Ministers are ‘psychologically incapable’ of owning their mistakes and are to blame for the UK’s death toll, James O’Brien has said in a swipe at No 10’s coronavirus record.
O’Brien accused ministers of “doing the same thing again and hoping for a different result”.
The comment comes as Oxford University research showed the UK has the worst daily death rate in the world.
The research found that an average of 935 daily deaths over the last week was the equivalent of more than 16 people in every million dying each day from Covid-19.
Phoning in to discussing why, caller Joe theorised: “The government have failed to understand exponential growth and failed to learn the lesson of exponential growth two or three times now.
“If case numbers are going up, you have to act. You have to do something if your R number is above 1 it is only going to get worse and you’re going to have to act sooner.”
Joe said delaying the decision to enforce strict measures, as Boris Johnson has done on multiple occasions, only leads to “a worse outcome”.
“You’ve got to realise that if you’re the decision-maker,” he said, adding: “You can delay and delay until you haven’t got any decisions to make because the only decision is a bad one.”
O’Brien quoted columnist Raphael Behr who suggested Johnson delays making a decision until the solution is obvious, at the expense of leaving behind other options that had been far better.
Joe complained that Johnson was too late at imposing a lockdown back in March.
“When the rest of Europe was in a lockdown around March 12, me and my colleagues were locking down our lives saying this was ridiculous [that] the UK was the only country with schools and restaurants open and we know that the R number is above one,” Joe said.
“If we go late, there’s only going to be more case numbers and more deaths.”
O’Brien surmised: “They’re not learning from the mistakes the first time around because they’re psychologically not capable of knowing they’ve ever made a mistake. That seems to be to part of it.”
Joe said while other governments chose a “zero Covid” strategy of eradicating the virus before it spreads, Britain chose a strategy of suppression and failed at it.
O’Brien reflected Albert Einstein’s adage: “Having failed miserably in the first wave and seen the UK’s deaths be among the worst in the world, they thought…the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and hoping for a different result.
“I think that’s where we are for the third time now.”