Andy Richardson: Let's hope kindness is catching
There have been ten thousand unaccounted deaths in our care homes. That’s the loss of a town the size of Ludlow.
And while you and I and carers might reasonably ascribe those deaths to Covid-19, politicians can’t make that leap. To do so would be to acknowledge the chronic failings they made when they had the opportunity to pursue a different course. We are paying for Covid-19 not just in ever-increasing national debt, but in the lives of our most vulnerable.
Hope springs, however. For the daily acts of bravery that once went unreported are now part of our national conversation. Workers in care homes who were derided as unskilled put themselves in harm’s way each day. They are the soldiers in the fight against Covid-19, our new everyday heroes. I’m still not sure about Stay Alert; but Be Kind works for me. We can follow their example.
The future is unwritten. The Government has the opportunity to shape our economy, health and wellbeing and environment like never before. Strategic options emerge to reduce carbon emissions, provide better social care, prioritise the many over the few.
Suddenly, these aren’t just slogans at election time but tangible opportunities. At the top of the Government’s in-tray must be support for hard-working health and care staff, so as to stave off PTSD as a result of witnessing daily trauma.
The tone of our national debate has become more cordial. Irrespective of politics, it’s healthy to have a good Official Opposition. In Sir Kier Starmer, Labour have picked the right man to hold BoJo to account. The Sun King has resorted to bluster in the face of calm, intelligent probing across the Commons by the former Director of Public Prosecutions. In a debate, Sir Keir is comfortably ahead – though BoJo probably has slightly better hair.
Not that the spirit of co-operation inter-party lasted long. Conservative whips have dressed down three of their MPs, including Telford’s Lucy Allan, for spreading fake news. The voters will decide whether such antics are acceptable.
Certain sectors face an uncertain future. While builders are back on the scaffolds and mechanics are fixing cars, actors, restaurateurs and holiday agents twiddle thumbs. For some, there are no easy answers in the long road back.
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