Desmond Swayne was either unable, or unwilling, to consider a simple truth: the railway does not just sack someone who has more than 25 years’ service to their name on a whim. You have to have done something serious for that to happen. And now has come another example of Swayne not acquainting himself with real world facts before going off on one.
More than 100,000 UK residents have now died within 28 days of a positive test for Covid-19. The pandemic is seriously taxing health services. Many who recover will have to live with long-term conditions as a result. But now the people at Sky News have told “A senior Conservative MP urged anti-vaccination campaigners to keep going with their fight against government restrictions and told them NHS capacity figures were being ‘manipulated’ to exaggerate the scale of coronavirus”. There was more.
“Sir Desmond Swayne, who was a senior aide to former prime minister David Cameron, told Sky News he would not apologise for telling a group - who say vaccines are dangerous - to ‘persist’ with their campaign against COVID restrictions”. However, “There is no evidence of data being manipulated, and at the time of the MP's comments, deaths were 14% above the five-year average - according to the Office for National Statistics”.
Do go on. "During an interview in November with Save our Rights UK, obtained by Sky News, Sir Desmond said: ‘It seems to be a manageable risk, particularly as figures have been manipulated... We're told there is a deathly, deadly pandemic proceeding at the moment … That is difficult to reconcile with ICUs (intensive care units) actually operating at typical occupation levels for the time of year and us bouncing round at the typical level of deaths for the time of year’”. Sadly for Des, his view is not universally held.
“A Tory MP who urged anti-vaccination campaigners to keep going with their fight against coronavirus restrictions and told them NHS capacity figures were being ‘manipulated’ is ‘wrong’ and ‘completely out of order’, a senior minister has said … Michael Gove told Sky News that Sir Desmond Swayne should apologise and retract his comments”.
It’s only a pity that it has taken so long for the Tories to admit that the Member for New Forest West is a problem. After all, Swayne has previously claimed “There may be a virus one day that threatens our very way of life, but this is not it”, argued against wearing face coverings, and told that the Government was “paying too much attention to health professionals and scientists on health and science issues”. Wibble. Hatstand.
Will Swayne lose the Tory whip? But you know the answer to that one: in the party of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his merry band, no-one is ever disciplined, no-one accepts personal responsibility, and no-one resigns.
Desmond Swayne is not yet beyond redemption. But you can see it from there.
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