Student nurse Jessica Collins wrote a note to Boris Johnson, explaining why she won’t support his Conservatives again.
She didn’t think he would see it – but plenty of other people have, and it’s easy to understand the reasons for that.
See for yourself [boldings mine]:
Your government absolutely do not have my vote in the next election. I say this with the [utmost] certainty and unlike past voting decisions, I am 100% sure it is the right one.
This isn’t just because your government removed the bursary alongside funding for tuition fees, leaving student nurse mums like me in £60000+ worth of debt upon leaving this physically and mentally draining degree and condemning the future workforce to the same struggles.
This isn’t just because the government found a loophole in our opt-in contracts to help during coronavirus, to enable them to stop paying students for risking their lives on the frontline at the earliest opportunity.
This isn’t just because your designated minister for care declared in a letter addressed directly to me, that every single one of the 2,300+ hours I’ve completed in NHS hospitals as not being offering of any form of service to my patients.
This isn’t just because I watched a video back whereby 313 out of 317 conservative MP’s voted against a nurse pay rise (amongst other public sector funding) and then unashamedly laughed when they found out they had the majority.
This isn’t just because your ‘sing happy birthday twice whilst washing your hands’ was never ever going to be enough to avoid the the tens of thousands of deaths that have happened due to COVID-19. Nor is it just because you were too late to lockdown this country for whatever excuse you declare, and subsequently we paid heavily with the lives of so many of our incredible people.
This isn’t just because you left nurses, carers and other key workers specifically, out of a public sector pay-rise for those who have fought so hard against COVID-19.
This isn’t just because every single conservative MP voted no against a new clause intended to protect our NHS from any form of control outside of the UK, then tried to cover it up with sharing a positive story about giving doctors a pay rise.
This isn’t just because it takes a famous footballer calling you out on his public platform, to ensure that the most vulnerable children in our society had food to eat over summer.
This isn’t because of the many, many other things that yourself, or certain members of your party have done wrong, many of which I probably don’t know about.
The main reason you don’t have my vote, is because every single time you have failed, you’ve not once turned around, held your hands up and said that you’ve made a mistake. It’s because I’ve not once heard you say sorry but that you’ve learned and you’ll do better next time.
It’s because every single time you or a member of your party are called out on your failings, you either lay the blame somewhere else, boycott those who dare to seek the truth or just release the same statement quoting the same generalised political jargon.
As a nurse if I was ever to make a mistake, I would hold my hands up and take responsibility for it. I would absolutely say sorry anyone it’s affected. I would reflect on it and learn what I did wrong and then I would plan what I could do from then on to ensure I never make the same mistake twice. Now I know being a nurse is very different to being the prime minister however honesty, trustworthiness and humility should be attributes carried through any job at all if you are to earn any form of respect. Even more so one like your own where your decisions affect millions of people like me.
When people like me desperately try and express the unjustness of your decisions, you choose to ignore it, every single time. Your people don’t have a voice unless the complaints come from people of higher status or world renowned footballers who have the platform to make you look bad.
You made such a fuss of clapping for the NHS and indicated more, only to put us straight back in our under-valued places the first chance you got, with no explanation or apology.
The saddest thing is, for so long you and many others have played a part in conditioning nurses like me alongside other health professionals to believe that they should never complain about how they deserve better pay. If we dare to feel under-valued or ask for more, it reflects badly on us because we should be doing this job out of the goodness of our hearts with a view to making a positive difference in people’s lives. Asking for more goes against our compassionate, selfless natures right?
Wrong. From the start of my degree I’ve been made to feel worthless and I’m absolutely done with that. Yes I’m kind and caring, yes I try to be selfless and I will always give everything I have to those I care for, but I’m not some muddy ground for you to walk all over in your quest for I don’t quite know what.
We work hard, we work tirelessly and unlike you we do it with honesty, humility and compassion, however you will be the only one out of us to get a pay rise this year. Can you see where this might be a little unfair? Or will you just release another statement saying how we are appreciated expecting that to make us all feel a little better?
Johnson is currently offering nurses like Jessica a one per cent pay rise (which is in fact a pay cut, once inflation is taken into account. Here’s how that compares with other nations:
You can understand why nurses like Jessica are angry; why they feel they have been taken for granted and are considered to be “muddy ground” for Johnson and his like to “walk all over”.
And you can understand her reasons for being furious at being denied a pay rise while Johnson rakes in the cash for himself.
If you can see all that, can you see a way to show your support for nurses like Jessica, so they can have the pay rise they deserve for keeping us, our friends, families and loved ones alive during the Covid-19 crisis when Johnson and his cronies were doing their best to make us die?
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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