Boris Johnson’s legacy will be defined by bluster and half-truths

PUBLISHED: 11:26 22 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:35 22 April 2020

Boris Johnson's team failed to submit draft Brexit trade proposals to the EU. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA.

Boris Johnson's team failed to submit draft Brexit trade proposals to the EU. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Readers have their say about Boris Johnson and the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

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It is an observable fact that organisations and even countries rapidly take on the characteristics of whoever is leading them at the time.

The UK response to the COVID-19 crisis is no exception. Bluster, half-truths, unrealistic future projections and avoidances have highlighted confused and conflicting governmental responses.

The legacy is becoming one of undelivered promises, an absence and shortage of equipment, overwhelmed hospitals and a tendency to blame the people for not following instructions.

At the same time the final coup de grâce has the government reminding us (and those beastly Europeans) in the midst of the worst crisis since the Second World War, that in the absence of “sufficient progress” by June we will leave the European Union without a deal.


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Nicholas Henderson

Isle of Dogs

After being asked twice if she would apologise to NHS staff and their families over the lack of “necessary PPE”, Priti Patel said: “I’m sorry if people feel there have been failings”.

Through her pseudo-apology, what Patel seems to be basically implying, ‘if people didn’t feel that way, I would not apologise. Feeling that way is their problem, nothing to do with us in government’. Therefore, when she says sorry, she doesn’t truly mean it.

Business secretary Alok Sharma has also said: “I’m incredibly sorry that, you know, people feel they’re not able to get this equipment.”

How can you ‘feel’ you’re not able to get personal protective equipment? Either you can, or you can’t get it!

Fake apologies sound particularly cynical in the deadly pandemic we are living through.

Suzanne Martin

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he government has now ‘written off’ a £13 billion debt, which is actually the money many argued should have gone to the NHS anyway at not much over £1bn a year.

Doing so at this stage of a pandemic doesn’t lessen the damage done to frontline services during austerity.

What it does is show how quickly a

magic money tree can grow when a government needs to dig itself out of trouble.

Hugh Janes

Just as I heard that Matt Hancock was accusing NHS staff of ‘over-using’ or ‘misusing’ PPE I got a text from my middle daughter who is an A&E doctor in Liverpool.

My daughter waited a long time for the proper equipment despite being in what we refer to as the front line. She has been reusing equipment that was supposed to be single use and disposable.

More recently, staff were finally measured for proper masks and when hers arrived it was the wrong size. There was nothing else so her senior told her she had no choice but to use it.

Does Matt Hancock think that her lack of proper equipment may have contributed to the NHS now having another frontline doctor at home ill?

Amanda Baker

Edinburgh

• Have your say by writing to letters@theneweuropean.co.uk and the best will appear in print on our letters pages every Thursday.

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