Pre-pandemic, only someone inculcated against hearing accurate news about the NHS would not know how just parlous a state is it in. Never-events are now commonplace, often leading to deaths. A & E waiting times are the highest on record. Children are left on hospital floors, yet Boris wouldn’t look at the proof. Staff morale is at its nadir. Short of 40,000 nurses and 10,000 doctors, it is little wonder that the NHS is unfit to face its greatest challenge.

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

When in March 2015, after studying the Ebola outbreak, Bill Gates cogently explained why a pandemic was so likely and would be so harmful to health and to the world economy, the powers that be in the UK – the Tories – ignored it.

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

When coronavirus – precisely the type of virus which Gates had foreseen – surfaced in December 2019, the Tory Government did next to nothing. Only when the best Italian hospitals, in the wealthiest region of the country, became mortuaries, did the Government click into gear.

Now into the middle of March, I will not forget receiving this letter, which was forwarded to me by Harrogate Borough Council. What is unforgiveable about this letter is the date that it was circulated. Only in mid-March did the Government deem it a good idea to purchase more ventilators – ventilators which hadn’t been designed or manufactured yet, and designed and manufactured during a pandemic. Matt Hancock tells us that “If you make them, we will buy them.”

If we are short of ventilators, and this scarcity kills people, the Tories ought to be toast.