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Boris shows leadership but can we take it?

27th Apr 2020
Director Maximiti Limited
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Finally Boris Johnson has returned to grace our screens with the familiar blonde mop. He's a wee bit more humble given his personal virus nightmare, not a bad thing post de facto.

Nations crave strong and decisive leadership , and true leadership is making unpopular decisions that are necessary - think WW2 and the early days in particular.

The problem we face is that it's like a child looking at another child and stomping their feet demanding what that other child has, perhaps a toy or an ice-cream. But do we know the background to the other child's position, why they are having their treat?  We are looking at other nations and saying that if they can relax lockdown why can't we? But do we look beyond the headlines? Have they considered cultural differences?

Unlikely. Are we lacking what it takes to put up with more hardship and inconvenience, or do we ahev a valid point? 

The scientists don't have the answers and the PM has to make a call - that is his job.

The initial response about herd immunity was not correct but at the time was deemed valid. 

20:20 hindsight is wonderful.

Will it be the correct call or not? One thing is for sure, his personal experience is likely to be influencing that decision but is this something that should be doing so or should it be entirely objective?

I have no idea, but what I do know is that the more I consider his position the more he reminds me of a certain Mr Churchill, a book about whom I am in the middle of reading. The author of that book...

...a certain Mr Johnson




Replies (3)

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Hallerud at Easter
27th Apr 2020 11:41

Big difference from Churchill, in the main Churchill could be steered away from his follies by his long suffering advisers, and in the main was able to source sound advisers ( e.g. Alan Brooke). I am yet to be convinced Boris has that set of skills.

Hindsight was not needed for the plan re herd immunity, its whole premise was based on the flawed plan they took from the shelf (dating back through to Blair, by the way) which was possibly suitable as preparation for something like flu but not for what we actually are dealing with.

What we ought to have had were two different plans for the differing types of pandemics, we did not, so HMG are culpable for just following the off the shelf response without considering if it was fit for purpose (it was not) and their only redeeming feature is recognising they had got it wrong.

If they wanted advance notice they were going the wrong way maybe they ought to have been say reading Richard North's blog weeks ago e.g 10/3/20 and daily thereafter ,as he dropped Brexit to concentrate on Covid.

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Replying to DJKL:
By Norman Younger
27th Apr 2020 11:54

In reference to your point of HMG - makes we wonder if it is actually the elected government that dictates disaster planning or the Sir Humphreys, the latter feeding "expert" ( read self interest to perpetuate their work ) advice to HMG
A neighbour of mine told me that about 15 years he was on a committee involved in pandemic planning. Outcome - he has no idea as it got passed to another set of people etc etc etc

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Replying to Flying Scotsman:
Hallerud at Easter
27th Apr 2020 12:17

I believe the experts tell them the possibilities and then the current elected incumbents decide based on which experts are in favour with them at the time and the political spin of the decision making.

I suspect what we got was;

HMG " We have a pandemic, what do we do?"

CS " Here is the Blue Peter plan we have ready for pandemics"

HMG "Thanks, lets get going " (failing to check it actually fits current crisis but it is a brave politician who strays from the plan and goes off piste)

HMG sometime later "Oops, read the small print, lot of deaths coming out of that model, lets go another route"

So having gone wrong route, deepening the problem, being slow sorting kit, they then gear up the NHS by bed clearing the elderly to Care Homes (likely killing a few in the process) to make bed space in NHS hospitals etc.

What they probably ought to have done ,per Richard North is created more temp hospitals ,as they have done in part, and filled these with the Covid cases, keeping as best as possible Covid out of the mainstream NHS so the NHS could still function dealing with other illness. (Though would the public be happy with their Covid struck relatives etc not getting into NHS hospitals, looks like that message may have been considered bad politics despite it possibly being a better way to approach things?)

Here is his take on it today, his past posts on Covid, daily since circa 8/9th March, are usually well worth reading.

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