Not a great start from the new Health Secretary – more populist politics is the last thing we need

The Times reports that Sajid Javid is “…more hawkish than his predecessor” about easing lockdown restrictions on July 19 “We are still in a pandemic and I want to see that come to an end as soon as possible, and that will be my most immediate priority.” he is reported as saying

Javid has not been in Cabinet and has therefore not been party to any confidential briefings. He has not even got his feet under his desk at the DoH. He has not spoken with his officials, medical scientists nor anyone at the NHS. So his statements are political not based on hard information or expertise.

In short Javid has no idea what he is talking about. His premature remarks are narrow and self-promoting – he sounds like an ex-Chancellor not a competent Health Secretary. Hardly surprisingly.

This is a job requiring in depth briefing from experts not top of the head platitudes. Of course everyone wants the pandemic to “come to an end as soon as possible”. The goal is clear, it won’t be reached by popularity seeking wishful thinking. He would have been well advised to get up to speed with the realities before opening his mouth.

Lockdown restrictions should only be lifted when it is prudent to do so – have we learned nothing over the past eighteen months? The lack of competence in Government is as I have argued a direct consequence of sub-standard Ministers. Javid has taken no time at all to descend to their level. Not a great start.

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