As Britain emerges from lockdown, the government is projecting an image of optimism – but inequality was at crisis levels long before Covid-10 and poverty can be as bad for public health as any pandemic.
After the First World War, David Lloyd George promised ‘a fit country for heroes.’ The carers at the frontline of Covid-19 deserve the same commitment – because when Britain looks after our health system, we all benefit.
The NHS crisis didn’t begin with Covid-19 — years of outsourcing, competitiveness reforms, and obsessions over ‘efficiency’ have decimated the public health service.
After clapping for NHS staff and calling them heroes, the government is proposing to give nurses a pay increase of just £3.50 per week – it’s time for a real reward that would end hardship in our health service.
The government is pinning all of its hopes on vaccine rollout – but by refusing to take effective measures to ensure the lower-paid can stay home in the meantime, they are guaranteeing further weeks of Covid disaster.
The 2020 Marmot Review shows the impact of health inequality in England’s Covid deaths. Challenging it will require a new kind of health policy – one that looks beyond the NHS to broader social ills.
Britain has been one of the world’s worst hit states for Covid-19 deaths, and it’s no accident. Public health cuts have left deep inequalities – and the areas most impacted have the highest death tolls.
The coming vaccine has Britain dreaming of post-Covid life – but the Tory government’s record on messaging, test and trace, and protecting the vulnerable doesn’t bode well for the roll-out.
Corporate management tactics – and the mantra to ‘do more with less’ – claimed to be cutting waste from the NHS, but what they actually cut was resilience and its ability to deal with crises like Covid-19.
Today marks 10 years since the first Coalition austerity budget. The last decade showed that austerity can be worse for the economy than any recession – but the government is determined to ignore the lesson.
The NHS was already in crisis before coronavirus, now research shows 300,000 of its workers want to leave – any end to the lockdown has to put their safety first, and commit to real investment in improving conditions.
The portrayal of Aberfan in Netflix’s ‘The Crown’ teaches the audience to judge the establishment based on its reaction to working-class disasters – rather than its complicity in their causes.