The secret diary of Matt Hancock aged 44 ¼
The 'Pandemic Diaries' reads like a parody.
‘None of the teachers at school have noticed that I am an intellectual. They will be sorry when I am famous.’
- Adrian Mole.
Matt Hancock’s Pandemic Diaries - serialised in the Mail - is the Adrian Mole of political diaries. It reads like a parody, but it isn’t. It’s written without an ounce of self-awareness, but with a ton of backside-covering.
It all starts in Suffolk:
‘Standing in my kitchen in Suffolk after a quiet New Year's Eve, I scanned my newspaper for clues as to what might be lurking around the corner. The only thing on my patch was a news-in-brief story about a mystery pneumonia outbreak in China'
This is utterly unbelievable. No one writes a genuine diary like this.
There are multiple snide swipes aimed at the people he doesn’t like, alongside transparent attempts to turn himself into the hero of the book.
Within the first week, Hancock has had a dig at Mark Sedwill for blocking a COBRA meeting, Number 10 for ‘grudgingly’ letting him make a statement and Dominic Cummings for saying Covid is a ‘distraction'. Basically only one man knew how serious this was - Hancock.
That’s because he believed the modellers’ sorcery, that ‘in the reasonable worst-case scenario as many as 820,000 people in the UK may die’. He may as well have chucked chicken entrails around his Suffolk kitchen.
There are some very serious revelations in the book, which might belong better in an inquiry, presented seriously, under oath, with other witnesses’ evidence. Important matters in the management of the pandemic were decided in outrageously disorganised manner, if the book is to be believed.