UK COVID-19 Test & Trace scheme spends millions on iPhones
Make no mistake, I know iPhones are the best mobile devices in the world, but when what I see as the utterly failed UK ‘Test & Trace’ scheme spends millions of pounds on the devices, you have to ask why. And this is an angry post.
What use is this?
This is the Test & Trace system that tried to use the need for testing and tracing to build an invasive surveillance infrastructure. And failed.
The same scheme that failed to adopt the private Google/Apple system for months while people were dying. The same scheme that masquerades as being an NHS group when it seems to have turned into a vastly expensive ‘outsourced’ system that has become a completely farcical joke at a time when the UK desperately needed an effective system.
Real people. Real lives. Real loss.
But let’s buy a load of iPhones, that should help
And now they are purchasing 16,000 iPhone SEs.
With “Otterbox or similar” rugged cases, Belkin wall chargers, and lanyards.
Presumably for use by Test and Trace staff, which suggests that whatever money was previously spent equipping staff with mobile devices to do their job was wasted on tech that wasn’t fit for purpose.
Hopefully the new equipment will help the system begin to actually do its job, just like it hasn’t done so far.
And yes I’ve seen the claims the system has begun improving, but given the pandemic has been killing tens of thousands of people and leaving many thousands more severely ill with long term symptoms, that’s really not good enough.
This was never a rehearsal, other nations built effective systems, and getting to this point has taken months.
A failure of new leadership
This was a challenge that has given us a ghastly text book story of failed government, an astonishingly weak opposition, and failure in private enterprise at a time when the people of the nation needed so much more. It saddens me so deeply that my own father, who died with COVID, voted for the rabble I see as the current administration.
I take delight in the hard-working NHS staff, retail workers, underpaid delivery folk, maintenance and public-facing staff who have kept our society going during this crisis. Just like the billionaires and politicians have failed to achieve. Our true heroes need big pay rises. Politicians should be forced to exist on the income of a Deliveroo driver, as should the entire leadership of test and trace (and the C-level execs at the various private firms with their noses in the trough).
Test and Trace? It’s a game of phones. And at the end of the day, the iPhone manufacturer has delivered a far more effective response.