Desmond Swayne MP argues that the Covid inquiry is a costly mistake (Forest Journal, November 9).

Well, it may be costly and lengthy, but it is not a mistake and cannot be wished away.

Indeed Covid itself was a long affair and in part, unnecessarily costly e.g. through the award of fraudulent PPE contracts.

The then Prime Minister set it up under some personal and political duress and pressure (Partygate and his own hold on power) and it is currently uncovering the truth about the chaos and incompetence at the heart of government during the initial phase of the pandemic in early 2020.

This includes an absence of strategic and operational planning, a lack of inclusivity in decision-making and a failure to learn very much by summer/ autumn 2020 with a repeat inept performance. 

I have a feeling that little of what is uncovered in the coming two years will be a surprise, however things may be proved to have been worse than we could have ever imagined. 

Desmond Swayne has his own version of what should or should not have been done and this does not align well with our lived experience of that time.

I believe the inquiry will get to the truth, it won’t make good reading for the Government and will nail down valuable lessons that must be heeded for future crises.

Steve West

Bruyn Court, Fordingbridge

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