Clap for Boris? – Not A Chance – He Doesn’t Deserve the Thought or Effort

Clap for Boris? Not if my own life depended on it. How dare the pathetic and obedient poodles in the mainstream media whip up a wave of artificial sympathy for a man whose whole political existence reeks of the dire inequalities of income and opportunities that so deeply scar society across the UK.

This man epitomises the creed of greed, worship of inequality, promotion of selfishness and the morality of rattle snakes which the Tory party oozes from its rotten pores.

Not since June 28th, 2017 will so many Tories have enthusiastically cheered and applauded as they did last night at 8pm. Then the Tory cheers and whoops of joy were because they had won a close vote in the House of Commons. The vote was to maintain their crusade of wage cuts against public sector workers like firefighters, police officers, teachers and, of course, NHS employees like the nurses, doctors, porters and cleaners who we all now celebrate as heroes. Watch the Tories laugh, cheer and applaud with gusto as the 323 to 309 margin is announced and remember this is the political party that imposed a two year wage freeze on all public sector workers in 2010 and then a 1% cap on rises from 2012.

Tories Cheered Loudly When They Won the Vote To Keep Nurse’s Pay Down

These political cretins knew exactly what they were doing. They were deliberately undermining the living standards of millions of essential public service workers and the quality of the services they were able to deliver while cheering and applauding. During the same period, they consistently reduced taxes for millionaires and multi-national corporations to allow them to become even richer but couldn’t give a rat’s arse about the effect their policies had on the emergency and frontline workers.

After seven years of the pay restriction policy nurses’ wages in real terms had fallen by 14% but the newspaper reports after the vote made it abundantly clear that the Tories didn’t care a jot about that:

“Cheers rang out from Tory benches when the Commons votes were counted last night in response to Labour’s amendment to the Queen’s speech on cuts to emergency services and pay for public sector workers. Their seven-year cap on public sector pay was saved!”.

The policy was harming the workers and the services they worked for. At the time of the Tory cheering nurse vacancies had risen to 40,000 in England alone as the cruel pay freeze was accompanied by the scrapping of the nurse training bursary. Thousands were leaving the profession to get better paid jobs in supermarkets; hospital wards were operating with dangerously low staffing levels and one of the nursing unions, the Royal College of Nursing, reported unprecedented discontent and anger reflected in a widespread ballot that indicated 91% supported some form of industrial action and 78% said they would support strike action. Remarkable from a union that has long opposed nurse taking part in strikes.

Tory Welfare Polices Have Been Brutal and Inhumane

Boris Johnson voted for the continuation of those nurses and public sector worker wage freezes in 2017 and he has supported every Tory austerity measure over the last ten years. When faced with an appeal on behalf of the thousands of disabled victims of Tory welfare cuts last year he ignored the letter delivered to him and carried on the supporting the brutal and inhumane policies regardless.

A powerful United Nations Report in 2017 slammed Tory welfare cuts and said they amounted to “human catastrophe” for thousands of disabled citizens who were subjected to “grave” and “systematic” violations of their human rights.

The Report established:

  • 62% of people that the DWP sanctions live with mental health issues.
  • 10,600 people died after their benefit claims ended.
  • 90 people a month are dying after the DWP declares them ‘fit-for-work’.
  • 590 people have taken their own life due, in part, to DWP fit-for-work tests.

Johnson and his cold-hearted Tory chums introduced Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) assessments that were punitive, intrusive and inappropriately aggressive. These assessments often found people with terminal cancer, people who cannot feed themselves, and people in hospital, fit for work. The Tories were ruthless in testing disabled claimants seeking barely enough money to live on but have been woefully incapable of arranging covid-19 tests for frontline health workers and those in the often forgotten and abandoned elderly care sector. Tory priorities to a tee.

Since the birth of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) by Johnson’s Tories there have been deaths, suicides and accelerated deterioration in sick and disabled people, who have outrageously been found fit for work. Johnson is lucky that while he is sick in hospital today that he is not subjected to a ‘fit for work’ assessment as that is exactly the fate that his government has visited on tens of thousands of the most vulnerable and disabled citizens over the last decade.

Please Read Remember Steve Smith Before Clapping for Boris

Expressing sympathy for Johnson the litany of Tory lickspittles paraded to inform us how much of a ‘fighter’ he is; they should be made to read out loud the story of Steve Smith from Liverpool and hold up the picture of the skeletal and emaciated man who was declared ‘fit for work’ by their heartless DWP policy. Read this story and look at the picture of Steve Smith and then ‘clap for Boris’ if you dare.

Read the words of the benefits advisor who tried to help Steve:

“I am a benefits adviser and tribunal representative at the Community Advice Services Association (CASA) Liverpool. In July 2017, I met Steve, who had been found fit for work even though he had many debilitating illnesses, and I helped him with his appeal. Over time, we became friends, and it was me who rang 999 when we realised he was seriously ill. He was admitted to hospital where he was told he was suffering from pneumonia, which he never fully recovered from and subsequently died. I am convinced Steve would not have died so soon if he had received the benefits he was entitled to”.

Thinking of Steve Smith and the tens of thousands of other real life but unknown and unspoken about victims of the cruel, cold and callous Tory austerity policies should make you think long and hard about ‘clapping for Boris’. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t wish him ill. I’m a socialist which makes me a compassionate advocate for humanity, all of humanity. Having a heart and at least a modest amount of intelligence is a prerequisite of socialist beliefs. So, I don’t wish him dead, but I am indifferent about his health. I care much more about the victims of his harsh policies than I do about him.

Tory Decimation of NHS has Been Real and Catastrophic

Yesterday the British Medical Journal published a blog which deserves to be widely circulated, read and discussed. Collectively written by a GP and two eminent Professors it is a seething indictment of the Tory record in relation to the NHS and social care. Read it closely before you even contemplate ‘clapping for Boris’. One small excerpt illustrates the state the NHS is currently in and who is responsible for it. Confronting directly the Johnson lie about the NHS being fully prepared for the Covid-19 crisis it reads:

“Healthcare professionals did not share his confidence that the NHS was prepared. One survey asked doctors, “Do you feel the NHS is well prepared for Coronavirus?”—less than 1% said they did. Meanwhile, news bulletins are reporting health workers’ concerns that the supply of personal protective equipment, or PPE, is inadequate, obsolete, improvised, and in some cases, dangerous, leaving staff, some now threatening to quit, feeling “betrayed.” Much remains unknown about how the pandemic will affect the UK, but what is clear is that a decade of under-funding has left the NHS extremely vulnerable. Worse, repeated warnings about this vulnerability have been ignored.

It is not surprising that those on the frontline feel the NHS is unprepared. Before the first case of covid-19 in the UK on 31 January, data for the preceding four weeks revealed that the highest number of patients had waited in A&E for more than four hours “since records began.” 2,846 people waited more than 12 hours to be seen. These figures represented increases of 20.4% and 353.9% respectively above the same period last year”.

Here is the truth about the NHS and social care services and the direct Tory responsibility for the sad state they are in.

Keep Your Claps for People Who Deserve Them

I am no hypocrite. I refuse to clap or show any sympathy for an individual as ruthlessly selfish and uncaring as Boris Johnson. I’m no fan of establishment luvvie and knighted journalist Max Hastings but I do note his assessment of Johnson from an up close and personal point of view:

“I have known Johnson since the 1980s, when I edited the Daily Telegraph and he was our flamboyant Brussels correspondent. I have argued for a decade that, while he is a brilliant entertainer who made a popular maître d’ for London as its mayor, he is unfit for national office, because it seems he cares for no interest save his own fame and gratification”.

Clap for the stressed out and magnificent nurses who Johnson voted to deny a wage rise to three years ago. Clap for the skilled doctors and surgeons working in hospitals that have been underfunded and under resourced by Johnson’s Tories for ten years. Clap for the army of underpaid and poorly supported social and elderly care workers who risk their health every day to look after vulnerable and elderly citizens. But don’t ever ask me to clap for Johnson and his ilk who daily undermine society with their policies and attitudes.

Posted in Articles, Tommy Sheridan's Columns.

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