A coronavirus testing firm has hired Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s half-brother as it hopes he can ‘open doors’ with a touch of nepotism.
Max Johnson, 35, has joined the board of private ‘wellness’ firm REVIV Global which specialises in providing vitamin injections delivered through IV drips.
Sarah Lomas, is the founder and CEO of med-tech firm Reviv, whose global headquarters are now based in Manchester. Reviv is a leading global provider of intravenous (IV) therapy and vitamin injections worth £100m.
I first came across Sarah Lomas a few months ago when an article from business live caught my eye titled ‘Reviv CEO reveals the constant accent discrimination that forced her to build business empire abroad‘ immediately I felt empathy and related to some aspects of the struggles she describes, along with many people who have strong regional accents class prejudice is an everyday obstacle. Personally, I have all to often come across discrimination due to my working-class background and more so, my pronounced Yorkshire accent.
Sarah Lomas had said “And it’s not just the accent, it’s also the class system. The discussion around the table would be fine wines, and what is in your wine collection. I had never afforded to be able to drink wine. I wouldn’t know the difference between the grapes, and you are also judged based on that.”
Where I did feel some sympathy and understanding how our Northern accents are all to often discriminated against the critic in me now thinks by hiring the prime minister’s half-brother to open doors she may well have advanced her own fortune and that of her company but for the class issues she so passionately claimed to be concerning, Lomas is on a losing strategy. That fight and the barriers that class creates cannot be won by hiring upper-class figures like Max Johnson, its tantamount to hiring a male chauvinist to fight for women’s rights.
This reflects the system we have built and for the working class, it throws back to the days when we had to hire a politician to become our advocate in parliament. With the number of Labour MP’s that can claim to have ever had what has deemed a working-class job before entering parliament at 7 then maybe little as changed.
But then again within British politics and the corrupt rigged system, playing their game, maybe the only way to play ‘The Game’.
The company has recently branched out into testing for Covid-19 by offering private antigen tests for £89 each.
REVIV says tests are being offered at cost price, they make no profit on the scheme and they donate to the NHS for every test they sell.
The appointment has been met with criticism and was branded ‘concerning’ as senior staff at REVIV begin now holding talks with the government over coronavirus testing.
The company’s tests are currently operating beyond the NHS Test and Trace system.
But Dr Barnish told the Mirror: ‘They’re outside of the national system, but we’re absolutely happy to work with the national system.
‘I personally haven’t been in any talks with them, but I know full well that our CEO has – and obviously Max Johnson, etcetera… there are talks going on.
‘We’re happy to support in any way we can the government testing strategy.’
Sarah Lomas, the CEO and President of REVIV Global, said in a press release: ‘The appointment of Max Johnson comes at an exciting and critical point in our shift to the Med-Tech sector.
‘Having built a global preventative health brand in 41 countries, we are ready for aggressive growth.
‘The current pandemic has created unprecedented investment opportunities for REVIV.’
Mr Johnson has said he was “totally honoured” to join the firm, and that he had been attracted to it while working in Hong Kong because of his “work hard, play hard” lifestyle.
He told the Mirror: “Whilst my primary role within REVIV is focussed on securing capital investment and expansion into Asia-Pac, I am proud to be associated with a company who are pro-actively utilising the resources available to them to help alleviate the challenges that people across the UK are facing.”
The move has been criticised by Labour Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Helen Hayes.
She told the publication: ‘It is unacceptable for businesses to take advantage of the government’s incompetence and charge £89 for the privilege of using the same labs as the national Test and Trace system.
‘The fact that a relative of the Prime Minister is now being employed by the same business is concerning.
‘Such a connection must not in any way influence Government decisions which must always be taken objectively, fairly and in the national interest.’
In April, REVIV was forced to delete a blog post after the Advertising Standards Authority ruled it had suggested the firm’s ‘Megaboost’ Vitamin drip could be used to prevent Covid-19.
The appointment comes just days after it was announced the UK may be ‘weeks behind’ its target of 500,000 tests a day due to a shortage of vital chemicals and analysing machines.
Boris Johnson pledged to more than double current capacity from 260,000 by the end of October, despite backlogs in laboratories and Britons being asked to drive hundreds of miles to get a swab.
But it appears the government’s desperate drive to boost testing ahead of the winter will not be delivered because manufacturers can’t make enough chemical reagents and analyser machines in time.
The shortage adds to Britain’s ongoing testing fiasco, which was also blamed on a lack of staff.
This is a world where ‘Disaster capitalist’ are thriving while public wealth is being transferred to the private sector faster than the R-Rate is growing.