Government’s daily PR briefing exposes its failure – (virtual) Parliament must be recalled

Posted on: 16th April 2020

The Government has been floundering. It’s response to this devastating pandemic has been poor. So for weeks I’ve been urging my former colleagues in our “olde worlde” Parliament to adopt modern technology to get back to work in a virtual Parliament. The UK Government has been slow and indecisive. Way behind the curve with testing, contact tracing, provision of PPE, support for NHS and care workers and has left our care home and care at home sectors in an “out of sight, out of mind” cul-de-sac of inadequate support.

Just compare our outcomes with those in Ireland or in New Zealand or in Germany; countries we should be able to compare ourselves. But our outcomes are far worse and the progress of this disease poorly managed by comparison.

The holding of daily Downing Street public relations briefings exposes the Government’s strategy as vacuous. Reality perpetually contradicts Ministers’ attempts to reassure us they’re in control. Everyday the irrepressible evidence of policy failure becomes more alarming.

The public and our wonderful frontline services – not just NHS and care workers, but grocery retail, waste collection, police, fire and other essential services – are showing their grit and doing their bit. But the Government has failed to support NHS staff. The London hospital doctor family member who, as I reported here before, had Covid-19 symptoms a month ago is now back at work but has still not been tested! He’s not alone.

Care workers and older people have been airbrushed from the record. I know I’m not alone in learning of a recent and sad Covid-19 death of a family friend in a local nursing home which is still masked from the official record. There are thousands more nationwide.

This Government ran down our NHS and failed to prepare for such a pandemic. But we are where we are. We must all pull together and need all MPs to put aside their differences and guide the Government to get on top of this crisis, to make up for their failures of recent weeks and so turn this gathering disaster around.

I appreciate that a partial Parliamentary recall will commence next week. But this should have happened weeks ago and should involve all MPs. Not just a select few. Technology could support a fuller restoration of Parliament.