The head of Serco – not NHS – Test and Trace demonstrated the failures, not only of her fake Covid-19 response organisation, but of the system that allows Conservative ministers to appoint their buddies to important jobs – just by turning up to talk about it.
Dido Harding – whose qualifications to run a business charged with contact tracing people who may have Covid-19 include having been a jockey and failing to run a telecoms/internet supplier – duly made a fool of herself before a joint meeting of Parliament’s health and social care committee and science and technology committee.
This Writer didn’t see the session so I’m relying on information from Twitter sources – and it isn’t flattering:
Today I asked Baroness Dido Harding why she calls it "NHS Test and Trace" when the £12 billion system has overwhelmingly been outsourced to private companies.
Her answer: "That is its name".
I'm not sure about that logic 🤔 pic.twitter.com/YStVJXZvZp
— Zarah Sultana MP (@zarahsultana) November 10, 2020
It’s a good point to make because the private firms do not come up to the standard of service we expect from the NHS – and that the NHS would provide.
Govt set aside £100bn for private companies and local authorities are now doing the work. How much will they be paid?
Local authorities are left to clear up the mess again!
— Dawn Butler MP✊🏾 (@DawnButlerBrent) November 10, 2020
So now we see not only that private companies are being paid a hell of a lot of money to provide very little, but also that the public authorities that have had to take up the slack and actually do something are not receiving any of this funding to do it. What a bare-faced charlatan Ms Harding was showing herself to be.
Worse was to follow:
Dido Harding's answer to every question at the Health Commitee hearing today, "Sorry I don't know the answer, I'll have to get back to you on that." FFS 😠😤 pic.twitter.com/PgGxG9Ks15
— Citizen Jones (@JonesCitizen) November 10, 2020
Dido Harding trying to explain the galaxy sized failure of Test & Trace at a Health Committee and "with the benefit of hindsight" is doing a *lot* of heavy lifting 🙄
— dave ❄️ 🥕 🧻 (@davemacladd) November 10, 2020
Dido Harding's experience running a failed broadband company no more qualifies her to run public health than my time as a paperboy qualifies me to compete in Formula 1
— David__Osland (@David__Osland) November 10, 2020
From the level of self-satisfied smugness with which Harding congratulates herself, I might be left with the impression the UK dealt with every aspect of Covid19 nothing short of magnificently. If I had no knowledge or access to the data of what has *actually* happened in the UK.
— Alex Andreou (@sturdyAlex) November 10, 2020
So Dido Harding just said track and trace in the UK is only having a 20% effect on COVID and isnt a silver bullet.
Can someone remind me how many billions we have spent on it.
She also says its hard to contact people, not surprising given they use an 0330 number to do it.
— G4C #WeNeedChange AKA Gary (@AVF_Scooby2000) November 10, 2020
Another try? waffle
The chair of committee tried again
Dido Harding "It is not my job to know the answer to that question"
— 3.5% #HerdImmunityByStealthAndStupidity (@Gord76) November 10, 2020
The conclusion? Some commenters resorted to satire:
BREAKING NEWS: The singer Dido has changed her name to Scammy McScamface to avoid association with UK-failing Tory money-hoarder Dido Harding.
"I'm sure people will have more respect for me with the new name", said Ms McScamface
— Will Black (@WillBlackWriter) November 10, 2020
But many drew the obvious conclusion – as epitomised here:
10.30am: Dido Harding, head of NHS Test and Trace, gives evidence to the Commons health and science committees, who are holding a joint ‘coronavirus – lessons learnt’ inquiry.
Lesson 1: Don't employ entitled halfwits just because you went to school with someone in their family
— Jon Jones (@JonJonesSnr) November 10, 2020
That’s right – and Boris Johnson, together with his colleagues in the Conservative government that he heads, is responsible for employing them, using a system that bypasses competitive tendering by claiming it’s an emergency and time is of the essence.
It is now a year since Boris Johnson was first made aware of Covid-19. He wasted four months pretending it wasn’t any reason for concern and then used that system to appoint personal friends of his who achieved nothing.
It’s time the madness was stopped and competitive tendering was reintroduced so we can clear out the cowboys and bring back the professionals.
And it’s time Johnson and his cronies were brought to book for their cavalier spaffing of our cash on know-nothing amateurs.
Strangely enough, it seems that’s exactly what is going to happen…