By Isabel Ringrose
Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2723

Tories refuse to take the blame for Covid-19 spike

This article is over 3 years, 9 months old
Issue 2723
Government adviser Chris Whitty warned of a rapid increase in coronavirus infections - but the Tories wont take the blame
Government adviser Chris Whitty warned of a rapid increase in coronavirus infections – but the Tories won’t take the blame (Pic: Number10/Flickr)

The Tories’ drive to push people back to work—and reopen the economy—has plunged Britain into a second wave of coronavirus infections. Now they’re trying to shift the blame onto ordinary people.

After reopening pubs, ­restaurants and leisure centres, the Tories now say people are irresponsible for using them.

Crowds in Blackpool were the target for blame last weekend.

The real culprits are the Tories—including their complete failure of a test and trace system.

Health secretary Matt Hancock has said the government will bring in “more stringent enforcement” if people don’t follow the rules.

Yet the rules he points to change from day to day, and from place to place.

It’s clear the government has lost control—and is masking it with hypocrisy.

In June the Tories said ­households would be allowed to mix in “bubbles”. Now mixing between ­households has been blamed for a rise in ­coronavirus cases in Wolverhampton.

Rishi Sunak’s “eat out to help out” scheme actively encouraged people to go to restaurants to “save the economy”. Now the Tories are pointing to pub-goers as the cause of the rise in cases.

Put people before profit to protect us from coronavirus
Put people before profit to protect us from coronavirus
  Read More

But the most significant spikes are in workplaces and schools. One in every 20 children in England are out of school because of issues linked to the pandemic.

For all the confusion and chaos at the top, none of the Tories want to shut workplaces down again.

Ministers pushed for the unsafe return to work and schools to get businesses up and running. Profit was more important than safety.

And with universities about to reopen, the situation is set to become worse.

More than two million students are set to return to universities within the next month.

Many will have to travel across the country to start the academic year. The UCU university workers’ union has called this a “recipe for disaster”.

Cases have gone up since schools reopened and universities are sure to follow this trend.

Higher education bosses say they have worked hard to plan for a safe return to all aspects of student life. But different universities have ­different measures in place.

Some are opting for a mixture of face to face teaching and online contact hours, while some are online only.

Students are being told to limit socialising to their households.

The Tories previously argued that young people in groups of more than 30 were causing the rise in cases.

Now they want to use the “rule of six” to scapegoat students.

The message to students is to stay at home, but some will also be taught in “managed groups”, be able to drink in the student union and take part in sporting activities.

The Tories will try to cover up these mixed messages by insisting reckless students are responsible for the Covid-19 disaster. But the blame lies with them.

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