Can somebody please put David Cameron back in his box?
He turned up out of nowhere to criticise Boris Johnson for planning to break international law – something that Cameron himself did on a regular basis – and now he seems to think he can run around pronouncing judgements on all and sundry as if he still matters.
He wants us to think that his austerity policies made us better-prepared to tackle Covid-19, when in fact they crippled the UK’s response.
Worse still, he personally presided over the dismantling of all the contingency plans and teams that had been set up to cope with a pandemic disease of exactly this kind.
According to The Mirror:
Mr Cameron argues that cuts introduced when he came to power in 2010 did “fix the roof when the sun was shining”.
He added: “Covid-19 was the rainy day we had been saving for.
“Our actions meant that the next but one administration was able to offer an unprecedented package of measures to prop up the economy.
“I sat watching Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s press conferences thinking how vital it was that we had taken those difficult decisions when we did”
Experts… have said that budget cutbacks left parts of the Government – including the NHS, under prepared for the crisis.
Mr Cameron also rejected the idea that the UK was unprepared for a pandemic, claiming that as a PM the prospect of a disastrous event like a pandemic “is never far from your mind”.
He added: “I knew a pandemic would come one day, possibly sooner rather than later.
“That’s why I made it a ‘tier one risk’ at the National Security Council.
“We also established a sub-committee to deal with Threats, Hazards, Resilience and Contingencies.
“The accusation – which is partly accurate – is that subsequently not enough was done to prepare specifically for what followed.
“But this is what strategists mean when they talk about ‘known unknowns’.
What arrogant nonsense.
In fact, Cameron deliberately dismantled the UK’s capability of handling Covid-19 – as I pointed out back in March:
“The government has devised strategies to deal with such a threat. The problem is, they are all out of date.
“Oldest of them all is the guide to dealing with the fatalities of the pandemic, last published in 2008. This has never been updated since the Conservatives took over responsibility for it.
“The last strategy written specifically to deal with pandemic flu was published in 2011 – the same year David Cameron’s Conservative-led Coalition government closed the dedicated government Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Team based in the Department of Health, which was tasked with tackling this type of crisis.
“It may explain much that the government’s UK Pandemic Influenza Communications Strategy, the crucial document for getting the right messages across to the public, was written in 2012 and is now wildly inaccurate in its assumptions about how and where people get their information.
“In October 2016, David Cameron’s now wholly-Conservative government carried out an exercise to estimate the impact of a hypothetical influenza pandemic on the United Kingdom. Exercise Cygnus showed that such a pandemic would cause the country’s health system to collapse, due to a lack of resources.
“The Chief Medical Officer of the time said that a lack of medical ventilators was a serious problem that should be rectified, but in 2017 this advice was ignored by the Department of Health under Jeremy Hunt – because it would cost too much. The government was committed to austerity policies, remember.”
That is the legacy of Cameron’s austerity.
It seems clear that he has only come back in a vain attempt to whitewash himself after the facts were publicised.
Don’t let him fool you.
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