OnTheWight always welcomes a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below.
This from Cameron Palin of East Cowes. Ed
The work done by our key-workers has been phenomenal – their tireless selfless approach to help combat Coronavirus (Covid-19) has been truly admirable.
The public response with #ClapForOurCarers, which may be a very simple one, has had an enormous response and has united the country in our thanks to our NHS workers, carers, teachers, cleaners, shop workers, delivery drivers, and all those helping us keep safe.
The votes against pay rises for public sector workers
The NHS is doing well, but we must not forget that over the last ten years, we have seen the Tories vote against pay rises for public sector workers, insult them by classing them as low-skilled workers, and significantly underfund the entire sector.
This has caused the NHS to be chronically understaffed, which we see each winter when our ICUs are full and waiting times are ever growing.
Privatisation of the NHS
The Tories pretend that they aren’t privatising our NHS, but they are doing it behind the scenes, and privatisation always makes the rich richer and often ends up in the long-term making the services worse and underpaying the staff.
In 2013 we saw the shocking start of the privatisation of NHS blood plasma supplier, on which thousands of patients depend.
Several of the Island’s hospital departments already have privatised.
Compare to Highways PFI
Look at what has happened when the IW Council privatised most of their highways department into Island Roads – in my view we now have worse roads, less control over which roads are fixed when, and a massive PFI contract that has gotten the parent company rich whilst we the taxpayers have pay back over many years!
We can’t afford to let this happen to our NHS.
Lack of personal protective equipment (PPE)
During this crisis we have seen the horrendous news that NHS staff, home carers, and those working within the community have not received the correct, if any, personal protective equipment (PPE).
This has led to many staff concerned about catching the virus and getting sick and spreading the virus to vulnerable patients. This is a clear failure by the government, as we had weeks’ notice of the severity of this pandemic, and the World Health Organization said that all countries should “test, test, test”. Both the lack of PPE and the shortfall in testing has been the government’s choice not to prioritise the NHS workers and the public.
Step up testing now
Why has this government not stepped up testing?
We have seen in Germany that they are doing over 500,000 tests a week compared to the UK’s mere average of 8,000, which was expected to be over 25,000 however we still haven’t reached this point.
Where are the real emergency management experts?
All of this brings into question, where are the real emergency management experts and the crisis communications professionals?
Right now we have politicians and a civil service think-tank pretending that they are disaster management professionals, and their errors in communication and some of their timing and funding of their policy decisions has lost the trust of many of the people.
And then the government wonders why people aren’t complying with commands, insults, and threats, especially when people don’t understand why they are being asked to do things.
Political ideology getting in the way of decision-making
The communications have been so diabolical, many people didn’t understand that anyone could be contagious before they have symptoms!
This is an international crisis, where political ideology should not get in the way of decision-making yet it already has. We saw the government refusing to take part in the EU ventilator procurement scheme, showing clear arrogance and demonstrating how blind support for Brexit could be costing lives.
Remember this when next voting
So when we clap for our Carers on Thursday, and every Thursday until this crisis is over, also remind yourself that the next Thursday that there is an election, you vote for the NHS – protect the NHS – don’t vote Tory.