This is what happens when you give unlimited power to do whatever he likes to an overgrown school bully like Boris Johnson:
He does whatever he likes.
And if he gets caught doing something that is utterly unacceptable – like, say, causing the deaths of 30,000 care home residents by deliberately sending people with Covid-19 there to infect them…
He tries to blame someone else.
“It wasn’t me, sir! Those other boys did it! They’re bad, not me!”
For the record, all the Tory excuses about care homes have been proved to be lies.
The best example of this is when they said they threw a “protective ring” around care homes before they even put the country into lockdown, back in March. This was a lie.
In fact, the Tories ordered hospitals to send care home residents with Covid-19 back to those homes, even if their destinations did not have the facilities to treate them in isolation from other residents.
Not only that, but employment practices at many homes meant staff were moved around between facilities owned by the same company, meaning they may have caught Covid-19 from a resident at one home and then transferred it to residents in another.
Johnson is saying that the spread of the disease in this way, along with the inability to treat residents with Covid-19 in isolation is because homes “didn’t follow the procedures”. This is a lie.
There weren’t any procedures to follow because Johnson and his cronies didn’t bother to think about making any.
Now, some of his more PR conscious colleagues are trying to mitigate the damage he has caused, like Alok Sharma saying, “No-one is suggesting care homes have not done a great job under really difficult circumstances.” This is a lie.
That is precisely what Johnson is saying, because the alternative is to admit that his government is at fault, and to blame for the deaths of around 30,000 people.
Underlying this, of course, is the question of whether Johnson secretly wanted to cause those deaths. He has succeeded in wiping 30,000 expensive care accounts off the government’s books – and to a Tory, that’s a positive outcome.
Now, just like a school bully, Johnson is refusing to apologise for his false claims. He’s pretending he hasn’t done anything wrong and he’ll try to bully us into accepting it because he has the power of the government behind him.
Trouble is, there’s always someone who’ll stand up to a bully:
Mark Adams, who runs the charity Community Integrated Care, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the prime minister’s comments were “cowardly” and a “travesty of leadership”.
He added: “If this is genuinely his view, I think we’re almost entering a Kafkaesque alternative reality where the government sets the rules, we follow them, they don’t like the results, they then deny setting the rules and blame the people that were trying to do their best.”
The National Care Forum said Mr Johnson’s remarks were “frankly hugely insulting” to care workers.
Vic Rayner, executive director of the forum which represents 120 social care charities, told BBC Newsnight that care homes followed the guidance “to the letter”.
Of course, all bullies have their cronies – the sneaky little gits who hang around next to them, egging them on.
Boris Johnson has the BBC, whose mealy-mouthed Nick Triggle has tried to help pass the buck onto care homes.
“In the government, there is a frustration the care sector has escaped largely blame free,” he tells us. “Care homes are not government-run. On the whole they are owned and operated by private firms.”
We’ve heard this old chestnut before; it’s one of the main reasons Tories love privatisation – the ability to shift the blame.
“Oh!” say the Tories. “But we don’t run these homes – they’re all private! So it’s the private companies that run the homes who are responsible for all these terrible deaths, not us!
“It doesn’t matter that we didn’t send them appropriate guidance at the appropriate time!
“It’s not important that we couldn’t even be bothered to get off our arses and find PPE (personal protective equipment) for hospitals, let alone care homes!
“And nobody should be asking why we couldn’t care less about providing Covid-19 tests in care homes until the public demanded it!”
Worse still is the fact that Johnson will probably use the money he is saving by not having to pay the care costs of 30,000 dead people to provide a new funding package for social care – and he’ll call that a triumph for Tory politics.
“We need to think about how we organise our social care package better and how we make sure we look after people better who are in social care,” he said.
Is that his answer, then?
A regular cull of vulnerable care home residents?
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