THE government’s coronavirus pandemic credibility is rapidly disintegrating. The unique Midas touch of Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings (in their case, turning everything to chaos and failure) has blighted everything from testing to PPE to the latest collapse of testing and tracking. The government claim to have been working with Apple on the tracking system, yet Apple says they know nothing of the project. Yet more fantasies!

A major part of the problem is contracts are being outsourced to private companies, often without competitive tendering; contracts given to companies contributing to Johnson’s leadership campaign or to Tory party funds. Such companies often have little or no expertise in that business and struggle to meet targets, but still take taxpayers’ money.

All these failures and kickbacks are costing lives!

The Boris Johnson/Dominic Cummings reign of terror weeds out any minister or civil servant who is not a cowering “yes” man. Anyone refusing to come forward to defend Cummings’s drive to Durham was purged.

As one high-ranking Tory has said, “a reign of terror is followed by a reign of error”. This is what we are seeing, a mistake-strewn administration – run by mediocre, pliant ministers – with one fiasco following another, U-turn after U-turn, as empty promises are disregarded and the death toll continues to rise. Excess deaths above normal are now more than 60,000!

Who benefits? Well, one of the biggest contributors to Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign was the wife of one of Vladimir Putin’s closest cronies. It is not surprising therefore that Johnson is dependent on Russophile Cummings, who spent three years working in Russia.

What is of greater concern is the deliberate obstruction in publishing the government Russian report. What are Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings so desperate to cover up? Russian financing of the Leave campaign? Boris Johnson’s lacklustre response to the Russian Salisbury poisoning as Foreign Secretary? The Tory party dependency on Russian oligarch funding? Or what happened when Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson left his protection squad officers behind and flew to a Russian party in Italy? Or is all this just the tip of the iceberg?

The truth can be less damaging than the cover-up. But Dominic Cummings and Boris Johnson don’t care about reducing Britain’s reputation to tatters, that a formerly great nation is being reduced to a laughing stock. Johnson figures that somehow millions tarting up a military plane or even building special yachts for himself will undo the corrosive mismanagement and undignified and often childishly spiteful retaliation to unflattering press coverage or criticism.

Destruction of Britain’s credibility and reputation is obviously the aim. When a majority of Britons rate Trump’s performance in handling the Covid-19 virus above that of Johnson, no wonder Britain is viewed with pity.

Pete Milory

A LOT of discussions of statues being defaced. In my home town of Dundee there is a statue of Robert Burns in Albert Square. We all knew the doggerel:

“Rabbie Burns wis born in Ayr,
Noo he sits in Albert Square.
If ye want tae see him there,
Tak the bus and pey yer fare”

Next to this was one of Thomas Muir, great reformer, who was transported to Australia for his democratic views. I do not recall any proposal for a statue of Winston Churchill; he was the MP until ousted by Ned Scrimgeour, an anti-alcohol candidate. History states that Dundee was drunk for days after the result.

Jim Lynch