Great Britain

Freedom postponed, firms ruined & NHS backlogs —Tories cannot avoid blame

An own goal

WE are snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Our vaccine programme, the envy of the world, was supposed to liberate us rapidly and jump-start our economy while saving thousands of lives.

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It worked initially. We had the G7’s lowest Covid rate. Now it’s almost the highest.

The Indian variant is rife and, according to our timorous scientists, even a few thousand daily infections render a June 21 unlocking unsafe with so many still not double-jabbed.

We can argue over whether that’s the right call. Since a single shot offers only partial protection against the Indian strain, another month to give over-40s their second makes some sense.

But then what? If — as is likely — infections, hospitalisations and deaths are the same or rising by the new July 19 “deadline”, will No10 and Sage have the bottle to stick to it? We doubt it.

Polls show public support for this new delay. How many are comfortable middle-class workers-from-home enjoying the weather, or furloughed staff with their feet up in front of the Euros? For the rest, restrictions are ruinous.

How immensely frustrating that much of America, which jabbed at similar rates to us, is already far freer. Vermont scrapped all curbs yesterday after 80 per cent of citizens had ONE jab.

We should have been up and running long before our competitors. Not now.
The Government has copped much flak over Covid. Some of it is undeserved.

But while they can quibble over exactly when the Indian strain was spotted, they let 20,000 passengers from India fly into Britain from scenes of apocalyptic suffering.

Result? Our freedom postponed. ­Billions more lost, firms ruined. Vast NHS backlogs.

The Tories cannot avoid blame for that.

Bashir bunkum

CAN any sentient BBC exec in 2016 have been unaware of the Martin Bashir scandal?

The internal probe into his rehiring is a joke.

The reporter was exposed in 1996 over the forged bank statement linked to his Princess Diana interview.

Murk surrounded later interviews too. Not only did the BBC rehire him, their “inquiry” claims it was above board — and those making the decision didn’t know the extent of Bashir’s skulduggery.

Rubbish. What was publicly known was a big enough red flag.

It simply defies belief.

Force feeders

FAT soldiers are a danger to themselves and others in battle conditions.

So there is no excuse for the 6,000 ­getting dismal scores in cushier new fitness tests.

The MoD lets squaddies bunk off training sessions if they’re not well enough.

Meanwhile one in ten is obese. Can these two facts possibly be related?

Our squaddies must shape up.

Two Covid jabs STOPS hospitalisation from Delta variant in ‘up to 96% of cases’, PHE reveals

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