Letters - Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Fight for the living and a fairer system
On April 28 last year, the Prime Minister led the nation in a minute’s silence for key workers who had died from coronavirus.
Both the Government and the BBC were careful to avoid using the term Workers Memorial Day or mentioning the fact that trades unionists honour those who die or are injured through work on this day every year.
Ready enough to make a show of remembering the dead, the Tories would not risk drawing any attention to the other half of the Labour movement’s April 28 message that we must fight for the living.
That would have raised a lot of awkward questions about the availability of personal protection equipment, P.P.E, whether workers exposed to the virus had access to adequate sick pay to isolate, whether employers were actually being inspected or challenged on compliance with measures to ensure a Covid-safe workplace.
At the time, just over 21,000 people in this country had died with Covid-19.
A year and more than 100,000 additional deaths later, there is no national ceremony for the virus’ victims.
To hold one might raise other awkward questions.
Why, on the Tories’ watch, has Britain, one of the world’s wealthiest countries, experienced one of the deadliest epidemics anywhere in the world with 1,902 deaths per million people compared to 5.39 in New Zealand, 3.47 per million in China and 0.36 in Vietnam?
A fundamental change has to be made for a fairer system – all worth fighting for.
Praise for vaccine workers in UK
I am sure that most people will agree that there are a number of things that could have been done better in response to the pandemic, but few would include the vaccination programme.
I received my second dose of the vaccine on Thursday and I feel compelled to put on record my admiration for how this mammoth task is being delivered by NHS clinicians and administrators, not to mention the small army of volunteers that seem to be involved.
I may even go so far as to commend the Government for having the foresight to get ahead of the game by pre-ordering vaccines.
In the face of this pandemic, it is reassuring to know that, given the opportunity, the UK can still organise and mobilise resources effectively to meet the challenge.
As we move forward, I would like to think that the crucial role played by the NHS over that last year is recognised by the Government and that it is resourced, organised and delivered to the benefit of both service users and staff.
A matter of priorities
We are hopefully coming out of the Covid pandemic.
At the same time, the nation’s financial debt is at its greatest since the end of the Second World War.
We are also in the early stages of Brexit.
So, what do the politicians and elements of the media get excited about? Who paid for the wallpaper, or whatever, in the PM’s apartment?
The Leader of the Opposition addresses Parliament, clearly seeing himself back in court, wigged and robed.
The leader of the Liberal Democrats jumps on the same bandwagon and, bringing up the rear, is the SNP.
The Labour Party wants to remind itself how it lost so many previously safe seats in the last General Election.
The Liberals should remember what happened to their leader at the last General Election, and the SNP leader should go back home to Scotland, and stay there.
I see that the Home Office is bragging about the recruitment of almost 9,000 new police officers.
Very commendable indeed but the big question that bothers me is what is the real number gained when taking into account those officers lost through retirement, sickness and sacking?
The true figure may well be well below the boastful “almost 9,000”.
Sorry, but being a former bobby, I have become sceptical of government figures.
Long grass issues
The ‘experts’ advocating the idea of letting one’s lawn grow wild to help nature have obviously never tried to clear dog poo from long grass.