Analysis: Some blame communications amid anger over uncertainty, while others say that implementation is lacking
The U.K. with. It is impossible to believe that less than three weeks ago the government insisted that its three-tier structure was acceptable and that five days of Christmas shuffling will proceed, on the verge of a third nationwide lockdown and schools around the nation shutting their doors.
It was Dec. 15 when Boris Johnson ignored scientists’ advice and told the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that he would avoid Christmas cancellation calls.
Just four days later, with the Christmas mix cancelled, large parts of the world were in a new Stage 4.
Within days, other regions followed.
The government’s Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage) suggested three days before Christmas that if schools opened as usual, the number of infections would skyrocket.
However, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson’s allies persistently announced that he launched a counterattack to discourage school closures until last week Johnson again bowed to the inevitable and ordered classrooms closed to most students in high-risk areas.
In their profound outrage at the chaos, conservative MPs are united – but are divided over its cause.
Many blame the communications policy of the government, which has never completely recovered after Cabinet Secretary Dominic Cummings had to defend himself after being accused of flouting closure rules as a model parent. Others point to the birth in May of the slogan ‘keep alert’ as the moment when public enforcement started to give way to mockery.
But confusion in relations alone does not justify the back-and-forth, critics argue, when it comes to policy and strategy. It always goes like this: reports of severe warnings from the scientific advisors of the government leaks out, ministers express gloom about the need to respond – and then a lack of knowledge follows for days against the backdrop of increasing and increasingly urgent demands for action.
There were clear and frequent reminders last week about the rising pressure on the NHS as caseloads exceeded 50,000 day after day. On Sunday, the Prime Minister said there was “no question” that England would soon need stricter covid lockdown laws, which was echoed Monday morning by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
The next steps took 36 hours to become apparent.
But there is no transparent strategy in this vacuum for determining how to proceed.
While the United Kingdom Some MPs who blame communications say that the policy and policies of the government are not much different from other nations that have also found themselves in deep trouble, in a bleak situation.
“Communication is [a]key problem. Basically, the approach of most countries has been broadly similar,” one Tory MP said. Demonstrating competence with the ministers and success is the most important thing. We have not done either.
But only through definitive decisions can execution be accomplished.
In addition to political decisions to release important announcements to certain newspapers or broadcasters, government communications have been beset by leaks, ensuring public knowledge is filtered out in the strangest ways.
Several MPs pointed to the almost fake news for several of the new Stage 4 and the cancellation of Christmas, which came from tweets from deputy political editor Caroline Wheeler of the Sunday Times, who got the leak. The journalist was locked out of her Twitter account, however, and used a different account – meaning editors, MPs and the public were initially uncertain if the news was fake.
Government advisors privately say that delayed decision-making is to blame, not any communication plan, and a rapidly changing situation with the latest version of the virus.
Andrew Mitchell, a veteran Tory MP who in the past has not shied away from criticising the government, says the government behaves as well as it can technically do. “The truth is that it’s the new version of the virus that has driven a horse and cart through politics,”The truth is that the new version of the virus has driven a horse and a cart through politics. I have great sympathy for the government when it comes to wanting to be very tough, but very tough.