Failed Health Secretary Matt Hancock is set to scrap Public Health England (PHE) this week, we’re told, in an attempt to blame somebody else for his failure to control Covid-19 in the UK.
The trouble is, he’s planning to replace it with something worse.
Public Health England, as an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care, exists to protect the general health and well-being of English people – in any circumstance. But Hancock wants to replace it with an organisation dedicated only to handling pandemic threats.
And he plans to do this by merging the pandemic response work of PHE with Serco Test and Trace – the privatised ‘test and trace’ system that has already proved itself to be a humiliating failure for the government, and for its plans to privatise NHS services.
What a fiasco.
It means that Hancock is planning to replace a system that he has decided has failed with something that we all know is a failure, for the sake of the Tories’ Holy Grail of NHS privatisation.
And the devil take public health and safety.
Let us also remember that, as a wholly-owned executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care, PHE’s failure are entirely the responsibility of one man: Matt Hancock. It seems he is hoping that he can hide his incompetence by dissolving the organisation that contains the evidence.
It doesn’t work that way. The evidence is already public knowledge. Take a look at this article if you need to be convinced.
And we all know where the blame lies:
“Failing Public Health England” that is to be “axed” by mighty Hancock has in fact been under his orders throughout Covid19 & prior & grossly under-funded by govt for yrs. The “sluggish” response is Boris Johnson’s work.
Don’t, for goodness sake, tell that to the public though.
— Dr Lauren Gavaghan (@DancingTheMind) August 16, 2020
It’s true. The BMJ article (link above) states that public health funding has fallen by 25 per cent per person in the last five years alone.
Your regular reminder that Public Health England is an agency of the Department of Health and Social Care, and had no separate legal personality. It is *already* under the “direct control” of Ministers. pic.twitter.com/k4RbDoYsCH
— George Peretz QC (@GeorgePeretzQC) August 15, 2020
Worse still, the rumour mill has it that the new, privatised organisation that will be tasked with protecting us from pandemic infections (but only if it can make a profit from doing it, of course) will be headed by another failure: Dido Harding:
Dido Harding, DISGRACED former CEO of Talk Talk, who lead the disastrous NHS Test & Trace, is married to Tory MP John Penrose, he sits on the advisory board of a think tank called 1828. 1828 wants Public Health England scrapped and the NHS to be replaced by a US insurance system. pic.twitter.com/4PORAlCU6c
— sue#NHSLove (@SueSuezep) August 16, 2020
Tory Peer Dido Harding has consistently been a disaster with everything she has touched. She is now being touted to run a huge organisation that Matt Hancock wants to replace Public Health England.#ToryShambles pic.twitter.com/g2QlmUjAeC
— StrongerStabler (@StrongerStabler) August 16, 2020
This may be another example of Tories giving jobs to their friends, rather than to anybody who actually knows what they are doing:
Matt Hancock's relationship with Dido Harding is totally corrupt. She raised more than £600,000 for his leadership bid. And as Health Secretary he rewarded her with the position of head of TTT, which failed. He is now scrapping NHS England, and she will head up the new body. https://t.co/wqmxwuzKR5
— neil flek waugh .#Palestine is a state. BDS (@sammythedog1989) August 16, 2020
It’s interesting also to take note of the fellow-travellers who have sprung up to support Hancock’s plan. These are Tory propagandists who should never be trusted on any subject at all.
Here’s an obvious example: Julia Hartley-Doodah.
PHE is a department of government, you dunce! https://t.co/Q5iQAC5rep
— Mel (@melaniekmelvin) August 16, 2020
Rest assured that nothing good will come of this. Hancock will not succeed in shifting the blame away from himself; his decision can only result in more infections and deaths as Serco continues to take our money while failing to do anything to prevent Covid-19 infections from spreading.
We know this is the wrong decision and it will only worsen a Tory-engineered national disaster.
But there is nothing we can do to prevent it. We lost that opportunity on December 13, 2019.
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