“Let the bodies pile high,” he said. And he meant it!
Boris Johnson has triggered a wave of outrage after he said he did not care about the increase in cancer deaths caused by his government’s failure to make the NHS capable of dealing with a pandemic like Covid.
NHS staff and resources had to be diverted from services like cancer care, meaning thousands more people have died who would not have if care had continued uninterrupted.
Not only that, but deaths attributed to Covid mean life expectancy for men has fallen. It’s being said that this is for the first time ever, although This Site has carried articles in the past that would dispute that.
And what did Johnson say? Well, see for yourself:
Boris Johnson tonight on the BBC "I've given you the most important metric which is, never mind life expectancy, never mind cancer outcomes, look at wage growth."
I beg to differ! Ghastly appalling disregard for our people. pic.twitter.com/TmOLV3k2Wh
— Ian Lavery MP (@IanLaveryMP) October 1, 2021
It is a false argument anyway.
Wage growth between April and June this year was recorded at 8.8 per cent by the Office for National Statistics – but those experts said the figure must be treated with “caution” – and for very good reason:
Annual growth in average employee pay is being affected by temporary factors that have inflated the increase in the headline growth rate; compositional effects where there has been a fall in the number and proportion of lower-paid employee jobs, therefore increasing average earnings; and base effects where the latest months are now compared with low base periods when earnings were first affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The base effect refers to the comparison of the latest months with the low base periods of April to June 2020, when earnings were affected by the coronavirus pandemic and negative pay growth rates were seen… The composition effect is where pay growth has been affected by a changing composition of employee jobs, which has increased average pay and needs to be considered when interpreting average pay growth.
In brief: there is no reason to celebrate huge wage rises because they only relate to last year’s huge wage fall.
Meanwhile, according to The Independent,
Life expectancy for men has fallen for the first time since records began, government figures revealed in September – as the higher deaths than usual caused by the pandemic begin to make an impact.
More than half a million cancer patients are missing out on vital healthcare support due to severe staff shortages across the NHS, new research from Macmillan Cancer Support revealed last month.
One in four of people who were diagnosed with cancer in the last two years have gone without proper support from a specialist nurse during that time, equating to roughly 630,000 patients, the charity said.
So Johnson’s comment was entirely backward.
The right thing to say would have been “Never mind the misleading wage rises; the important metrics are the falls in life expectancy and cancer outcomes.”
And we all know it. Ian Lavery certainly wasn’t the only one to pick up on the reversal:
The most important metric is wage growth, not the how many people are dying 👌🏻
— 🏴 Gareth Davison 🏴 (@gman_davison) October 2, 2021
The man who said "let the bodies pile high" now says "I've given you the most important metric which is, never mind life expectancy, never mind cancer outcomes, look at wage growth."
Boris Johnson is a man with total contempt for human lifepic.twitter.com/ee4RYK2db8
— Owen Jones 🌹 (@OwenJones84) October 2, 2021
And that is the line on which the Conservative Party goes into its national conference for 2021:
“Boris Johnson is a man with total contempt for human life.”
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