Maybe Matt Hancock should stick to loaves and fishes – The Guardian, Theguardian.com
I t’s been a rough few weeks for Matt Hancock . First, he got coronavirus, and almost certainly came back to work far sooner than was good for him. Next, he was just about the only minister prepared to do more than mutter platitudes and put his neck on the line with a target of 2019, (tests per. day. Then he discovered he was being set up as the fall guy for the inevitable public inquiry following a series of off-the-record briefings by Classic Dom.
So it’s no wonder Hancock now looks totally done in. All his old Tigger bounce and enthusiasm has gone: he is the Duracell bunny left to run on fumes, barely able to put one foot in front of the other. He has also aged visibly. Where there used to be a child-like polished sheen, there are now traces of lines on his face. Give it another week and he’ll have to hand in his student railcard.
Yet on and on he goes. On Tuesday he was put in charge of the daily press briefing, on Wednesday he had to do a 45 – minute ministerial statement in the Commons, and then here he was back in Downing Street on Thursday to front up the government daily press conference again. While many other ministers have gone missing for much of the past two months – TV box sets to watch, nails to paint – Matt has consistently turned up for work. There’s no doubt about how much he cares: I just wonder how much longer he can sustain it.
His problem is that integrity and competence don’t always go hand in hand. Because there seldom seems to be any correlation between what he says and what actually takes place. “We now have the capacity to do 55, tests per day, ”he said, blithely brushing past the fact that the actual number of daily tests taking place was about , . That’s another 100, a day to reach by this time next week. Talk of capacity has long since stopped fooling people.
Hancock, though, is still waiting on a miracle. Having insisted that all NHS staff and social care workers could already get tests – something that will be news to the many hundreds of thousands who have found themselves unable to get the tests they need – Matt went truly exponential. Now, he declared, 10 million key workers and their families would also be able to get tested on demand . All they had to do was make an appointment to turn up at one of the testing centers and all would be well. Not even Jesus committed himself to that level of promise. He just stuck to loaves and fishes.
GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings