations for one.
48. The government declined to do a review into preparations for a second wave (saying they are ready), even when one was recommended by the Royal College of Physicians, Surgeons, GPs and Nursing.
49. BMA reports 1 in 7 doctors is planning to quit after the current crisis subsides.
50. Over 22,000 EU-national staff already quit the NHS after the Brexit vote.
51. The Tories cut £1bn from NHS training budget from 2018 to 2023, so there aren’t enough trainees to replace them.
52. And, to end on a cheery note, researchers in China discovered a new type of swine flu capable of triggering a pandemic.
53. So far, there is no confirmation that Chris Grayling is involved in Chinese pig-farming.
54. This is just 4 days. My previous Week In Tory was worse.🔷
Check their Voting Record:
🗳️ Michael Gove
🗳️ Matt Hancock
🗳️ Priti Patel