Monday, April 27, 2020

Boris Is Back!

I am sorry I have been away from my desk for much longer than I would have liked

and I want to thank everybody who has stepped up
in particular the First Secretary of State Dominic Raab
who has done a terrific job
but once again I want to thank you
the people of this country
for the sheer grit and guts
you have shown and are continuing to show
every day I know that this virus brings new sadness and mourning to households across the land
 and it is still true that this is the biggest single challenge this country has faced since the war
and I in no way minimise the continuing problems we face
and yet it is also true that we are making progress
with fewer hospital admissions
fewer covid patients in ICU
and real signs now that we are passing through the peak
and thanks to your forbearance, your good sense, your altruism, your spirit of community
thanks to our collective national resolve
we are on the brink of achieving that first clear mission
to prevent our national health service from being overwhelmed
in a way that tragically we have seen elsewhere
and that is how and why we are now beginning to turn the tide
If this virus were a physical assailant
an unexpected and invisible mugger
which I can tell you from personal experience it is
then this is the moment when we have begun together to wrestle it to the floor
and so it follows that this is the moment of opportunity
this is the moment when we can press home our advantage
it is also the moment of maximum risk
because I know that there will be many people looking now at our apparent success
and beginning to wonder whether now is the time to go easy on those social distancing measures
and I know how hard and how stressful it has been to give up
even temporarily
those ancient and basic freedoms
not seeing friends, not seeing loved ones
working from home, managing the kids
worrying about your job and your firm
so let me say directly also to British business
to the shopkeepers, to the entrepreneurs, to the hospitality sector
to everyone on whom our economy depends
I understand your impatience
I share your anxiety
And I know that without our private sector
without the drive and commitment of the wealth creators of this country
there will be no economy to speak of
there will be no cash to pay for our public services
no way of funding our NHS
and yes I can see the long term consequences of lock down as clearly as anyone
and so yes I entirely share your urgency
it’s the government’s urgency
and yet we must also recognise the risk of a second spike
the risk of losing control of that virus
and letting the reproduction rate go back over one
because that would mean not only a new wave of death and disease but also an economic disaster
and we would be forced once again to slam on the brakes across the whole country
and the whole economy
and reimpose restrictions in such a way as to do more and lasting damage
and so I know it is tough
and I want to get this economy moving as fast as I can
but I refuse to throw away all the effort and the sacrifice of the British people
and to risk a second major outbreak and huge loss of life and the overwhelming of the NHS
and I ask you to contain your impatience because I believe we are coming now to the end of the first phase of this conflict
and in spite of all the suffering we have so nearly succeeded
we defied so many predictions
 we did not run out of ventilators or ICU beds
 we did not allow our NHS to collapse
and on the contrary we have so far collectively shielded our NHS so that our incredible doctors and  nurses and healthcare staff have been able to shield all of us
from an outbreak that would have been far worse
and we collectively flattened the peak
  and so when we are sure that this first phase is over
and that we are meeting our five tests
  deaths falling
 NHS protected
  rate of infection down
  really sorting out the challenges of testing and PPE
avoiding a second peak
then that will be the time to move on to the second phase
in which we continue to suppress the disease
and keep the reproduction rate, the r rate, down,
but begin gradually to refine the economic and social restrictions
 and one by one to fire up the engines of this vast UK economy
 and in that process difficult judgments will be made
and we simply cannot spell out now how fast or slow or even when those changes will be made
though clearly the government will be saying much more about this in the coming days
 and I want to serve notice now that these decisions will be taken with the maximum possible transparency
 and I want to share all our working and our thinking, my thinking, with you the British people
 and of course, we will be relying as ever on the science to inform us
as we have from the beginning
but we will also be reaching out to build the biggest possible consensus
across business, across industry, across all parts of our United Kingdom
across party lines
bringing in opposition parties as far as we possibly can
because I think that is no less than what the British people would expect
and I can tell you now that preparations are under way
and have been for weeks
to allow us to win phase two of this fight as I believe we are now on track to prevail in phase one
and so I say to you finally if you can keep going in the way that you have kept going so far
 if you can help protect our NHS
to save lives
and if we as a country can show the same spirit of optimism and energy shown by Captain Tom Moore
who turns 100 this week
 if we can show the same spirit of unity and determination as we have all shown in the past six weeks
 then I have absolutely no doubt that
we will beat it together
we will come through this all the faster
 and the United Kingdom
will emerge stronger than ever before

My comment:

"Boris is Back!" is my reference to September 3, 1939 when Chamberlain appointed Churchill First Lord of the Admiralty and the fleet signaled "Winston is Back!" 

However,  I think he is partly responsible for the high death rate since he did not impose the lockdown earlier and my understanding how that happened can be found here. He will definitely suffer  political consequences, but he has learned his lesson.