We’re all on the same page over this one, it seems.
The George Cross is the highest award that can be bestowed by the United Kingdom “for acts of the greatest heroism or for most conspicuous courage in circumstance of extreme danger” by civilians (or military personnel not in the presence of an enemy.
Today, it has been awarded to the National Health Service – not to any individuals within it, but to the organisation itself, in each of the four UK countries.
No NHS worker will receive the medal. None of them will be remotely better-off as a result of this tokenistic act.
Of course the leaders of the NHS in the different countries have made a show of it. Don’t bother watching the video if you don’t want to. I was squirming within 20 seconds…
NHS Wales has today been awarded a George Cross.
This rare award recognises the role the NHS plays in our national life, not just over the last few extremely challenging months, but every day since 1948.
NHS Wales CEO, Dr Andrew Goodall, thanks everyone who has contributed 👇 pic.twitter.com/VvXUQtyZeP
— Welsh Government #KeepWalesSafe (@WelshGovernment) July 5, 2021
Here’s a better response: accurate and to the point (it’s also full of strong language so don’t watch if that kind of thing offends you):
One poxy medal for the NHS not one each one for all of them Nurses can’t eat metal. From the fckn hopeless to the fckn dangerous to the fckn unhinged pic.twitter.com/WmC5owRaFU
— ARTIST TAXI DRIVER (@chunkymark) July 5, 2021
Let’s break it down a bit. What good does this symbolic award achieve?
You can’t eat George Crosses, can you? Most banks won’t accept them as mortgage payments, and few landlords will take them as rent, I imagine.
— Paul Bernal (@PaulbernalUK) July 5, 2021
Good points by Paul Bernal – but academic, as no NHS employee has actually received one.
Alastair Campbell gets closer to the aim the Tory government was hoping to achieve, I think:
George Cross for the NHS … Public: ‘great way to honour the work of so many down the years and through the pandemic.’ Government: ‘We clapped them as well so here’s hoping claps plus medal will help us get away with a pay freeze on top of the double digit cut in last decade’
— ALASTAIR CAMPBELL (@campbellclaret) July 5, 2021
Exactly. The statement appears to be: “We clapped you, and we gave a medal to your services, that your bosses can display proudly in their headquarters. What more do you want? Money? Sorry. All your getting is a bit of tin and the clap.”
Here’s what NHS staff really need:
NHS staff don’t want a medal. What they need are the following
15% pay increase
Free Car parking at Hospitals
More support & equipment
But most of all; people to campaign to fight back against the privatisation of the NHS
— paula peters (@paulapeters2) July 5, 2021
The contrast between what’s needed and what’s provided is stark – and insulting.
And we all know it:
NHS rewarded with the George Cross and a BBQ at 10 Downing Street; who needs money when you’ve got a pin badge, a medal and a hot dog?.
— Have I Got News For You (@haveigotnews) July 5, 2021
So the Queen has awarded the George Cross to the NHS, which is nice, I guess, but you know what would be a much better way to reward hospital staff who risked their lives to save our lives? A 15% fucking pay rise.
— RD Hale (@RD_HaIe) July 5, 2021
Added to the clapping and the Thank You Day, is now The George Cross. Gestures have become insults. It’s 15%; ending privatisation & bringing social care into the NHS, that we demand & deserve.
— Howard Beckett (@BeckettUnite) July 5, 2021
Worse still is the injury. NHS workers can’t have their pay rise because, guess where the Tories have put the money instead? Here:
Tories have ‘given’ £12bn to private sector instead of pumping it into our drowning NHS.
— Mel (@melaniekmelvin) July 4, 2021
How sad that not one of the NHS bosses has had the courage to tell HM The Queen to take her piece of tin and shove it so far into Boris Johnson that he’ll need surgery to remove it.
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