AS mainstream UK news obsesses over when and how lockdown will come to an end, The Jouker is looking elsewhere to find solid, honest reporting on Boris Johnson’s coronavirus response.
We’ve brought you a scathing opinion column on Johnson’s “weak” Cabinet from the front page of the New York Times and views on the UK Government’s “failure” all the way from Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald.
Now we’re once again looking across the Atlantic to highlight a brutally honest piece of reporting from Canada’s national public broadcaster CBC.
READ MORE: Covid-19: New York Times article takes aim at UK Government
The story was published on the day the UK’s Covid-19 death toll surpassed 32,000 – the highest figure in Europe.
In her report, writer Margaret Evans takes aim at how the country can tend to “blur the horrors at the heart” of the crisis, and goes on to explore Johnson’s own role in tackling the pandemic.
She begins: “A plucky Second World War veteran approaching his own centenary leans on his walker and marches across his garden 100 times and raises millions for Britain’s beleaguered National Health Service (NHS).
“A larger-than-life Prime Minister Boris Johnson boasts of shaking hands with coronavirus patients and later falls gravely ill to the virus himself, recovering just in time to be with his fiancée for the birth of a bouncing Downing Street baby.
“The Queen makes a rare address to the nation, offering comfort, urging people to stay at home and evoking that wartime can-do spirit with a promise that blue skies will again return to this land.
“So shiny and almost fable-like are these strands of Britain’s encounter with COVID-19 that they can sometimes seem to blur the horrors at the heart of it. Even though the strands are themselves a product of it.”
Doesn’t that just sum it up perfectly …
READ MORE: Australian paper tells the truth about UK Government’s Covid-19 failures
Evans goes on to speak to Devi Sridhar – the chair of global public health somewhere a little closer to home, at the University of Edinburgh.
The expert tells Evans that the UK Government had been very much consumed by Brexit when the pandemic was really kicking off overseas. Evans reminds readers that Johnson has reportedly missed five meetings on the Covid-19 threat by the UK’s security committee in February and March, as well as eight calls or meetings with EU leaders about the oncoming crisis.
Sridhar tells the journalist: “I think the decision was made quite early in March to give up on containment and to assume that this virus was unstoppable and that everyone would get it.”
Evans then describes the “infamous” news conference on March 3 where the Prime Minister was “boasting” about shaking hands with coronavirus patients during a hospital visit, just days before the World Health Organisation declared the situation a global pandemic.
She plainly lays out how on March 12 the Tory leader told the public that “many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time” – but failed to impose a lockdown for another 11 days.
We need to see more reporting like this in UK newspapers – and not mixed messages about when lockdown could end while we are still at such a critical point in the outbreak.