Coronavirus – Put Politics To One Side… Please!

Life Excel - Coronavirus - Covid-19 - Keir Starmer

So, Keir Starmer is the new leader of the Labour Party.

In his opening comments, I was hoping he would put politics to one side and put his support behind the current effort to wipe out Covid-19.

Sadly, he failed to do that...

Despite saying he wants to "see the government succeed", and this will not be a time for, "scoring political points or opposing for the sake of opposing".

Here are some of the things Keir Starmer said in his article printed by The Times (Taken from the BBC website) - I'll talk more about these later:

  • Serious mistakes have been made
  • Ministers have taken too long to explain why they were "so far behind" on testing
  • He's called for a national vaccine programme
  • Ministers should publish an "exit strategy"
  • "We will speak for those that have been ignored; and where we see mistakes we are under a duty to expose them..."
  • "The focus must be on making sure the promise of 100,000 tests is delivered..."
  • He talked about building vaccination centres
  • "The government must listen to frontline NHS and care workers about the lack of personal protective equipment..."
  • "We have heard too many stories of staff unable to get equipment..."
  • Ministers should set out when the social distancing will be lifted...

Here's what I'd have liked to hear him say...

"I would like to offer my full support, and the full backing of the Labour Party, to the government, the NHS and all key workers. At this exceptional time, we'll put politics to one side and we offer our services to help in any way we possibly can".

"We'll hold daily shadow-cabinet meetings and pass on our findings to the government directly, not through the press. There will be no criticism at this time, since that simply puts pressure on the government, that they could well do without at this time".

"And finally, we urge every single person in the UK, to follow the government guidelines to the letter, with regards to social distancing. Politics aren't important right now... lives are".

OK, now let's look at some of Keir Starmer's comments...

1. "Serious mistakes have been made..."

Well yes, of course they have!

And more mistakes will be made.

Not only by our government, but by every government around the world.

This situation is like nothing we've come across before.

We're learning all the time.

Decisions have to be made and lived with...

Learned from...

Adjusted.

We need to accept things will go wrong...

We need to accept people will make mistakes...

Then learn from them and move on.

Criticism adds pressure...

Pressure creates more mistakes.

Show me a man who hasn't made a mistake, and I'll show you a man who hasn't made any decisions.

The way I see it...

This government is doing it's best...

It's listening to the best advice it has available and is following that advice...

Get behind them and support them...

Don't criticise...

That's too easy...

With hindsight, we can all be experts.

2. Ministers have taken too long to explain why they were "so far behind" on testing

Personally, I don't want ministers to be explaining things all the time...

That's a waste of time and energy!

Let them get on with their jobs...

Learn from their mistakes...

And move forward to find solutions.

Again, hindsight is a wonderful thing, Mr Starmer.

3. Mr Starmer has called for a national vaccination programme

All in good time...

We don't even have a vaccine yet!

And...

Surely, we need to putting all of our energy into controlling Covid-19 right now...

Vaccination centres can be thought about when the time is right.

4 - Ministers should publish an exit strategy

Mr Starmer...

Are you on the same planet as the rest of us?

Nobody knows what the exit strategy is yet!

Nobody!

Not just in the UK, but also across the world.

We don't need to know what the exit strategy is just yet...

We simply need to be following the government guidelines, so an exit strategy can be implemented as soon as is humanly possible.

5 - "We will speak for those that have been ignored; and where we see mistakes we are under a duty to expose them...

No, Mr Starmer, you are not under a duty to expose anything.

You have a duty to serve the people...

To do that you need to support the government.

If you see mistakes...

By all means talk to the government about them...

Offer your help...

Offer them solutions.

Remember...

This is not a time for, "scoring political points".

6 - "The focus must be on making sure the promise of 100,000 tests is delivered..."

I'm not actually sure the government promised that (but I stand to be corrected!).

Through all of this, they've discussed their targets publicly...

But there are so many factors in play here, it's not always possible to achieve them.

The logistics involved are so complex and varied, that we have to expect some targets to be missed.

Tests have to be tested...

They have to be available...

They have to be administered to many thousands of people...

The list goes on.

7 - "The government must listen to frontline NHS and care workers about the lack of personal protective equipment..."

Again, we're talking logistics here.

It's all to easy to say we need to do this and we need to do that...

There is no magic formula...

No magic wand.

Every country in the world is now on the hunt for PPE and tests...

That means they're very, very difficult to come by.

But there are many companies and individuals doing their level best to produce and dispatch them to those who need them.

Offer your support, Mr Starmer...

Offer some suggestions...

Not criticism or blame.

8 - "We have heard too many stories of staff unable to get equipment..."

Yes we have...

Even one is too many...

But inevitable, given the scale of the operations involved.

What we haven't heard, however, are the success stories...

There are many more thousands of those!

There seem to be an increasing number of Labour politicians trying to score points at the moment...

Please...

Let's keep politics out of this.

Stay at home...

Protect the NHS...

Save Lives.

Take care and stay safe.

Keith Jones

Keith Jones

Living a Life of Purpose


My thanks for today's image goes to Gemma Stone... you can find her on Facebook.