Jennifer O’Connell: Endless dithering on children and education is unconscionable

Covid-19 has exposed system’s shortcomings and Government has failed to act effectively

As the Government zooms in on issues such as insurance and potential transmission risks it is ignoring the less headline-grabbing but more dire risks to vulnerable children. It is fighting the wrong wars. Photograph: Getty Images

As the Government zooms in on issues such as insurance and potential transmission risks it is ignoring the less headline-grabbing but more dire risks to vulnerable children. It is fighting the wrong wars. Photograph: Getty Images

Boris Johnson’s unveiling of his country’s plan to wriggle out of lockdown gave us an opportunity to indulge in our most beloved national sport: feeling superior to Britain. The heady rush of feeling like the grown-ups in the Irish Sea didn’t centre on the 50-page plan, which was not wildly different to that of most European countries. It was focused on the wilfully vague “Stay Alert” slogan, and the confusing messaging around it, summed up by comedian Matt Lucas as: “Don’t go to work! Go to work! Don’t take public transport! Go to work! Don’t go to work! Stay indoors! If you can work from home, go to work! Go outside! Don’t go outside! And then we will, or won’t, something or other.”

Meanwhile, we had a clear road map, and a Taoiseach who would rather consult his crib sheet on the Late Late Show than get his facts wrong. Clever us.

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