When it comes to the last week of news, it’s been rife with people speaking their minds, a la Piers Corbyn, and high profile politicians jumping to the defence of the otherwise indefensible, namely Matt Hancock over the former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott who looks to be in line for a job at the newly reformed Board Of Trade. All three of the men mentioned above all have one thing in common - however much people attempt to defend them, it’s one of the most pointless exercises out there. In all instances, let’s just leave them to it, they’ve dug themselves massive holes anyways, and it looks like they’ll be needing bigger shovels soon enough.
We’ll take Matt Hancock first, a man who’s part of a government that’s executed more u-turns than an indecisive motorist. I shouldn’t have to go into detail about the government’s poor handling of the worst public health crisis in the last century, but the list is endless with poor decision making throughout. I should stress though it isn’t just the Health Secretary I’ve got a problem with, it’s the entire Government. Boris Johnson and co. haven’t looked to steady the ship - at its current rate of knots we’ll be hurtling into yet another turbulent storm with the higher ranking officers and admiral all hidden under the deck leaving the cabin boy and underlings to do all the work whilst they hide and pretend like nothing’s happened.
In reality, when you consider it, it’s no surprise that Hancock jumped to Abbott’s defence, especially since the incumbent Health Secretary retweeted a poem about the Labour Party back in 2014, calling it “full of queers”. The poem read thus:
The party run by young Ed,
Is quietly going quite dead.
Bereft of ideas,
Quite full of queers,
No wonder the faithful have fled.
Those who suddenly jump to the defence of Hancock or any of this Tory government appear to be a tad misguided in their viewpoints. Some will stick to their morals and views and say that Johnson and the rest of the Cabinet can do no wrong, which is an admirable trait to have, but with the current crisis going on in front of you, how is it even remotely possible to defend the utter travesty that’s unfolding before your very eyes? Last year, I wrote a column explaining that we should give Johnson a bit of time and see how he gets on in the first few months. Well in that time we’ve had this crisis, several dodged and unanswered questions, the attempted prorogation of Parliament, a general election and the incessant promise of an “oven-ready deal” and to “Get Brexit Done”.
This government’s decision to have a constant reliance on somewhat digestible and understandable buzzwords and phrases has been a poor one, shown up entirely by the mixed messages offered in the guidance in response to the pandemic. The slogan of “Stay At Home, Protect The NHS, Save Lives” is the only piece of clear guidance this government has offered in the last six months, and the change to the utterly ambiguous “Stay Alert, Control The Virus, Save Lives” was an absolute disgrace. What’s more, if you go onto the Government website, they’ve had the bare-faced cheek to classify the original guidance of staying at home as Promotional Material. Someone should really tell the Government that this pandemic isn’t some sort of dark marketing campaign.
The subject of the pandemic brings us nicely to Piers Corbyn, the controversial weatherman and more famously the brother of former Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn. You might’ve seen that there was an anti-lockdown, anti-vaccine, anti-mask protest down in London last weekend, organised by the likes of Corbyn, who was later fined £10,000 under new laws brought in by the government some days prior. It must be stressed at this point that Mr. Corbyn isn't an uneducated individual; he's someone with a degree in Physics from Imperial College London and an MSc in Astrophysics from Queen Mary University, London, yet how someone so educated can believe what he does is positively baffling.
When he appeared on Good Morning Britain earlier this week, Piers Corbyn pointed to the works of Dr. Vernon Coleman in attempting to prove that he had credible evidence. Dr. Coleman is a man who believes that Bill Gates is a greater threat to the modern world than Adolf Hitler, and a man who has made misleading claims about food and cancer in the past and yet still remains a Times best-selling author. Both men are undoubtedly educated and one is even a medical professional, so how can they both believe that this coronavirus pandemic is a hoax and a massive cover-up? I understand that not all so-called experts agree on issues, that's the nature of scientific endeavour, but flat out denial is another thing entirely. With over 800,000 casualties worldwide and many millions of cases, surely that's enough apparent "evidence" to prove its deadly existence, or failing that, if this is all a conspiracy and us sane folk have been misguided by the "big corporations" that Mr. Corbyn says the pandemic is designed to benefit, why would the Government feel the need to artificially plunge the country into such a deep recession?
Mr. Corbyn's views are downright dangerous and to be honest, if there's anyone that desperately needs to be cancelled, it's him. I'm usually one to defend the right to free speech, but with people like Piers Corbyn spreading such false and inflammatory statements, I think it's time to make an exception. The problem that comes is there are people down there in Trafalgar Square supporting him - I don't know what it is about today's society but some people seem to gravitate towards the seriously misguided, and Piers Corbyn's merry band of deniers seem the perfect people to prove my point.
When it comes to Tony Abbott, his views are, much like Corbyn's, quite frankly startling. He's a man known for downplaying the effects of climate change, as does Corbyn, but more importantly, throughout his political career is someone whose speeches and conversations have been littered with homophobic, misogynistic and downright offensive remarks. For a start, at a Policy Exchange speech in London, Abbott was quick to suggest that families should allow elderly relatives to die of coronavirus by letting"nature take its course." Moreover, in the past he's suggested that abortion is the "easy way out" for mothers struggling to cope with other parts of life, or that he feels threatened by LGBT+ people, or maybe even that he described a young, female candidate in the Australian Liberal Party as having "sex appeal."
This imminent appointment is something that's been welcomed by current International Trade Secretary Liz Truss, the woman who is determined to get a better trade deal with Japan than the EU did all thanks to a £102,000 export total on stilton proving to be a stumbling block. Truss claimed that the critical outcries of Abbott were only coming from "those on the left", despite fellow Conservative MP Caroline Nokes stating that Tony Abbott "isn't fit" for such a high-ranking position.
As I've said, for people like Hancock, Corbyn and Abbott, they're slowly digging their own graves and firmly placing themselves atop their own political or social deathbeds. There'll never be a time when they'll be seen as clever or ingenious, and history will come to look back at them as being unfit to lead.