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20 Apr, 2020 18:22

Boris Johnson must resign now. His lousy leadership has cost us thousands of lives

Boris Johnson must resign now. His lousy leadership has cost us thousands of lives

The British prime minister’s wanton dereliction of duty in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic has killed thousands and he must be held accountable.

Boris Johnson must go. Recent revelations have shown the prime minister to be an entitled, arrogant, dismissive and negligent oaf who cannot be allowed to continue in his position. The details about his conduct during the initial outbreak of Covid-19 put a new spin on the metaphor ‘asleep at the wheel’.

He’s not even been in the car.

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On December 31, China alerted the World Health Organization about the virus spreading in Wuhan, so leaders, governments and scientists immediately began to address the situation. From then until now, Great Britain desperately needed its commander-in-chief to grasp the reins.

Boris’ charge sheet is painful reading.

It includes:

Completing a holiday on Caribbean island Mustique and not returning until January 5 – an aside, it’s still unclear who paid for the £15,000-a-week villa he stayed in.

Missing five Covid-19 COBRA meetings in succession (until March 2).

Taking the last two weeks of February off to unwind at a mansion in Kent.

Organising his divorce and stage managing the public announcement of his girlfriend’s pregnancy.

Doing nothing as stocks of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and pandemic-related items were found to be run down and out of date.

Sending 1,800 pairs of goggles, 43,000 sets of disposable gloves, 194,000 sanitising wipes, 37,500 medical gowns and 2,500 face masks to China in February, five days before the Health Service reported it was facing a “nightmare” due to the lack of PPE.

You can’t hold one person responsible for every single thing that goes wrong inside a government.

We can, though, declare Boris Johnson guilty as charged. All of the above are facts.

Take the five missed COBRA meetings. On the afternoon of one such meeting, he had time instead to lark about with a Chinese dragon to mark the lunar New Year for a photo op at Downing Street.

His government only actioned an order of necessary medical equipment on January 30. The contracts were already set up but by then, due to the rest of the world grasping the situation far sooner – the British order couldn’t be fulfilled.

Sources have confirmed that during his countrywide break, aides were told if they wished their memos to be read by the PM, to keep them short.

He even stated at a press conference on March 3 that he was happy to keep shaking hands, even with coronavirus patients – Boris subsequently caught the virus and was admitted to intensive care on April 5.

The facts and figures are incredulous and frankly, stomach-churning. Britain is currently anticipated to suffer 66,000 deaths. Singapore so far has 11. Clearly, the UK has a far larger population (approximately 12 times) but not enough to explain a death toll that’s 6,000 percent greater.

Professor Martin Hibberd of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told the Sunday Times: “I’ve worked with Singapore in 2003 and 2009 and basically they copied the UK pandemic preparedness plan. But the difference is they actually implemented it.”

That’s the nub, Britain could – and should – have reacted far better.

The people of this country have been failed by one man. Not only does he have blood on his hands, he is doomed to endure mental torture. To grasp you have been responsible for a disaster of this scale is something most people could never personally recover from.

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Covid-19 was always going to claim some British lives but should not have destroyed as many families as it has.

Nurse Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong may have been around to see her new-born daughter grow up.

Uber driver Rajesh Jayaseelan’s family might not have had to witness their husband and son take his last breaths via video call from India.

Painter and decorator Adam Harkins-Sullivan might be around to take his seven-year-old son Harry to see his beloved football team, Arsenal.

There are no excuses.

There are no extenuating circumstances.

Accepting the Queen’s invitation to become prime minister is a profound commitment and entrusts you with responsibility for the country.

Egomaniac Boris treats it like a part-time position to promote tourism, he only wants to dazzle in front of the world’s cameras and hog the spotlight.

There is merit in that the shocking report from the Sunday Times may be part of a ploy by its owner Rupert Murdoch to usher his preferred choice, Michael Gove, into the PM’s chair.

Keen to front up for the media, Gove offered a rebuttal of the accusations: “The idea that the Prime Minister skipped meetings that were vital to our response to the coronavirus, I think is grotesque,” and “his leadership has been inspirational at times and I think that actually nothing is more off-beam than the suggestion that the prime minister was anything other than energetic, determined, focused and strong in his leadership against this virus.”

Gove continued his defence of Boris by adding that “most COBRA meetings don’t have the prime minister attending them.”

Contrarily, Sir David King, chief scientific adviser between 2000 and 2007, admitted he couldn’t recall Tony Blair or Gordon Brown ever missing a COBRA meeting.

Nevertheless, nothing can gloss over what has happened in the UK since December 31.

Ordinary people have come together to volunteer, raise money and help as much as possible. They need to do it one more time. However, this time they need to unite to ensure the downfall of Boris Johnson.

In an ideal world, he would be tried for his crimes in a court of law. But for now, every single Briton must rise up and proclaim “not in my name.”

Pressure must be applied in any peaceful and democratic way possible. Boris Johnson can no longer be allowed to continue as the leader of the United Kingdom.

Also on rt.com UK government’s callous disregard for care home residents – old, sick people acutely vulnerable to Covid-19 – has been a disgrace

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.