It is a programme I usually avoid but this year’s ‘I’m a celebrity…’ has me hooked. I hate myself for it but what I find I am doing is trying to use the small pieces we get to see to assess body language and to see what is said about purpose and intent. What I am looking at is whether there is any acknowledgement by Matt Hancock of the horror and enormity of the Covid-19 crisis.
Leadership in a crisis is a tough thing. There is a huge amount of pressure, the requirement to make key decisions often with limited information. I have seen it when it goes well and when there are problems. In my time within the police, I have seen very senior officers slam their hands on the tables in a meeting, use raised voices, and show bewildered looks when they are faced with some incident. They train and prepare for these moments but even that can’t prepare you fully for those moments of extreme pressure.
So, what about the Government of the time and the pandemic? From what has been said and written since the pandemic and lockdowns happened you could be forgiven for thinking that everything went well and there was no learning to be had. It is easy to say ‘we did our best’ but that can never be good enough for people who have lost loved ones in a crisis. It needs some recognition of what has happened and a desire to learn and improve that is needed before you can move forward.
This is one of my problems with Matt Hancock. There is a massive lack of understanding about the impact that the decisions he and colleagues made. People lost their lives, people lost their loved ones, and in some cases, people lost their livelihoods. This is a huge burden of responsibility that appears to be ignored by politicians. For me, if this was understood then Hancock would have never even set foot in the jungle.
Coming to terms with his actions, what has happened and his part in it, is something that should have played out behind closed doors. My advice would have been to take some time in processing his part in what happened, focus on the job of being an MP and avoid the spotlight so he can learn and then move forwards. But the one thing ‘I’m a celebrity…’ seems to be is about publicising yourself, oh and the large pay check.