New health secretary, just like the old health secretary?
So Matt Hancock eventually resigned on Saturday, admitting to "breaking social distancing guidelines" with his advisor. This is a somewhat surprising interpretation of his candid-camera kissing, given that she is his long-standing (if secret) "girlfriend"! But never mind that!
The Sun newspaper's scoop conveniently administered the final blow to"totally effing hopeless" Hancock, as his "totally effing hopeless" boss, Boris Johnson called him many months ago, in a text message. It takes one to know one.
The fact that Hancock was filmed in his own private office, gave other MPs such a fright that they've now had their offices "swept" for hidden surveillance devices. Ministers think that Hancock was stitched up: no one knows who put the camera there, although it has been in place since 2017. For the moment it has been switched off and taped up.
Getting caught like this allowed Hancock to leave the job without the government having to admit his (or its) drastic failings. It even leaves Hancock's political career intact. Never mind the 160,000 dead (real figure), the lies and corruption over PPE procurement and contracts, the Test&Trace fiasco or the defective ring around care homes.
"Protecting the NHS", first and foremost, has led to a backlog of 5 million people waiting for treatment, £9 billions-worth of outstanding repairs to hospitals and buildings and at least 100,000 staff "vacancies". Indeed, this "protected" NHS has never been in such a bad state!
So, what is this former director of Deutsche Bank, former Home Secretary and former Chancellor, Sajid Javid, going to do about it? Nothing, in fact!
His first announcement as new Health Secretary, rather incredibly, was that he is ending the pandemic, forthwith! Yes, on the 19th July, to be precise. This date (data be damned) is now "irreversible" (where have we heard that before?)! The public must now "learn to live with Covid" for the sake of restarting the economy and particularly, the travel industry! Green travel listings abound, despite the rising delta variant cases among the British! But unlike other countries, "Britain" is well able to "open up", because the vaccination programme has already "weakened" (if not broken!) the link between infections and hospitalisation and deaths...
The trouble is that this is not actually true. For life to go back to "normal", ending all precautionary measures, 60-70% of the whole population - including under 18s - would need to be vaccinated. That's what achieving so-called "herd" immunity requires. And new vaccine-dodging variants would stymie this outcome anyway. So Javid is starting in the self-same place where Hancock left off: he is using deception to cover for a policy which puts the well-being of capitalist profit before the well-being of the population, in Britain, and abroad. And of course this comes as no surprise to anyone.