Conservative MP Matt Hancock will appear on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! It’s a disgrace. In a just world, the former Health Secretary would face severe political and criminal consequences for being complicit in the following, a list of spite or stupidity which barely scratches the surface of his crimes:
- The deaths of tens of thousands of disabled people.
- Discharging elderly patients into care homes at the beginning of the pandemic without testing.
- Not providing proper PPE for NHS staff.
- Confusing messaging put people in danger and made enforcement difficult.
- Forcing DNR orders on disabled people.
- Undermining social distancing rules.
He lied. He lied. He lied. He lied.
Laugh. Cry. Be white hot with anger. This is the world we live in.
But now he gets to revise and cleanse his character through light entertainment. A process which will transform him into the pantomime villain which bellies and minimizes the real-world horror of his offences.
A little light profiteering. From the misery, he helped to manufacture. It’s the Tory DNA.
We naturally want to watch him suffer through weeks of eating fisheyes and intense hunger, but he’s banking on that. After all, the last time he had an audience of this size, he was selling his soul to the devil with the aid of naff ineffectual slogans and a vacant stare.
Better to be the affable person meme’d to death for eating a cow’s nipple than be remembered as the bloke whose actions directly contributed to an old lady’s demise – Ant and Dec’s cheeky banter and the cosy time bonding around the campfire will smooth over the latter.
Matt Hancock, you are a disgrace. The product of a wretched system.
Once again, we should be perplexed and repulsed by current British politics. A system which dictates that Matt Hancock should lose the Tory whip for appearing on I’m a Celeb but not for his incompetence and arrogance, which facilitated people’s deaths.
This appearance might be the most distinguished, significant contribution such a man can make to public life. It’s honest work—a concept as foreign to Matt Hancock as fidelity. Or humanity.
Families have a right to hear about the decisions that have changed their lives forever in a public COVID inquiry, not a tell-all memoir which he plans to flog. Or he can choose to share tales and snippets on a reality television show. So, what does it say about ITV that this is their not-so-secret hope? It’s a morbid, exploitative strategy – they are no better than him.
Imagine being a viewer directly impacted by COVID-19, hearing Matt Hancock give his version of events, perspective, and justifications in the middle of the Australian jungle broadcast to the nation.
In a just world, Matt Hancock’s political career would be over – many are claiming it is, but he can still go back. After all, his greatest moral failing isn’t that he was complicit in the death of someone’s grandmother – it’s that he’s becoming a reality television star and abandoning his constituents – although they might be grateful for the break.
As Lobby Akinnola, from the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice campaign. Said: “The fact that he is trying to cash in on his terrible legacy, rather than showing some humility or seeking to reflect on the appalling consequences of his time in government, says it all about the sort of person he is.”
Another reason why he wanted to do the show was to continue promoting his work as a Dyslexia ambassador. It’s another way to rehabilitate his public image – and swerve those pesky digs about him murdering, through spite or stupidity, disabled people. This reinvention is not so much a kick in the teeth to disabled people – more a knockout blow to our last nerve.
Let him play the pantomime villain or the affable bloke around the campfire – those bereaved families and the disabled community know what he did – and we will never forget.
No light entertainment rebrands, or calculated rehabilitation can fix Matt Hancock’s core problem and ours. The sort of person he is.
The sort of person the Conservative party encouraged him to be.
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