I know that I am not alone in feeling that 8 o’clock on recent Thursdays have been some of the most moving, inspiring moments we have ever seen in this country. From front steps, balconies and gardens, we have been united in our gratitude to the heroes of this crisis – the nurses, the doctors, the social care workers, the police officers, the fire service, the transport workers, the delivery drivers, and so many more than we can list here.
I do hope that those we clap for take comfort and courage from it, and know just how thankful we all are. But I wouldn’t blame them for feeling angry. I wouldn’t blame them one bit for them feeling like they don’t want a round of applause for doing their jobs, they’d rather have proper protective equipment and a proper payslip at the end of the month.
I wouldn’t blame them for being absolutely livid that some of the same Conservative MPs who now clap with so much appreciation are the very same ones who voted against their pay rise in 2017 and had the brass necks to cheer about it in the video below:
I know that some will say now is not the right time to point this out. But keyworker heroes deserve better than applause followed by silence. They deserve our respect in every single way. That has to mean, first and foremost, that every single worker gets the PPE they need. Delay is unacceptable. If we cannot protect them, how can we expect them to protect us? NHS workers, and many others, are risking their lives, day-in and day-out, and many are tragically making the ultimate sacrifice.
This must never, ever be forgotten, and when this crisis is over, we must never again fail to show just how much we value them.