The coronavirus crisis is not the Tories' finest hour, says FREDERICK FORSYTH

Boris JohnsonBritish Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Image: Andrew Parsons/DPA/PA Images)

Opinion polls still indicate it is in a minority as millions believe what they are told but the disbelief is growing. At the core of the dissent is a simple credo - that our government, even headed by the Beaming Bojo, made a dog's breakfast of the Covid emergency. We know we are cripplingly short of vital protective kit - antiviral scrubs, masks, swabs, test kits etc - yet back in February shrewd governments were taking delivery of huge quantities when they were available. We did not. Since late March, when the Government switched from lackadaisical to panicky, we have been desperate. We are well into May and still there is not enough.

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Like gullible children we are harangued daily with "Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives". A bit of foresight early on would have saved quite a few lives among the frontline heroes dealing on a daily basis with the seriously sick while dressed in shirt sleeves.

When finally switched to panic stations, Downing Street listened to all the wrong people. The private sector was eager to help and this is peopled by men and women well aware that if they do not deliver the right kit at the right price and fast, they will go into receivership and lose their jobs. Downing Street turned to bureaucrats and quangocrats whose work pace makes the garden snail look like Sir Stirling Moss in his heyday.

Add in some boffins whose previous predictions could have been from Edward Lear. Of all the prognoses and predictions offered, Downing Street chose the scariest - total lockdown for undisclosed months to come. So the economy has been

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