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Letter: Our MP Seems Removed from Reality on Virus Issues

Published on: 20 Apr, 2020
Updated on: 21 Apr, 2020

Zoe Franklin and Angela Richardson MP

From Paul Ross

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

Guildford’s MP Angela Richardson seems completely removed from reality here. The UK death rate is twice that of Ireland despite similar health care systems. The reason is that the government, of which she is a part, was slow to respond.

Boris Johnson said he was shaking hands with Covid-19 patients (and inevitably caught the virus himself) which demonstrates how, from the top, the virus was just not taken seriously enough. Unfortunately, this ineptitude has caused more deaths and made more people unemployed as more businesses will fold.

Apart from saying she’s sent a few emails, and got some replies, it’s hard to see what practical measures she’s put in place to help Guildford as our MP.

The lack of investment in the NHS by the Tories over the decades; Jeremy Hunt, practically going to war on the student doctors and not giving nurses a measly 1% pay rise, has caused a perfect storm in the UK.

We can all clap at 8pm on a Thursdays as much as we like, but until we stop putting an X next to Conservative candidates on ballot papers we’ll all be paying the price for their poor decisions.

It’s terrible.

Angela Richardson responds:

Watching and learning from other countries and the choices they are making is always beneficial, [but] comparing the death rate between countries while we are right in the middle of a global pandemic is not helpful.  Each country will have many influencing factors, where choosing one similarity, ie a similar healthcare system would not account for differences like cities which are global versus regional, densities, geographical, cultural and behavioural features.

I would caution anyone from making any direct comparisons between countries as we do not know enough about the virus, future waves of infection or indeed reports of multiple contractions of the same virus in individuals having already tested positive and how this will ultimately determine the final outcome of the very sad loss of life to Covid-19 in every country.

Through the course of this global pandemic and our national response, government has been led by scientific and medical advice.  Indeed the Prime Minister was shaking hands and so was I until the advice and guidance changed. Given the incubation period and our place of work (Westminster has an extraordinarily large number of visitors), it was not surprising that we both become symptomatic, though my symptoms appeared a week before the PM.

It highlights that despite best efforts in washing hands and taking extra precautions, the social distancing has turned out to be most helpful in keeping the rate of transmission low and why I have continued to share on social media the government advice and take a firmer, more cautious line than some of my colleagues on when it is appropriate to open up the current restrictions. It is also why I will continue to work from home as advised until the guidance changes.

The government has put in place an enormous package of support for business, individuals, councils and our health and social care system and where there are gaps, the Treasury continue to look at measures to help. The financial support is one of the most generous in the world. We are doing our very best to help as many as possible who are struggling while trying to protect the future of the economy and save lives.

Far from a few emails, my team of two and I have sent thousands over the past few weeks and it’s not just about emails, it’s the countless phone calls and conversations with business, councils, frontline health leaders, police.  Beyond the measures put in place by government to help Guildford, but my team and I by prioritising our work to support the most vulnerable in the constituency, by lobbying for financial support for our charities and supporting our voluntary sector, are striving to keep the fabric of our community together.

But it’s not just us, it’s your county councillors and your borough councillors. We all come from different political parties and none, but that has not prevented us working constructively to benefit the people of Guildford. Our biggest contribution is to all put aside point-scoring to help, because helping is what we are all driven to do.

Right now is not the time be considering which box your X goes in, but to work together as a community to save as many lives as possible.

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




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Responses to Letter: Our MP Seems Removed from Reality on Virus Issues

  1. Peta Malthouse Reply

    April 21, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    We can all claim to be working hard. The question is whether we are effective. I agree with the Lib Dem councillor.

  2. Robert Good Reply

    April 21, 2020 at 7:23 pm

    The Prime Minister’s carefully crafted slogan was not ‘LED by Science’ as suggested by the Member for Guildford, but ‘GUIDED by Science’.

    The reason for this is that the former would have been a downright lie, but the latter was merely deceitful. The artfulness of the slogan is that it allows people like Ms Richardson to suggest her boss followed expert advice. He clearly did not.

    Had Ms Richardson gone to her doctor and asked if it was OK to take the family to Cheltenham and rub shoulders with 250,000 strangers for six days, would her doctor have said that was fine? And if a member of her family then got ill or died as a result, would her doctor have a defence to a charge of professional malpractice?

    Anybody with the slightest common-sense will say his advice was foolhardy in the extreme, falling well short of any proper duty of care. His insurers would have some large bills to pay.

    Such is the ‘Guided by Science’ wisdom of the leader she embraces.

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