It transpires that, when Boris Johnson told us all to stay in our homes, huge numbers of us were being told by our employers that they couldn’t.
Construction companies are telling their workers to work because they have contracts to honour and Johnson hasn’t said a single word that would release them of their obligations.
A commenter to This Site told me about an electrical goods manufacturer – making non-essential products – that has told employees they must continue working.
That means many will be using public transport, possibly mixing with people who are infected – all for the sake of some shareholder’s profits.
Something tells me De Piffles lockdown might not be a lockdown, he’s started this, wtf is he going to do if people don’t listen ? https://t.co/ArEwhPogHA
— Ian collins (@Iancoll94354676) March 24, 2020
The government is, in fact, saying people should go to work if they can’t work from home – but that’s just causing confusion, apparently.
Oh, incidentally, you know the government promised to pay 80 per cent of people’s wages if they stayed at home?
It turns out that’s only if employers agree to it. If they decide to lay you off instead, there’s nothing Johnson can do about it.
The 80% of income payment pledge is dependent on willingness of employers to sign up to the govts. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
— Daniel Margrain (@hairymarx1) March 24, 2020
And we’re seeing that many of the problems with the Tory lockdown are due to their own austerity policies of the last 10 years.
So, for example, after depleting constabularies across the country of more than 20,000 beat bobbies, they now expect the 120,000 or so who remain to enforce a curfew on more than 65 million people – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for the foreseeable future.
They can’t be everywhere. And we’ve established that the people of the UK are completely incapable of following a simple instruction, so wherever the police aren’t around to make sure we’re all behaving, we probably won’t be. And that’s creating a risk of contagion.
Perhaps Johnson should have given us instructions we could trust from the start.
Today (March 24), Matt Hancock has appealed for a quarter of a million people to volunteer to help out a National Health Service that was failing to cope with everyday demands on it before the coronavirus crisis hit it.
Notice that these will be volunteers – in other words: unpaid. This is now the land of Do-It-Yourself healthcare.
He reckons more than 11,000 former NHS workers have volunteered to go back and help out, which he says is fantastic. I say: Is that all?
Who else does he expect to come forward and what possible reason could unskilled people have for putting themselves in danger?
And has he yet realised that we needed all the immigrant workers who have been discouraged from coming to the UK by the “hostile atmosphere” (of racism) that his party has nurtured, and by Brexit?
We have every right to be disgusted by this.
The Tories have spent a decade stripping the country of the ability to cope with an emergency like Covid-19 and – now that it has arrived – they want us to sort it out for them – for free.
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