Boris Johnson’s latest disastrous attempt at handling the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has hardly gone down well. Tier 4 measures have swept across the country amid widespread criticism of his catastrophic flip-flopping. So, enter an unlikely ally to bolster the PM up: the Mirror‘s political editor.
Biting the hand that feeds them?
After Johnson’s chaotic and devastating announcement on Saturday 19 December about new restrictions, his usually biggest cheerleaders didn’t seem quite so supportive.
BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg was guarded in her analysis. She said on the BBC Newscast of the Tier 4 announcement:
whatever you think of this, whatever you think of the decisions, whatever you think of Boris Johnson, you can’t say that the warnings weren’t out there before today. And that is why, for some people, this will be, it’s a repetition that will affect people very personally, of a kind of political tactic, or a political sort of way of being that actually creates disruption for a lot of people because he doesn’t like making hard decisions.
Sky News‘s chief political correspondent Jon Craig wrote a fairly scathing column. He said of Johnson during 19 December’s press conference:
The colour – never particularly rosy – appeared drained from his face.
He looked and sounded like someone who had suffered a bereavement, he was so subdued, or taken an excruciating and winding punch in the gut.
So it was down to the Mirror‘s political editor Pippa Crerar to spin for the Tories.
The Mirror: propping up Johnson
Referring to Johnson, presumably, she described being a “political leader” right now as a “tough gig”:
Who would be a political leader right now? I know many will be (justifiably) angry at Government’s handling of Christmas but jeez it’s a tough gig.
— Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) December 20, 2020
Sorry, what? That was the reaction to Crerar’s somewhat nauseating statement on Twitter:
Unbelievable?♀️ Spend a week with a frontline doctor, make those decisions then come back and tell me “listening to the experts” meant ‘listening to the experts’, report it, don’t enable the get rich quick scheme cronyism. #brexit #covid19UK
Constipation is “tough”
— Ness ? (@chocolatewig) December 20, 2020
If you ever wonder why we’re in this mess, just remember that this is a journalist from a paper that is supposedly hostile to the Tories https://t.co/pGxDOqqmyO
— ‘Client Journalism’ Expert (@ClientJournoExp) December 20, 2020
Imagine looking out at all the sadness, isolation, poverty and grief, and thinking: “Aww man, must be tough for Boris”
— Kerry-Anne Mendoza ?️???????? (@TheMendozaWoman) December 20, 2020
— Chilli #BlackLivesMatter?? (@ChillyConCarni) December 20, 2020
Meanwhile, in New Zealand
But Mick L made a very good point:
Just look at Jacinda Ardern , a real leader, made the right decisions, simple to understand, shut airports,created a proper ‘test and trace system’, the NZ people abided by the rules ! They are now Covid free.
— Mick L (@sfcmick) December 20, 2020
Over in New Zealand, PM Jacinda Arden and her team have all but eradicated coronavirus:
New Zealand locked down on 25 March; two days after the UK. But as BBC News reported, a week earlier Ardern made everyone coming into the country self-isolate for 14 days. It also completely closed its borders. And as BBC News said, she put “health before the economy”, and that New Zealand’s:
relative success – it has among the lowest cases per capita in the world – has mainly been attributed to the clarity of the message coming from the government.
The FT noted on 17 December that:
New Zealand’s economy has accelerated out of a coronavirus-induced recession to grow a record 14 per cent in the third quarter, reflecting authorities’ adept handling of the pandemic.
Figures published on Thursday showed a resurgence in household spending drove the country’s recovery. The easing of some of the world’s toughest social-distancing restrictions prompted 11.1 per cent growth in service industries and 26 per cent growth in the goods producing sector.
And Business Insider reported:
Ardern says New Zealand has bought so many COVID-19 vaccines that it will give free doses to neighboring countries
Well, well, well. Compare and contrast to Johnson’s disastrous handling and extreme cronyism, and maybe, Crerar, running a country during a pandemic only looks like a ‘tough gig’ when you’ve got a self-serving, privileged narcissist in charge?