IF THE British mainstream media of the mid-2000s were as unquestioning as the current set, they would have concluded that the Iraq War was a disaster because the UK failed to invade a week earlier.
Yes, that dreaded report on the British coronavirus response is finally here. Inaccurately called ‘Lessons Learnt,’ the 150-page document predictably concludes that the official Covid-19 death toll would have been lower if only the Johnson government had locked down a week earlier. Sigh.
Even more predictably, the MSM swallowed every word of it, then got to work grilling ministers for all the wrong reasons. Their idea of balance is allowing one establishment mouthpiece to deride the execution of a policy, while another establishment mouthpiece defends its execution. No one challenges the policy itself.
No fewer than 15 times, Kay Burley of Sky News asked Cabinet Office Minister Stephen Barclay, absurdly, if he would apologise for Covid-19 deaths.
A good response would have been to point out that Theresa May was not held personally responsible for the deaths caused by the ‘Aussie flu’ outbreak of 2017/2018, which crippled large parts of the NHS, left patients dying in corridors and claimed the lives of a number of previously healthy children.
He might have gone further and asked Kay Burley if she ever attempted to press Tony Blair into apologising for failing to take action during the influenza outbreaks of 1998/1999 and 1999/2000, which caused some of the highest weekly deaths in England and Wales since records began in 1993.
Barclay might have added that Harold Wilson was not blamed for the 1968 Hong Kong flu pandemic, and nor was Harold Macmillan was for the 1957 Asian flu pandemic.
Of course, he did not say any of this, and not just due to lack of wit. He belongs to a government that remains committed to blackmailing its citizens into feeling personally responsible for an illness. To tell the truth that we are no more responsible for Covid-19 than we were for past outbreaks and pandemics would be to admit that the torturous coercion, misery and suffering he helped to impose on us for 18 months was morally wrong.
The BBC covered the report as follows: