Is it just me or is my schadenfreudey hatred of this hideous government’s behaviour getting in the way of my humanity?
All last week I watched Matt Handjob’s 100,000 testing target coming more and more into the spotlight the closer and closer it came to failure. By Tuesday it looked dead in the water but then, lo and behold, amidst fanfare, triumphalism and a smIle bigger than Priti Patel could muster at a successful tribunal, he hit gold.
Not only was the target met, it was smashed into oblivion. (Better not just to creep – appropriate word in the context – over the line, eh?) But, you know, even as the printer ink was evaporating on the press releases one could see that the 122,000 declared tests included 40,000 tests that were ‘in the post’.
And of course the 122k, is now under 80k today: Sunday.,
And today it also transpires that last week’s tests included 31,000 that had been sent to care homes with inadequate instructions and, guess what, only 7% have been carried out (that’s under 3,000 and so knocks a further 28,000 out of his numbers for the week; although perhaps not the day).
Many of those home deliveries appear not to have been supplied with return envelopes – so what are people supposed to do with these tests? Pop down to their GPs and hope the queue’s short enough to avoid the risk of infection?
So, target met (yet not met) then immediately fallen short of.
(When I ran, a golden rule when taking on steep hills, was to run through the top, not hit it and slow down. That leads to momentum loss and more harm that good. Seems a decent metaphor for this.)
I should, surely, on a human level, be pleased about the meeting of this colossal target. I, surely, should be celebrating this mammoth achievement.
But I’m not. Mostly I’m guiltily revelling in the schadenfreude of it all.
Why? Because this government makes me sick to the pit of my stomach. Not in a Trump-buffoonery way. (He’s mentally ill, so he kind of almost doesn’t even really count.)
No, it’s a much more considered (and by that I mean ‘thought out’), systematic, partizan-political, stomach-churning approach to mass mis-communication that they have taken.
That it’s a conceit conceived by conceited cunts where headlines are much more important than head-counts is what makes it all so galling.
I feel I am living in the middle of the greatest lie ever constructed by a political elite that can’t, won’t, don’t know how to rail against the sort of eugenic-tinged canker that Dominic Cumming spouts and Boris, puppet-like, blurts out on the hustings.
But this isn’t hustings, those are long over.
This is the real thing.
The time for grown-up leadership, something I can’t even begin to conceive of from this burke.
And I too feel like a cunt, for wanting them to fail in hitting their targets – because it makes it feel like I want our healthcare to fail, which, of course I don’t.
It’s actually only this government that care about these numbers that are meaningless.
What is the significance of the 100,000 number?
Absolutely nothing, apart from the headlines.
I don’t really want to contrast this approach with the deliberately low-key tone of the Scottish government’s because you will probably immediately accuse me of hypocrisy and my own political point-scoring. So, I will acknowledge that the Scottish job is arguably easier, even if health and social services is devolved.
Decision-making and, more importantly, its communication comes without fanfares in Scotland and our usual political infighting has largely been parked by all sides – to all-sides’ credit.
I’ve not touched on the PPE lies here.
Nor the late start as Boris was bungling Brexit, before turning flaggingly-late to the pandemic.
It’s piss-poor and I simply have to get over myself.