24 September 2020
Diary of a Corbynista
Time for Cassandrafreude
by Don Urquhart
On Newsnight Natasha Devon was introduced as a former Children’s Mental Health Tsar(itsa?). Any government-appointed advisor normally has me reaching for the off switch, but before I could locate the remote, Ms Devon introduced the concept of Cassandrafreude, pleasure in being proved right about impending disaster.
So I watched on. She had been appointed in 2015, but fired 9 months later having suggested that austerity and the education system could be major causes of mental health problems among young people.
Her parting shot will stick with me:
If you don’t feel anxious you are not paying attention.
Baroness Harding has been responsible for Test and Trace for a few months now. She answered up to a Commons committee about the catastrophic performance of her area of responsibility. She revealed a novel scapegoat – it is the modellers who did not forecast the increase in demand for tests. There are many who point out the implausibility of the government not anticipating such an increase. Government spokespeople will tell you at the drop of a hat that they have increased capacity from 2,000 per day in March to 250,000 now. They are not so keen to quote the number of actual daily tests which stands at around 80,000.
It seems that we have a capacity of 250,000 because the government anticipated the demand, but an actual delivery of 80,000 because they have failed with the logistics of getting tests to where they are needed.
This is Project Management 101, which does not come naturally to the fast talkers and grandstanders we have elected to run our affairs.
On Question Time last night a government minister called Nadhim Zahawi tied himself up in knots while trying to justify his government’s lamentable Covid performance and breach of international law. The more confused he became the longer he rattled on for.
Zahawi claimed a capacity of 240,000 tests. Fiona Bruce pointed out that the government’s own figure for people being tested daily was 81,000.
Why do we vote for such people?
The Labour Party has the knack of employing clueless advisors. The EdStone in 2015 was perhaps the high water mark but what’s the current shower up to?
They have apparently come up with their killer slogan to terrify the Tories and rally the faithful. It is A New Leadership , thus making it appear that the Labour Party is all about the glorious new leader.
Far be it from me!
Sir Keir Starmer is a seasoned lawyer who well understands the law of libel. On Sophy Ridge and Andrew Marr he assessed Johnson’s performance in seeking to change the Withdrawal Agreement.
The Prime Minister needs to answer a question: when he signed that agreement only 18 months ago did he know what he was doing in which case why did he missell it to the nation?
On his Sunday morning programme Andrew Marr asked in his introduction for a kinder atmosphere in the political arena. Not a bad idea when his friends are screwing up everything they touch.
Starmer will be in Doncaster today to make his speech to the “virtual” party conference. He will be introduced by former MP Ruth Smeeth and will focus on the importance of the family.
As the mother of Mrs Brown’s Boys would say: