What have Scottish Conservative MPs Andrew Bowie, David Duguid, Alister Jack, John Lamont, David Mundell, and Douglas Ross all got in common? There are so many possible answers to that question, none of which reflect well upon the MPs concerned. You could say that they’re selfish British nationalist shills who wouldn’t stand up for Scotland if their mother’s life depended on it, and during the coronavirus crisis it very possibly might. You could say that every single one of them believes that Scotland’s proper place in the UK is to meekly follow along with whatever England has voted for. You could say that there’s not enough bone in the lot of them to construct a single spine. And you would be perfectly correct in all of those characterisations.
However in this instance what they’ve all got in common is that every single one of this sorry shower of British nationalist apologists voted against a motion in the Commons which would have ensured that all NHS workers and care staff received weekly tests for coronavirus. What they’ve got in common is that in 2017 every single one of them voted against a pay rise for nurses. And what they also have in common is that all of them repeat the platitudes about clapping for NHS workers because they’ll make a show of supporting key workers, but won’t follow through with anything that actually has any substance to it. Yeah, this doesn’t reflect well upon them either, but then they’re Tory MPs so what were you expecting. Being a git is very much on brand for this lot. They don’t care. They didn’t care. They never cared. This is what you get when you vote Tory.
The six selfish sook ups belong to the same branch office as Surname Surname, who has of late taken to any Scottish media outlet which will give him airtime or column inches, which is to say pretty much all of them, demanding testing for workers in care homes. Yet given the opportunity to vote in order to ensure that precisely that was made mandatory, his colleagues in London voted it down. Perhaps someone ought to point out to Surname Surname that he no longer has a leg to stand on in the demands he makes of the Scottish Government, but knowing the Scottish media they probably won’t.
The shiftless selfish six weren’t alone of course. 331 Conservative MPs voted against weekly testing for the most vulnerable workers in the UK. In doing so they ensured that something that millions wanted would not come to pass. It was like that movie The Spartans, where a band of 300 defied the will of the entire Persian Empire, only this time with arseholes instead of heroes. Tories gonna Tory. To tory, that’s a verb meaning to act like a complete and utter selfish dick. As in, we all wanted to watch a movie on the telly last night, but Alister toried the remote control so he could see some documentary about how rich arseholes can be bigger arseholes.
NHS workers and care staff are exposed to the virus in a way that few others are. Their exposure is regular, intensive, and often lasts over a protracted period of time, all factors which are known to increase the chances of a person becoming infected. A higher percentage of NHS workers and care staff come from black and minority ethnic communities, who for various complex reasons grounded in institutionalised racism have a higher likelihood of dying from Covid-19. NHS workers and care staff put their lives on the line in order to keep the rest of us alive and healthy during a pandemic, but the Conservatives don’t think that they merit priority when it comes to testing. They agreed to it for Premier League footballers, but not for NHS workers and care staff.
Clapping costs nothing, you can have that. A picture of a rainbow drawn by a schoolkid costs nothing, you can have that too. Mouthing platitudes about how black lives matter costs nothing, you can have that as well. A wage rise and a weekly test, they cost money, so you can go die in poverty. When all that was required was a spot of clapping for a couple of minutes once a week, all you heard from the Tories was NHS heroes. When it comes to doing something constructive and meaningful, something that will cost the British Government money, those same MPs reply with a contemptuous sneer. It becomes a case of may the best immune system win. But they’ll happily spend £1 million so that Boris Johnson can have a garishly painted plane that looks like it’s from one of the crappier budget airlines, a plane paint job that was rejected from a remake of the Austin Powers movies for being too tasteless.
We can’t expect a senior cabinet minister to answer questions about the decision to throw NHS workers and care staff under the genetic lottery bus, the one which has the lie about extra funding for the NHS painted on the side of it. The British Government has decided to end its daily press conferences. It will be brushed under the carpet as Conservative MPs work themselves up into a conveniently distracting froth of outrage about Labour’s Rebecca Long-Bailey sharing a link to an interview in the Independent that allegedly contained an anti-semitic conspiracy theory.
There can be no clearer illustration that the Conservatives do not care about ordinary people. They do not care about protecting those vulnerable and essential workers that they hypocritically clap for. They care about their money, their careers, and their party. But then that’s exactly what we should expect from the Conservatives, a party whose sole political ideology is the institutionalisation of their own personal greed and avarice. When there is the inevitable second wave in coronavirus infections and some poor care workers or NHS workers succumb to the disease, their deaths will be on the Conservative party. But the Tories still won’t care.
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