I watched agog as Nadim Zahawi went on the media rounds to brief – predictably- against our brave nurses and their strike action. With zero sense of self-awareness, he tried to paint their reasonable request to be paid what they are worth as “unfair” and “unpatriotic”, even at one point claiming it was “playing into Putin’s hands”.
What utter rot; nobody is going to believe his vitriolic rantings, especially from a man who claimed thousands of pounds to heat his stables and who chairs a party that took millions of pounds from Russians with connections to Putin.
When is that money being paid back, by the way? Perhaps all MPs who took the devil’s shilling should donate the money to rebuild Ukraine?
The fact of the matter is that nurses are striking because they have taken a real time pay cut of many thousands of pounds over the past 12 years, whilst the richest in society have siphoned billions of the national assets in to offshore accounts to avoid tax.
It’s high time that tax loopholes were closed, the richest paid their fair share and the money was put back into the pockets of those who kept the nation running through the pandemic. Never forget that some lost their own lives because dodgy MPs and peers took public money to provide PPE that did not work!
Workers spend money which flows into the economy: give the nurses a pay rise and the economy will improve and tax revenues will increase. the increases will basically pay for themselves.
If all of the nurses disappeared tomorrow society would grind to a halt. In sharp contrast, if billionaires disappeared tomorrow nobody would notice, in fact we would all definitely be better off in their absence.
Ministers should stop trying to slate and undermine our brave nurses for standing up for public safety and calling out government failures. Instead, they should get around the table, negotiate and give them the pay rise they deserve!
[Carl works in the NHS]
Editor: Zahawi also claimed that a nurse’s starting salary is £31,000. It is not. It is, on average, £22,000 and comes with student debt and the prospect of unpaid overtime and car parking charges, not to mention stress, trauma, exposure to infection, abuse and exhaustion.