The most vulnerable at risk from lack of moral calibre!

26 Apr 2024
COVID 19 Test Image


At the end of my first year of university I got the sickest that I have ever been, in an otherwise very healthy life. I was doing a summer job at Butlins when a virus tore through the holiday camp. After a few days in bed, I recovered enough to resume work for the rest of that summer season. However, most particularly for my second year at university, I was haunted by repeated sickness that continued to dog me for several more years. I would recover enough to get back to playing rugby and rock – climbing only to be struck down again by the next respiratory virus putting me on my back and a recovery period of several more weeks, in the earlier ones of which when I could only do the most basic of life functions.

The doctors never did get to the bottom of what caused the original infection. Some thought it was a variant of glandular fever, later myalgia encephalitis (ME), but at least it was accepted by the medics as real enough as it hit hundreds of us in a very few days in that closed environment. However, the reaction of the press was very different with the likes of the Daily Mail deriding it as “yuppy flu”. It was probably that outbreak that caused Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS) to be recognised and accepted. Now that and “long COVID” are accepted as the consequence of an over-reaction of the body’s own immune system.

Now multi, multi-millionaire Rishi Sunak has decided to victimise the sufferers. Not content with his foolish penny- pinching during lockdown when he kept Statutory Sick Pay so miserly (then about £ 90 per week) that many of the lower paid suspected infected were forced to decide that they couldn’t afford to isolate so they went into work and spread the infection further (and with yet more cost to the Govt. !). Now Sunak decides to attack the sufferers of “long COVID”, amongst many others. And it is not just the COVID sufferers. For several years before that this Govt. had been waging a war on the disabled and the sickest of the long-term sick by chipping away at their benefits. One of the surest ways to become poor is to have a long-term sick or disabled person in the family so that someone has to stop work and to claim the miserly Carers’ Allowance (currently £81 per week!).

Rishi Sunak Prime Minister

This is the same multi, multi-millionaire who, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, splurged £ ½ billion on the Eat Out to Help Out scheme which provided subsidies to those who could afford to eat out, and in so doing spread the virus further, while determinedly ignoring the plight of the 3 million COVID Excluded (and their dependents, totalling about 10 million).

And the relevant Minister, Mel Stride (Work and Pensions) is not exactly a pauper. He “earnt” his position by hosting lavish dinners in Whitehall for various Conservative MPs who “needed” to be “buttered – up”.

It is this hitting out at the most vulnerable, this time the sick, that shows the “moral calibre” of this Government. 

Cllr Mark Fairweather

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