Britain is the best country in the world.
This constant claim by Boris Johnson and his Cabinet does more to undermine the fabric of our society than bind it together.
We hear on the news every day that the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccination programme was quicker than anywhere else in Europe.
It is said over and over again because, a rarity, it is true.
What they do not say in the best country in the world is that the number of deaths from Covid-19 is the highest in Europe. These are the comparable numbers to nations the same size:
- France – 120,000
- Italy – 134,000
- United Kingdom – 165,000
- Germany – 102,000 (with a population almost 20 million higher)
Best Country in the World PM
With its popularist/libertarian Prime Minister, Britain was faster to reopen and relax restrictions than other European countries during the surge of the Covid mutation known as delta plus, according to Bloomberg (18/10.21).
The best country in the world with the fastest roll out programme was actually slow in providing vaccines to adolescents because of concerns that some side effects would undermine the net benefit given that children are less likely to become seriously ill. ‘The delay meant most older children weren’t offered a vaccine until the school year had started, and they’re now seeing the highest levels of infection in the population.’
British exceptionalism plays well to the Red Wall voters, to most people, but what might have been exceptional two generations ago isn’t exceptional anymore.
In the fifth-largest economy in the world, its beggars belief that in 2020 Unicef launched an emergency food programme in the the best country in the world to help feed hungry children hit by the Covid crisis. According to the Guardian (16/12/2020) ‘Some 2.4 million children (17%) were living in food insecure households. By October, an extra 900,000 children had been registered for free school meals.’
Are these 2.4 million children living in the best country in the world?
Statistics on poverty vary according to who is writing them. I went to the House of Commons Library where government figures on poverty are listed as follows:
- 7 million people are in relative low income BHC (18% of the population), at a similar level to the year before.
- 5 million are in relative low income AHC (22%), also at a similar level to the year before.
- Overall, levels of relative poverty have been fairly steady over the past few years, but this varies between population groups: the proportion of children and pensioners in relative poverty is higher than it was five years ago.
Higher than five years ago. So much for levelling up.
From what we are constantly being told by Mr Johnson and his Cabinet about being the best at everything, we must assume that our fast vaccine roll out was due to British technicians?
But, no. It was a Turkish-German husband-and-wife team – Ugur Sahin and Özlem Türeci, with Austrian cancer expert Professor Christoph Huber – who developed the first reliable vaccine at the German firm BioNTech in partnership with its United States partner Pfizer; BBC (10/11/2020).
The Great British Sell Off
Since the selloff of British Rail to about a dozen companies, we do not have the best railways in Europe. We are among the worst. More than 70% of England’s water industry is owned through nine privatised water companies from overseas including banks, hedge funds, foreign governments and businesses based in tax havens, according to the GMB Union.
The water companies have taken billions of pounds out of the UK and find it more profitable to pay the fines than stop leakages into our rivers and seas.
Vast swathes of British industry and major companies have been sold off – good for the shareholders, a disaster for jobs and communities. Here are are some – with some surprises: Rolls Royce (Germany), Land Rover (India), Cadburys (USA), Tetley Tea Bags (India), Harvey Nichols (Hong Kong), KitKat (Switzerland), Marmite (Holland), The Financial Times (Japan), Manchester United (USA), Hamleys Toys (China), Waterstone’s (USA), Beefeater Gin (France), Newcastle Brown Ale (Denmark), Newcastle United (Saudi Arabia), Boots the Chemist (USA), Pret (Germany and formerly McDonalds USA).
‘We love our NHS and it will never be for sale.’ These are the words of Boris Johnson at the Leaders Debate with Jeremy Corbyn. The truth is, Conservative leaders in the best country in the world have been selling off the NHS by “stealth” for forty years.
Some 40% of the NHS budget already goes to private companies.
Best Liar Ever
We can hardly claim to have the best food in the world. Britain scored a shameful nil point in the 2021 Eurovision song contest. We can’t forget that glorious Battle of Britain moment when England won the World Cup 55 years ago in 1966. The weather is never up to much – why else would millions of people flee each summer to the Costa del Sol, Provence, the Greek islands, the Italian Adriatic?
And we can’t claim to have the best government in the world. In fact, during the last eleven years of Tory rule, we appear to have one of the worst governments in Europe with the current PM the worst leader in history. This is what former Tory Minister Rory Stewart had to say about Boris Johnson:
‘Johnson is … the most accomplished liar in public life – perhaps the best liar ever to serve as prime minister,’ he wrote in a review of The Gambler, Tom Bower’s biography of Boris Johnson. ‘He has mastered the use of error, omission, exaggeration, diminution, equivocation and flat denial. He has perfected casuistry, circumlocution, false equivalence and false analogy.’
Stewart continues: ‘He is equally adept at the ironic jest, the fib and the grand lie; the weasel word and the half-truth; the hyperbolic lie, the obvious lie, and the bullshit lie – which may inadvertently be true.’
Boris Johnson claims to have been influenced by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle and the Greek statesman Pericles. Stewart believes these comparisons are way off. The former MP for Penrith and the Border said: ‘Johnson shows a lack of so many of the virtues listed by Aristotle – temperance, generosity (he is notoriously reluctant to reach for his wallet), realistic ambition, truthfulness or modesty – it is startling.’
Of course Johnson attended loads of parties during lockdown. It’s just another big lie that Tory loyalist Cressida Dick of the Metropolitan Police has been called in to cover up. She was given the title Dame in Theresa May’s resignation honours and has been a Johnson supporter ever since.
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Don’t forget that the UK has some of the most impoverished regions in Europe which have now lost EU development funds and have been promised “levelling up” funds as replacements. Yeh, right.
.Difficult to know what country he’s talking about. He and his pals don’t really live in the same country as the rest of us. Theirs is a land of milk and honey all paid for by the taxpayers. Ours is one of increasing degradation.
That horrible lie, “best in the world”, used to misinform and deny perspective. In normal times the UK is usually in the top 20 of anything. The MSM lack of coverage as to how other countries do things better and what we can do to improve here is summed up by calling whatever we have “the best in the world” and then wondering why we don’t win the football or fall behind on other issues such as the lowest state pension in Western Europe. “Best in the world” is gaslighting at its worst. Never fall for it.
When the tories came into power it was the beginning of the end of the uk . Queen will soon be gone , and has seen numerous PM’s but never has she seen anyone so thick and idiotic as boris the clown and also his army of idiots and the sheep that follow them . The uk has been through ww1 and ww2 but nothing as stupid as brexit and the Buffon government . The sheep follow him like a saviour , when in fact you won’t have anything left soon. Labour can win if we band together however will take a high task in ending the cabal , the media , the corruption and divide , the far right hate. You must all now spiritually awaken before it’s to late
Best in the world, at being corrupt !
Think your poverty figures have been truncated – BHC (Before Housing Costs) should be 11.7 million and AHC (After Housing Costs) should be 14.5 million.
Yesterday on the tube, I saw a lumpenproletariat coming from Dickensian ages… I had thought such an absolutely shocking crass misery was not possible in England… silly me…
it is not only austerity and Covid. It is Brexshit which is opening the country to the whirls of destruction, whether by the lack of a proper economy working in cooperation with its partners, or by the incoming forces of a cruel capitalism that disregard human beings, or by the collapse of the social safety net. Either way, and with the three combined, we’re gonna see more and more of these misérables…