For every business, there is a bottom line. You might launch the most praise-worthy products or garner appreciative column inches for your smart marketing, but if your share price is in freefall or you fail to turn a profit, the knives will be out quickly and mercilessly.
In the Covid-19 crisis, the British government can point to many mitigating factors: it was the first administration anywhere to approve a vaccine, its support for business has been swift, if decidedly patchy, and it has had to contend with a group of stakeholders (the public) who have proved reluctant to comply with the requirements of lockdown.
Even so, the metrics are appalling. When this article first went to press in our winter 2021 magazine issue, there had been more than 90,000 coronavirus-related deaths in the UK – the second highest toll in Europe per capita. That figure now sits at over 110,000.