For the last three Thursdays we have been asked to “clap for carers”. As we have said before, we fully support all NHS staff (and in fact all workers) and the appreciation they are getting. But, we also need to remember why we are in the position we are in, where the NHS is under staffed; doesn’t have enough beds; and many staff have to claim benefits to top up their disgustingly low wages.
Presently staff don’t have enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); we are scrambling around to find more beds; we don’t have enough ventilators; and testing is woefully short. All of this didn’t happen overnight – it’s because of years of successive governments not giving a damn about NHS staff and ordinary people’s health. This was never a “mistake” or “over-sight”. It was a cynical, calculated policy by our so called leaders.
Now, on Thursday 9th April we are being asked to not only clap for the state underfunding our health service and putting our health workers lives at risk (and maybe up to a dozen have already died due to this), but we are also being asked to donate.
These donations go to an organisation called “NHS Charities Together” and they are asking for a fiver from all of us. It seems, this money then goes to the charitable trusts most hospitals have to set up to beg for money from local people, because the state under funds them.
It seems we can bail out the banks with millions, if not billions when they screw up. We can give millionaires and billionaires like Mike Ashley (Sports Direct), Richard Branson (Virgin empire), Joe Lewis (Spurs football club) huge bailouts during the Corona virus crisis, but yet again, when it comes to a public service like the NHS hard working people are asked to cough up (excuse the pun).
Loads of us are being “furloughed”; Lots more are having to now try and navigate the minefield that is Universal Credit; millions of us were already surviving on benefits, food banks and debt.
And the irony doesn’t stop there. We are gob smacked that one of the very people who voted time and again to cut the HNS and leave workers either redundant or on cripplingly low wages (dear old Boris) is now desperate for those same workers to try and save his life. If we are short of resources …….
Is it just us few who think all this is just taking the piss?
Whether Johnson lives or dies doesn’t really matter. Once this crisis is over the crisis in funding in the NHS won’t stop. And after the glowing words and press statements for our health service and all its workers from all those in power is a distant memory we will be back to funding cuts, staff having to claim benefits to top up their salaries, and hospitals having to have charity events to save lives.
People have told us we shouldn’t swear in these statements. Generally, we agree. But in this situation anger gets the better of us. So fuck you Boris and all your mates in government and business. When the corona virus scare has subsided, we need to get fucking angry, and fight for what we believe in. And that’s more than clapping and ordinary people giving sticking plaster donations, they can ill afford. Even though we know everyone who does donate will be doing it for incredibly genuine reasons.
(Feel free to forward
Another statement from some of us in Haringey Solidarity Group)