I’m so often critical of the BBC that it’s only fair to offer praise when it’s due. So now a Golden Gong has to be awarded to the File on Four programme (presumably available on BBC Sounds) which spent tonight’s show devoted to the subject of crony capitalism in the government’s method of dishing out contracts in what is often still described as the NHS (that is an NHS which people imagine is still a wholly, publicly owned national service). The name Hancock inevitably cropped up many times, along with Cummings.
The interesting justification for ignoring normal procurement guidelines (and rules) is that faced with a pandemic, crisis measures, i.e. shortcuts, were perfectly permissible. Unfortunately for that argument, much of the programme looked at circumstances in 2018. It’s worth a listen. One would hope that tonight’s expose might lead the news bulletins, but the trouble with File on Four is that its more in depth analysis (by BBC standards) doesn’t get much airtime outside of its own box. Scandals are so frequent under this government it takes a lot for one to make the news and all the while the crony capitalists know how easy it is to get away with their Tory donations and denials. These scandals deserve more attention, but so long as the mainstream media can occasionally salivate over a hypocritical snog (so to speak) they will claim to be holding the government to account. Now we’re going to be led to believe that Hancock’s replacement, Sajid Javid is a ‘clean pair of hands’ and all will be well. I suspect the privatisation of the NHS will now get a shot in the arm. Or a booster jab maybe.
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