Blaming the public for a rise in Covid lets the government off the hook | Owen Jones

Helped by a spineless press, ministers are set to get away with one of the biggest catastrophes in recent history

It takes effort to imagine how the government could have mishandled the pandemic more disastrously than it has, yet people are blaming the crisis on themselves. For those who wish to hold our authorities to account for one of the worst death tolls in the world, polls offer bleak reading. According to a recent YouGov survey, over half of people think the public are “most responsible for the rise in coronavirus cases over the last month”, with just 31% blaming the people running the country .

It is doubtful that the respondents are blaming themselves as individuals. Most would argue they have made huge sacrifices to avoid the spread of Covid-19, which is true. No, they are blaming a nefarious “other”, the ne’er-do-wells down the road, for an imagined failure of personal responsibility. Without stirring the pot of generational warfare, it is worth noting that, while the young tend to blame the government, pensioners overwhelmingly blame the “public”, by which they are likely to mean their grandchildren’s cohort, who are in reality sacrificing some of the best moments of their lives to keep their elders safe.

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