As a country it is irrefutable that we are facing a dreadful pandemic that has killed tens of thousands of people with the number only set to rise.
The COVID-19 crisis has caused arguments throughout society ranging from lockdown rules to wearing masks, but through it all there has been a constant and that is the NHS.
The wonderful and humbling thing about the NHS is that it is always there, no matter what you have done or have had done to you, you can go to them and they will help, as best they can, and will not present us with a bill afterwards.
We are privileged to have an NHS. However, the Conservative government compounded a laundry list of failings by using its majority to vote against protecting the NHS from sale. Something they promised would never happen.
Given an opportunity to back up their claim that the NHS was not for sale, the Conservatives chose instead to make sure they could still throw a price tag on it for the highest bidder
When it comes to the list ‘How did the Conservative party let down the NHS?’ I imagine some key points will be: the one billion pounds given to companies that have currently still not provided any PPE, the ten million spent on a failed track and trace app and the consistent provision of unhelpful and often misleading advice on when to implement lockdown.
Yet there will be a marked entry where, given an opportunity to back up their claim that the NHS was not for sale, the Conservatives chose instead to make sure they could still throw a price tag on it for the highest bidder.
Clause 17 was an amendment to the Government’s Trade Bill which not only protected the NHS from foreign control but ensured the following points:
- Ensuring the ability to provide a “comprehensive and publicly funded health service free at the point of delivery” was not compromised by any future trade deal
- Protecting hard-working NHS staff from having their wages or rights slashed by any future trade deal
- Protecting the quality and safety of health and care services
- Regulating the control and pricing of medicines
- Protecting patient data from being sold off
- Protecting the NHS from so-called investor-state dispute settlements (ISDS) – clauses which allow foreign investors to sue national governments for any measures which harm their profits.
I guarantee they have all been clapping for the NHS on a Thursday and posted a rainbow on social media because the government is nothing but hollow gestures
Every one of those measures is a step towards rebuilding the NHS and ensuring its survival. The Conservatives voted against it.
They said no to all of it, yet I guarantee they have all been clapping for the NHS on a Thursday and posted a rainbow on social media because the government is nothing but hollow gestures.
No concrete figures exist on the number of NHS workers who have died from COVID-19, but it is over 300 at least for the whole of the United Kingdom.
This does not take into account the emotional trauma of those who contracted the virus and have had to live with the after effects, those who have not been able to see their families because doing so would put them at risk, or those nurses who had to hold iPads to dying people so they could speak to their relatives.
Yet, the Prime minister and his party show their appreciation by removing job security, refusing to protect our data, and paving the way for its easy sale.
I know President Trump wants the Health service for his chlorinated chicken, but let’s not use his government style just yet
The United Kingdom is still amid the pandemic and there is no sign that it will abate any time soon. As we look to our leaders for guidance, we are instead treated to confusing advice and government guidelines being announced, not via the BBC or government broadcast, but over Twitter.
I know President Trump wants the Health service for his chlorinated chicken, but let’s not use his government style just yet.
This Government could have used Clause 17 to protect one of our most vital services and give hope to those who work within the NHS.
Yet, when Matt Hancock tells us to take care of it, I can only imagine it is because a strong health service looks better on the sales posters he hands out at Tory parties.
There is no other way to see it other than self interest and a disregard for the health of this country and the Conservative government should be ashamed of themselves.
Featured image courtesy of Grooveland Designs via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.
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