Andy Richardson: We, the public, can lead this fight
It’s hard to escape the impression that the Parliament is out of touch.
Matt Hancock thinks Daniel Rashford is actually Harry Potter, probably, and tells us to social distance while patting a Parliamentary colleague on the back; Dominic Cummings – wait, you already know this one; Boris just wants to build Routemaster buses from crates or quote ancient classics, while Labour stupidly sought the credit for Rashford’s school meals campaign.
Many police are out of touch with the lives of the black community. While there are some good officers in the force, too many have outdated attitudes unfit for purpose. They fail to calm troubled waters; as personal trainer Patrick Hutchinson did when he saved the life of a right wing Millwall fan by carrying him to safety at a demo.
Our heroes are not the people in whom we invested power by returning them at the ballot box. They are a 100-year-old former major who can raise tens of millions for the NHS, a Dutch national who initiated clap for carers, a black football player who grew up in poverty and forced the Government to feed hungry kids through the summer – Rashford 1 Government 0 – and a group of black men who were the proverbial Good Samaritans when they saved someone whose views opposed theirs.
The creation of support bubbles to help single parents was partially inspired by Ella Davis, a single mum who wrote to Dominic Cummings and hand-delivered her letter to his house. On behalf of the 2.9 million single parents – everyone an ‘exceptional circumstance’ as defined by Cummings’ action – she explained their plight.
She assumed her letter would go in the bin. But Cummings’ wife responded cordially and with thanks. Soon, the Government had followed the lead of the world’s best-performing Covid nation, New Zealand, in creating support bubbles.
That story, and that of Rashford, Moore, Hutchinson and clap for carers founder Annemarie Plas, shows that all of us can be an agent for change. Those people represent our diverse, multicultural, mutli-generational country. They show what is possible. Right or left; black, brown or white; victim or privileged; they have created a better Britain. We can too.
The nation has been imperilled by Covid-19. The public can lead the fightback.