Vaccine passports: a free market and plentiful pubs mean they won’t work in the UK

As the country emerges slowly from lockdown, the debate over so-called vaccine passports gathers pace. Yesterday, Matt Hancock confirmed Britain was looking into the proposition for international travel. Countries such as Greece and Spain have a strong incentive to develop a system with us. Each attracts large numbers of British tourists in a normal year. Whatever the […]

The Government scientists’ credibility is shot to pieces

Imagine.  No, not the silly childish song by John Lennon.  Imagine there were no vaccines available.  What would Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health, do? He might ask people to pay more attention to the scientific advice. But the plain fact is that the credibility of Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, and […]

Busting the myth of the selfless bureaucrat

There seems to be a fundamental problem with quangos. Hardly a day seems to go by without some new story of incompetence and mismanagement emerging. Public Health England (PHE) is at least going to be put out of its misery by health secretary Matt Hancock, and replaced with a new agency specifically focused on pandemics. […]

The government should have been working on multiple tracing apps all along

The NHS contract tracing app has been scrapped in favour of a system developed by Google and Apple. Although health secretary Matt Hancock has been heavily criticised for this failure, the UK is by no means alone. For example, Denmark, Germany and Italy each tried to build their own app, based on the same type […]

Coronavirus: NHS staff are let down by bureaucracy

The praise for health workers dealing with Covid-19 is universal. From cleaners and porters to the most distinguished consultant, all have played their part. But they are working in an administrative system almost Kafka-esque in its lunacy. An early example was when NHS workers turned up to be tested at the huge PHE complex at […]