Leadership doesn’t count if it’s in the wrong direction.

Well, Sue Gray’s report on Lockdown Parties at Downing St has been released… Sort of. Except for the parts that weren’t. After several months spent compiling a large dossier, detailing investigations into 16 parties, literally on the eve of releasing the report, the Police stepped in.

After ignoring the rule-breaking at No 10 in favour of fining people for picnics in the park, the Metropolitan Police announced they would conduct their own inquiry into Covid violations by government officials. They asked that Sue Gray’s report on parties at Downing St contain minimal references to parties. Nothing that might prejudice their own investigations.

The timing and substance of the request carry a strong odour of corruption with just a whiff of misogyny. Just as Gray was about the reveal the extent of the hypocrisy, entitlement and misbehaviour at No10, a potentially killing blow to the Boris Johnson’s already shaky position, she is hamstrung by the police investigation. Boris can deflect any questions about his misconduct by citing the ongoing investigation.

The misogyny lies in the police taking all the work a woman has done, tossing it to the side and saying, ‘Don’t worry, Dear, we’ll take it from here.’

Sue Gray, however, is not a woman to be quiet and do as she’s told. This is a woman who ran a Pub in Northern Ireland during the troubles. When IRA militiamen stopped her car on a dark road at night and told her to get out of the car, they were taking it, she said ‘No,’ and drove away.

I think I have a new hero.

Rather than submit a heavily redacted, gutted report, Gray wrote a 12 page summary of her findings. She called it an update, a term that promises the full report will come out eventually. And her conclusions are a scathing indictment of the Government.

a serious failure to observe not just the high standards expected of those working at the heart of Government but also of the standards expected of the entire British population at the time.(BoJo has said he didn’t know it was against the rules; rules he wrote and read out to the public, many times, on national tv).

The excessive consumption of alcohol is not appropriate in a professional workplace at any time. (This from a woman who ran a pub. She has seen every level of alcohol consumption.)

Some staff wanted to raise concerns about behaviours they witnessed at work but at times felt unable to do so. No member of staff should feel unable to report or challenge poor conduct where they witness it. There should be easier ways for staff to raise such concerns informally, outside of the line management chain. (It’s hard to complain to the boss about parties in the workplace when the boss is till hungover from the last party in the workplace.)

However, as I have noted, a number of these gatherings should not have been allowed to take place or to develop in the way that they did. There is significant learning to be drawn from these events which must be addressed immediately across Government. This does not need to wait for the police investigations to be concluded. (This is a nice little dig at the Met. She knows they’re going to drag their feet on this until public interest has moved on.)

The resounding theme of the Update was the Failure of Leadership and Judgement in the highest circles of government. Well, that about sums up Boris Johnson’s premiership. He also fails in terms of Honesty, Integrity, Serving the best interest of the British People. (He scores A+ in serving the interests of Tory Donors).

And it will get worse. For the past two years, the Virus has really been in control. Boris could only react to the repeated waves of Covid and the various variants that emerged. He failed in his reactions. As we slowly move from Pandemic to Endemic (and we’re nowhere near out of the woods yet, there will be at least one more variant that will kick our asses) we are facing another crisis. One that ‘A Failure of Leadership and Judgement’ will make infinitely worse.

The Cost-of-living crisis is already starting to bite. Energy prices are rising, food prices rising, food shortages and supply chain issues are still a problem. Lower wage earners are disproportionately affected. Essentials, like food and heat, things you have no choice but to buy, are skyrocketing in price. Luxury goods prices are static. It already costs more to be poor than it does to be rich #vimesbootsindex . And in April, a rise in National Insurance. Another expense we can’t opt out of.

The decisions the government makes in the next few months are going to save or damn this country, which is why BoJo’s ‘Failure of Leadership and Judgement‘ needs to be dealt with.

The Parties at No10 happened and Boris attended them. They continued to happen because he approved of them. The staff followed where Boris led them.

Things are going to get worse before they get better. We can’t afford a Prime Minister who leads in the wrong direction.

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