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This was directly contradicted by Matt Hancock the week before, when he said the UK would be participating in the scheme. And also by Johnson a couple of weeks ago when he said that the UK would be doing everything possible to procure ventilators - in what he colourfully ad libbed as "Operation Last Gasp", on live TV.

Now it turns out this means ignoring existing sources in the UK and EU, and handing a plum contract for ventilators - which haven't been designed yet, never mind assembled and shipped - to arch Brexiter, Tory donor, tax avoider, and builder of brightly coloured domestic cleaning equipment, James Dyson.

Trust in Johnson and co is so low there's a serious debate about whether the top team are faking infection purely for political sympathy. The question isn't even whether or not this is true, but whether or not it's believable. Unfortunately it is.

Meanwhile the UK's more authoritarian elements have been all over social media trying to persuade everyone to pull together and get behind the herd alpha. Apparently comments about hubris and nemesis are unacceptably tone deaf in the circumstances - which is in poor taste itself, considering the number of people who are going to die unnecessarily. And also considering the state of the NHS after ten years of covert privatisation and other political abuse.

About the latter - the editor of The Lancet is not impressed: "COVID-19 and the NHS - a National Scandal."

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Mar 28th, 2020 at 12:53:54 AM EST
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