OUR dysfunctional government lurches from one bad judgement call to another, clutching at straws and resorting to ever more reckless and hastily conceived improvisations as it desperately seeks to address our rapidly worsening health crisis.

A new chancellor with limited cabinet experience is suddenly parachuted in to take charge and make crucial decisions over our moribund economy, while our front line doctors and nurses, that priceless workforce, are denied essential testing and protective equipment against the virus and yet expected to risk their lives every time they enter wards crammed with infected patients.

Why on earth are the latter not required to quarantine themselves at home and stay away from hospitals? In the absence of a vaccine, there is nothing after all, apart from paracetemols and cough syrup, to help them get better.

Meanwhile, our glib foreign secretary has just publicly washed his hands of the hundreds of thousands of Britons stranded abroad with no prospect of getting home in the foreseeable future. Faced with this particular crisis, our government’s only response is to entertain a no-strings attached, multi-billion pound bailout package for UK-based airlines, an industry which has contributed mightily to the present crisis by neglecting to test the hordes of infected individuals it has ferried from China, Italy and elsewhere to this country.

What can we learn from this shameful catalogue of errors and omissions? That a long-term priority must be to instil in our young people a sense of self-confidence and responsibility – a custodial, can-do attitude to taking on the myriad social and environmental challenges that lie ahead.

How to initiate this? A ‘Guardians of England’ programme, open to all between ages 11 and 16.


Julyan Avenue, Poole.