I’LL hum it if you can play it.
You know the one – about the Government clapping for the frontline workers it hailed as “brave”, as Boris Johnson did last April, and “heroic”, as he did last July.
Then knifing them in the back when it comes to either paying them properly for their service or prioritising them for the coronavirus vaccine.
Or, worse, ignoring them as Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to do in this week’s Budget.
The police know all about the Government’s penchant for making promises with fingers crossed behind its back. In November, Daren Egan, Chairman of Sussex Police Federation, lashed out at the Government’s pay freeze as “a betrayal of all their hard work and sacrifice made policing the Covid-19 pandemic”.
Last August, Johnson described teachers as “incredible” for going beyond the call to get kids back to school.
By November that praise was all a distant memory.
Teachers and police are rapidly coming to terms with the reality that they will have to continue doing their jobs without the peace of mind of priority for the jab.
It brings to mind the faux Downing Street concern at the rising Covid death toll within the black and Asian communities – only for both demographics to be left out of the Government’s priority lists. For ministers to then lecture the very people it had passed over about the
dangers of going unvaccinated – after all the death and heartbreak of last spring – is quite something.
Met Police commissioner Cressida Dick summed up the sense of deception felt by the officers continually used as PR props by Johnson and his ministers.
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Dick said: “In many other countries, police officers and law enforcement colleagues are being prioritised and I want my officers to get the vaccine. I am baffled really. This is a critical service, and to keep other people safe, we need to keep the police safe.”
Thankfully, our police and teachers are motivated by a commitment to care. The last 12 months have made clear it is the politicians who do not care about them.