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Letter: No Sign Our MP Is In Touch With Reality

Published on: 21 Apr, 2020
Updated on: 21 Apr, 2020

Zoe Franklin and Angela Richardson MP

From George Potter

Lib Dem borough councillor for Burpham

In response to: Lib Dem Franklin Issues Open Letter to Guildford’s Tory MP

I’d find Ms Richardson’s reply to have a lot more credence in terms of us “all working together to save as many lives as possible” if there was any indication whatsoever from the government and from her as our MP that lessons have been learned from what’s already happened.

We missed three chances to join a pan-European PPE procurement effort and now we’re in a situation where, despite being constantly told by the government that there’s plenty of PPE, medical staff are being told to re-use their equipment.

We’re told, again by our MP, that all deaths are being properly recorded and yet we see mountains of evidence that there are huge numbers of excess deaths in care homes and in the community of which only a tiny fraction are being marked as coronavirus on death certificates.

We’re told over and over again we’ll have 100,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of this month despite the fact that we were a) promised 250,000 daily tests a month ago and b) that we’re almost at the end of April and we’re still not even at 50,000 daily tests.

We’re told the NHS and local government and all other frontline services will have all the support they need and yet we’re still seeing councils on the brink of going bust and central government doing things like delivering perishable to a food distribution hub before it’s even staffed and leaving the food outside in the sun.

We’re told, with much fanfare we’ll have thousands of ventilators provided by a private industry consortium (which happens to include corporate donors to the Conservative party) and then it turns out that the specification provided by the government is unsuited to medical needs so all the ventilators produced by the consortium are useless to the NHS.

I could go on but I think I’ve made my point.

Many of us want to work together to beat this pandemic but it’s very hard to do so when the government is failing to respond to the crisis properly, failing to provide enough resources or equipment and then undertaking a massive public relations exercise to convince us that everything is fine.

No one remotely responsible would criticise the government if they were to be honest and frank about the problems in their response and try to fix them.

But instead, what we seem to be getting is denial that the problems even exist. And if you refuse to admit that a problem exists then how on earth are you meant to go about fixing it?

Angela Richardson’s duty is to her country, her constituency, her conscience and her party in that order. Whether we voted for her or not we should be able to have confidence that she is representing all of us during a crisis and is acting as a critical friend to make sure the response to the pandemic is the very best it can be.

Sadly, all we seem to be getting are empty platitudes that everything is fine, in face of the stark evidence to the contrary.

See also: Dragon Interview – Guildford’s MP Thanks Residents For Supporting the Fight Against Covid-19

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Responses to Letter: No Sign Our MP Is In Touch With Reality

  1. John Powell Reply

    April 21, 2020 at 9:18 am

    I don’t have any particular allegiance to any political groups, and I read that article probably because I have a bit more time on my hands than normal.

    To me, it just reads as though Ms Franklin was feeling stroppy and in a bad, angry mood as she was writing.

    I imagine that a good many of us feel that it’s a very difficult and complicated problem to deal with and very little to do with party politics.

    So if Ms Franklin wishes to work with other people in some way that might help the current and ongoing problem I think she needs to calm down a bit. That might be a bit of a help all round.

  2. John Perkins Reply

    April 21, 2020 at 11:40 am

    “Lessons have been learned” is the favourite cop-out of bureaucrats. It means nothing.

    There is no evidence that the EU procurement effort would have had any effect on supply here. Re-use of any plastic ought to be applauded.

    Yes, care homes and their residents are suffering, but no doctor should have to give Covid-19 as the reason for death when he has no way of knowing whether or not it was, in the absence of testing.

    It’s unfortunate that the millions of tests the government bought from China are too unreliable to be of any use. Apparently, there aren’t any reliable tests available.

    Given the thousands of businesses going bust and millions of people without work I doubt it’s a priority to worry about the finances of local government.

    Why didn’t the NHS specify the ventilators it needed? They are the experts, supposedly.

    George does go on, despite promising not to.

    Accusing the government of dishonesty and denial is not constructive or helpful. If it’s having difficulty dealing with the problem then it’s likely to be because the situation is outside the experience of anyone alive. There’s no reason to expect any other group would cope better.

    Most of that “stark evidence” comes from opinions of a media which chooses to sell itself by sensationalism.

    Finally, in order to ensure its response is the best it can be, will GBC be re-opening car parks in green spaces in accordance with the guidelines published three weeks ago?

  3. Stephen Page Reply

    April 21, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    How sad. I wish George Potter would have taken the time to research the incredible strides the government has made in tackling this unprecedented emergency rather than taking advantage; second-guessing, political point-scoring and propagating a ‘blame game’ narrative during an international pandemic.

    Further, the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (not government) specifications were for the CPAP device and the ExoVent devices not traditional ventilators.

    In closing, let’s take a look at the incredible achievements this country has made in just six weeks shall we?

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