The NHS COVID-19 tracing app is being launched this Thursday in England and Wales. In principle, I’m not opposed to a tracing app. On the contrary, I’m very much in favour of them. But not when they’re developed by this government or, in this case, a privatised part of the NHS; no thanks.
The man in charge of the app is a man called Simon Thompson. He has extensive experience working for the privatised Royal Mail, Ocado and has connections to numerous other companies, including SERCO which runs the misnamed NHS Track and Trace disorganisation. NHS Track and Trace is run by Dido Harding, a Conservative peer who is married to a Tory MP called John Penrose who joined the advisory board of think-tank 1828, which calls for the NHS to be replaced by an insurance system. Like Harding, Thompson has no obvious qualifications to involve himself in an NHS project but, hey, this is Boris Johnson’s corrupt government. Harding and Thompson are cronies.
Health secretary Matt Hancock stresses the importance of this app and maybe he’s on to something. But that’s not enough for me. I think it’s an absolute disgrace that parts of the NHS have been flogged off to make money for the friends of politicians. That’s one thing. Another is that I do not know whether the real power in front of Johnson’s throne, one Dominic Cummings, has anything to do with the app.
We know that Cummings is an obsessive data miner. It’s how he works. He obtains data, particularly on voters, and uses it to devastating effect. He is how we left the EU, through an admittedly brilliant campaign of lies and deception. If there is the remotest possibility Cummings might have any access to data about me, I will not go near the app. In my eyes, he is guilty. I’d have to be convinced he was innocent.
No app for me, thanks. Not under this government of liars, hucksters and shysters. Not now, not ever, or at least for as long as Cummings is around.