A THIRD lockdown; harsher restrictions to come; approaching a100,000 deaths in under a year; and hospitals so overwhelmed doctors have to choose who will live and who will simply be left to die.

How did we get here? The UK and US were the best prepared for and forewarned about a possible pandemic and its consequences. Clearly our scio- economic and governmental systems are not fit for purpose.

The priority is not to save lives. Without shame, resignations, competency or a plan, the present government has not only failed the nation but should be deemed a crime scene.

Sure this is a pandemic but the scientific and medical authorities are clear: this is a catastrophe wherein many deaths were preventable.

It’s been a case of too little too late since last March.

Given predictions and examples from around the world, the immediate response to the crisis should have been one of rapid nationalisation: i.e. the government should have taken charge of the test and trace process, the supply of PPE, ownership and manufacturing of vaccines, care homes, and the perennially under-resourced NHS (which is currently a chaotic assemblage of public and private care).

Instead the government - and this is its one consistent and efficient response - has handed billions of taxpayers’s money to cronies, corporations, and private “providers” or partners, all of whom have failed to fulfil contracts and duties.

They should refund our money.

In short, the present system is designed to let many of us die and we’re paying for the privilege. Profits before people has never been a more apt phrase or summary of this government’s guiding principle.

Dr Bruce McLeod