First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Boris Johnson spreads Covid-19 confusion in the UK



Boris Johnson spreads Covid-19 confusion in the UK

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson departs 10 Downing Street in London, Britain, 08 July 2020. (Photo: EPA-EFE/ANDY RAIN)

The United Kingdom has one of the worst records of death and infections in the world – heading for almost 300,000 Covid-19 cases and 45,677 deaths. Boris Johnson – who has been in power for a year – has a few things to answer.

It may be little consolation for South Africans as Covid-19 infections surge, but by comparison with Britain, at least President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize have been decisive in their actions and consistent in their messages.

As they enforce new regulations that facemasks must be worn in shops, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his ministers have been spreading confusion.

In England, pubs opened while schools remained shut.

Children in Wales returned safely to school a month ago, but in England, the government cannot even guarantee that will happen in September 2020. 

Theatres and concert halls are unable to open, but passengers can spend hours crammed together in aeroplanes.

You can take an overnight ferry from Portsmouth or Plymouth to Spain, but not a cruise around the UK.

England’s test-and-trace system – “world-beating”, according to Johnson – is contacting far less than 80% of the close contacts of infected people, in Luton, just 47% and in re-lockdowned Leicester, under 65%.

Johnson won’t answer this key question: Why does Germany, a similar north European country with an even larger population, have so many fewer deaths and infections than the UK which has one of the very worst records in the world? DM

Lord Peter Hain is a former anti-apartheid leader and British Cabinet Minister.



"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted