Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Hurrah for cronyism

 President Bolsonaro in Brazil is to be investigated by his country's Senate; Arlene Foster, the leader of the Democratic Unionist party in Northern Ireland is reported to have lost the confidence of her senior colleagues; but in Westminster the prime minister sails blissfully on, defended stoutly by an erstwhile challenger in the Commons last Monday. As a rebuttal of the charge of cronyism, Michael Gove singled out just one success story:

Opposition Members criticised the appointment of a vaccine tsar as cronyism when Kate Bingham has been responsible for saving millions of lives. What she does not say is that Opposition MPs criticised Kate Bingham for spending money on public relations when that money was there to ensure that people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds were able to get the vaccines they required.

That PR campaign does not seem to have proved value for money, but one has to accept that Ms Bingham's direction of the vaccine programme has been successful. This is because she is, apparently alone among the friends of the prime minister and/or the Conservative party who have benefited from pandemic-related contracts, she is an expert in the relevant field. Her unique achievement does not justify the whole slew of dubious hand-outs of which some are listed here.

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