At the time of writing this column, 30 of the Prime Minister’s Government frontbenchers have resigned and by the time you read this article, many more could have handed in their resignations including the Prime Minister himself!
As Boris Johnson continues to head from one disaster to the next, with a host of resignations from his own MPs and support from his own Ministers falling quicker than a set of dominoes, his disastrous time in Government will be symbolised by sleaze, austerity, lies and relentless attacks on the working-class.
We will never forget how Boris Johnson and friends partied in Westminster whilst the rest of the country was making the most difficult of sacrifices imaginable. What we have had over the last few years is a Government that has used the Covid Pandemic, to maximise profits for their cronies and to undermine workers rights.
This Tory Government is underpinned by hypocrisy and unfairness.
We knew that Boris Johnson’s time in charge would be centred on one rule for us, one rule for them – though the scale of the lies and incompetence was hard to predict!
Whilst the Tories continued jeering at each other it is our communities that are suffering from their failures.
Boris Johnson at PMQs speculated about the reasons people want him to resign – well it’s quite clear why the country, his MPs and even his cabinet all want him to resign – we are all fed up with his lies and incompetence.
We will never forget this Tory Government who have left so many people without a decent quality of living. We will never forget their lack of financial support to our health service which has left many of our local services on life support.
And we will never forget their attacks on our public services.
Yet our communities are resilient and we will demand better – last month the Jarrow Rebel festival brought campaigners and communities together and this weekend marks the return of the fabulous Durham Miners’ Gala for the first time in three years.
The Big Meeting has been sorely missed by our communities across the North East and I can’t wait to join the thousands who will descend upon Durham on Saturday.
The Gala, a great trade union and community celebration, is always a wonderful spectacle, with anthems played by the brass bands and the colourful, imposing banners from the mining community, all of whom carry defiant messages of solidarity, have never been as symbolic after the hugely difficult times many of us have endured during the pandemic.
Standing together with the trade unions from across the country will be those who represent Britain’s Covid heroes.
Earlier this week, we celebrated the 74th birthday of the NHS. Over the last couple of years, it has had to work for us like never before. We owe a huge debt of gratitude for our NHS heroes who have put their lives on the line to support the country throughout these testing times. Today I raised in parliament the issues with North East Ambulance Services, the investigation into cover ups with details being withheld from the coroners in as many as 90 cases and the waiting times for ambulances and A and E – waiting times that can and have had devastating consequences for individuals and staff unable to provide quality care – of course you cannot look at the rise in waiting times in isolation.
This Government instead of investing in our NHS and staff are insisting staff take a real terms pay cut and attacking Staff sick pay – our NHS cannot sustain the current level of attacks from this Government and inevitably it is going to be both staff and patients who will suffer. It is a disgrace that the government are attacking workers that are keeping us going through covid – workers putting themselves at risk every day going to work to protect us – called heroes one minute and vilified the next.
In Durham this weekend, I’ll be joining the nurses who worked tirelessly on the frontline in the most difficult of circumstances; the care workers who looked after the most vulnerable in our communities; and all of those unsung heroes on the frontline who kept our country going.
These are the same people who continue to suffer from low levels of pay that leaves them, like so many others, struggling to keep up with the spiralling cost of living. Many other workers have been left with no choice but to turn to a food bank which is the biggest indictment of this Government and its disastrous time in power.
It’s been a long time coming but I for one can’t wait for the return of the Durham Miners’ Gala which will signal hope, unity, and a host of communities who will stand proud to say to this Conservative Government that enough is enough. I hope to see some of you there!