Andy Richardson: 'There are no excuses left'

We knew this would happen.

Back in April, those with even the merest interest in our shared history could see that a second wave would come. It did for Spanish Flu a century ago – we are on the same trajectory now. As we head into that unhappy scenario, we can also accurately predict a third.

Hospitals will soon be full. The death toll will rise. Some businesses may be told to stop trading. New measures will be introduced. It is scandalous, therefore, that the test and trace system we were promised has broken when we need it most.

The Government was warned that this would happen and had months to prepare. There are no excuses left. The modus operandi of promising an ever-grander solution is shot through. People have stopped believing the false promises. Moonshots? Yeah, right.

Lockdown will accelerate, hospitals will fill and tests are floundering because the PhD students who carried them are back at university. Great. And we’re the sixth richest nation on earth and can afford to splash £900,000 on a paint job for the Prime Ministerial aeroplane.

Covid-19 isn’t the only failing. A powerful cross-party Public Accounts Committee says the Home Office has ‘no idea what it’s £400m-a-year immigration enforcement unit achieves. Nor is it prepared for Brexit. The committee says the Home Office has drawn up plans based on anecdote, assumption and prejudice, rather than evidence. It is failing to protect both the British public from illegal populations while also letting down legal migrants too. After Windrush, we appear to have learned nothing. The chair of the committee says it has frighteningly little grasp and has not learned from mistakes, though acknowledging how serious those are.

Across the pond, the crisis surrounding Donald Trump is growing. Former model Amy Dorris has accused the comb-over king of sexual assault. It’s unlikely to lead to any action, if previous episodes are a reliable indicator. We might reasonably ask, however, how many Trump accusers does it take for his supporters to care?

The wealthy have mostly been immune to the financial effects of Covid-19. The Queen, however, has not. Her land and property has lost a colossal £500 million in value as rent receipts from shops fall. The Estate is now only worth £13.4 billion.

As we head into the second wave, losses will escalate. The big question, however, is whether the goats of Llandudno will return?

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