GMB union Politics Neil Smith regional political officer

We are currently at a major crossroads in the life of this government and the future of democracy.

18 September 2020

If we lie to the government it’s a crime but when they Lie to us it it’s politics?

We are currently at a major crossroads in the life of this government and the future of democracy.

Telling Lies, law breaking and acting in bad faith are not good examples to offer up to society as a way to run a country. The knock on effect and the drive to the bottom is having and will continue to have serious implications for many parts of our nations and regions across the UK.

What messages are the government sending to young impressionable people, looking to make their way in life? That It’s ok to promote greed and nepotism and flaunt the law, if it suits your long term aims.

What are they saying to employers? Don’t worry about standing by negotiated agreements with your loyal workers, Ignore your tried and tested policies to maintain standards in equality and health and safety.

As a union we are seeing those results first hand as our reps try and stem the tide of cuts in terms, conditions and staffing levels, mainly from rogue bosses, but also from decent employers who have been undermined by government policies and actions.

They say one thing and do another, an all too common trait among the ruling elite of the day.

Such as :

  • Reneging on decent pay rises for all our NHS Heroes. 
  • Taking their eye off the ball and allowing the country to almost run out of COVID-19 test equipment. 
  • Drag their feet over ensuring test and trace is a “world beater” by handing the work to companies like SERCO.
  • Ignoring their own laws when it comes to social distancing and other rules.

This Tory government are guilty, Full of Broken promises and failed actions which are damaging enough on their own, but also further undermine the trust and confidence in government and the political system - a dangerous direction for any country to go.

Who’d have thought that we would have to point out to the minister, who happens to be our Justice Secretary, that breaking the law even in a “specific and limited way” is still breaking the law. Surely that is sufficient evidence enough to disqualify him from office.

Their excuses are mainly pathetic but even hilarious in some cases. In threatening to break international law by rejecting the Brexit agreement, we have heard from Tories that they are: “Lying in order to protect the integrity of UK.” How? By destroying any semblance of trust our international colleagues may still have in dealing with this government? They’ve shown the rest of the world they are prepared to rip up statutes that govern our trade and business.

Of course that is all bad enough, but this government promised the public as part of their election campaign something completely different and have therefore mislead the population and lied to the electorate. This surely makes them unfit to rule.

If our eyes are good enough and we look back not too far, government adviser Dominic Cummings blatantly took the piss when he publicly made the excuse that he was “testing his eyesight” in driving in the north of England and breaking government rules to control coronavirus.

They lie, we know they lie and they know we know.

Keeping the thread going - and there is an endless list - Education Secretary Gavin Williamson in trying to reassure parents, said testing would be available for schools returning from lockdown. But we now see they are only given 10 tests each, then told to use them in only exceptional circumstances and only when kids can’t access tests at home? This type of unacceptable behaviour is distorting the reality of where we are as a country and totally ignoring how government policies and practices impact on our people. But of course they know this and don’t care.

The lack of control by Parliament over the way the Covid legislation - Health Protection Amendments were brought in and implemented is another glaring example of creating a false premise to protect society. Instead they have used it to fill the coffers of their Tory pals by handing out contracts left right and centre without any accountability. The lack of PPE for the NHS and Care Homes scandal should have been enough to bring down this government. However it gets worse as they continue to give massive contracts to companies who have never been associated with manufacturing or supplying protective equipment. This nepotism, corruption and further misuse of government power is a perversion of governance and democracy.

Creating the post of head of Test and Trace for Dido Harding wife of a Tory MP and setting up, without openness or transparency, contracts for private companies like SERCO and NCO Europe (usually debt collectors) to do this essential work is dishonest, dangerous and politically scandalous.

The British public need to demand due diligence and transparency on supply chains, and company expertise in providing PPE and test and trace services as we head towards a second wave of COVID-19 and winter flu arrives to overwhelm our NHS facilities. Passing blame is their forté. Blame for the spread of Covid onto care homes, young people and anyone else they can think of and the embarrassing shambles of Brexit onto the EU can’t continue because this truth or absence of it is a matter of life and death for many folk.

Neil Smith

Political Officer

GMB North West & Irish Region