And an observation in the comments stirred something in my brain:
Well, at least someone did well out of it – the company who got the multi-million pound contract from the Government to produce the vaccine.
Ironically, this comment was made by Letters From A Tory, who no doubt will be doing his very best to make sure that the Tories get to decide which contracts get signed with the government for the next five years and is doubtlessly confident that his tribe is populated by noble, faultless people who will make the right decision every time.
But back in the real world, the reality of it is this: people make bad decisions all the time. I've been divorced twice. I've made loads of terrible decisions and in almost all the cases, I can hand on heart say that my motivation was good. In some cases, even noble.
The good thing about my bad decisions is that they may have affected people, but at the very worst (and it was probably my very worst decision ever) it affected a few dozen people.
Nobody died, or was even hurt. At worst, they were angry, inconvenienced and discomforted. So with the "power" that I had, the worst decision that I took affected less than 40 people and did them no material harm.
Let's look at what happens when you centralise power, though. A while ago, a number of councils decided to invest our money in Icelandic saving schemes. In doing what seemed like a very good idea at the time, they fucked up royally and threw away billions of our money. Services had to be cut, taxpayers had to be squeezed even harder, thousands of old, poor and disabled people who depend on council largesse certainly suffered as a consequence.
The faceless bureaucrats who made the decision are still there, still making more nobly-motivated bad decisions.
Now look further up the scale. The British government signed a contract with no "get-out" clause to buy tons of vaccine off the back of this scare. I heard something like a billion Pound Sterling was involved. I've also read scare stories about the side effects of the vaccine. It may not be statistically significant, but if just one person died because of that bad decision, that's a terrible cost. And if that was a billion Pounds of our money that was cynically thrown away, think about how many
So, a decision which directly cost you a night's beers or a tank of fuel could also have killed someone. Which seems like a better deal, a night out or a corpse? It's not a difficult choice is it?
The faceless, unaccountable bureaucrat who made that bad decision was probably bounced into it by the panic created by another unaccountable quango and the no "get-out" clause was probably in exchange for a better price. So, the decision was made for perfectly valid, noble reasons, but it was an incredibly bad decision.
Now look further up the scale: we have the United Nations and the European Union, both of which are accruing decision-making power to themselves. Now imagine the potential impact of and EU-wide or UN-wide bad decision. Look at the EU and their shit "low-carbon" lights, packed with poisonous mercury, inconveniencing half-a-billion people. Look at the swine flu thing (WHO is part of the UN), where millions of people around the world got ripped off via their governments and probably dozens or hundreds of people died taking the vaccines.
The greater the centralisation of power, the more people suffer from each bad decision.