CoronavirusRishi Sunak Cannot Be PM Because He Is A...

Rishi Sunak Cannot Be PM Because He Is A Hypocrite


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Rishi Sunak has been criticised after he claimed that he ‘was gagged’ from discussing the harmful effects of lockdown during the Covid pandemic.

The former Chancellor savaged the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) whilst speaking to the Spectator, saying that the organisation had too much influence over emergency legislation during the crisis.

“Whoever wrote the minutes for the SAGE meetings – condensing its discussions into guidance for government – would set the policy of the nation,” Sunak said to the Spectator.

“We didn’t talk at all about missed [doctor’s] appointments or the backlog building in the NHS in a massive way. That was never part of it.”

“We shouldn’t have empowered the scientists in the way we did.”

A key criticism of lockdown was that scientists came to conclusions about the ‘worst-case scenarios’ without obligation to show their calculations.

As a result, many felt scientists were effectively running the country, dictating public policy and shaping the world in their image using the government as enforcement, at the expense of civil liberties and humanity itself.

However, scientists have claimed that they were simply doing their jobs, and it was ultimately the government that had the final say.

Lee Cain, former director of communications at No. 10, tweeted that it would have been ‘morally irresponsible’ to have not implemented lockdown in spring 2020, due to the unnecessary deaths that would have occured and the NHS being overwhelmed.

Hindsight is a terrible thing

It is about time that the UK government is held accountable for the terrible legacy of lockdown.

It is correct to say that it would have been irresponsible not to go into lockdown during the height of the pandemic in 2020, but there’s no denying that it overstayed its welcome.

Scientists were also right to say that ‘they were just doing their jobs, but most suspect that they had their own interests at heart, whether political or financial, but that is a different story.

Ultimately, amongst other members of the Cabinet, Sunak was one of the main decision-makers. The buck stopped with them.

Not only did their decisions result in some of the most inhumane scenes in modern history, but it also gave the West a taste of unchecked power and what happens when a group of people are given the authority to shape the world in their image.

It also demonstrated how states can weaponise fear against their own citizens, and how people are all too willing to forgo civil liberties in order ‘to feel safe.’

Under this government, people were forced to visit loved ones through windows or digital means in care homes and attend funerals via Zoom calls.

Also, journalists were threatened with arrest for exercising their right to a free press by photographing anti-lockdown demonstrators.

It is, therefore, to many, extremely hypocritical and coincidental by Sunak to make his remarks above.

As a candidate for Prime Minister, he needs all the support he can get. Therefore, it would be in his best interest to tell people what they want to hear; and nobody enjoyed their liberties being taken away.

What are the odds that Sunak is now speaking about the importance of civil liberties, at a time when he is running for Prime Minister and not at the time when civil liberties were actually at stake?

That’s not a coincidence.

What now?

Of course, the Conservatives need to re-invent themselves after Covid and all the subsequent scandals, so there may be an element of truth to what Sunak has said.

There is the possibility that he is indeed telling the truth, and that there was pressure for him to not say anything, in case he was seen to be willing to risk public health or risk the public questioning the unity of the Conservative party itself.

Unfortunately, his credibility and motives will always be questioned due to his actions during the pandemic.

His comments – and the timing of them – will always be scrutinised, and many will fear what their experience would be like if he ever took office should a crisis such as Covid ever happen again.

Sunak, to many, has a conflict of interest. He showed his true colours during the pandemic. For that reason alone, many would vote for Liz Truss instead.

Aaron Fenton-Hewitt
Aaron Fenton-Hewitt
Aaron Fenton-Hewitt is an aspiring journalist and political commentator. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Film from London Metropolitan University, and a Master's in Writing for Creative and Professional Practice from Middlesex University. He wishes to continue his academic career, with a PhD in Politics or related field. Aaron is also a freelance photographer, an avid foodie and an Arsenal supporter.

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