Now then, as a union rep in a busy Runcorn warehouse with 1K employees I often dealt with disciplinary cases. I loved it. Harsh and quick education, with the working future of the member resting with me. No small thing this, the responsibility rested heavily with me, I hated the thought of somebody going home to tell the other half that they were now unemployed. A long evolution took place with me, eventually you cottoned on to the fact that sometimes dismissal was warranted. Heavy stuff.
More often than not, that was not the case, the dismissal was to me, unnecessary. So, the fine tooth comb came out and long tussles ensued. Both myself and the HR Dept embarked upon meticulous procedures, and in fairness both sides were constantly learning. They evolved as well. As things developed over a period of time, things reached the stage where the latest offence from the member was not the one that triggered the ultimate sanction. The record would be gone through, and most dismissals were based upon a number of incidents. This was infact perfectly fair. It suggested that anyone going through the gate had made an effort to get there. Made my job hell at times.
So, why am I going on about this ? Here's why. Let us put forward that our current Government is the member, and we are in a disciplinary hearing along the lines of the ones I used to be a part of. Please keep in mind the "trigger" procedure I outline above.
Also, it is fair to say that the Govt is batting on a very sticky wicket, YOU are the Hearing Officer, at the end of this piece YOU will make your own call.
Before the virus hit us so devastatingly the NHS had been going through what can best be described as a "Transitional Period", as in moving from being a national safety net for the sick to a slick profitable organisation. My point here is that this would be acceptable if the profit making sections ploughed those lucrative benefits back into the organisation, this was not to be the case and will not be the case.
So, point one, the NHS was in no state to cope with the current dire circumstances.
Some Tory voices point to Blair and his PFI stuff, irrelevant. 10 years of Tory rule negate this. Your call ?
At the beginning of this Virus, the PM spoke jovially of "Taking it on the chin", at which point he kick started a period of doing nothing. He even, jovial character that he is, boasted of visiting Covid19 patients in a hospital and shaking hands with just about everyone. Then he contracted the virus, probably spread it all round the place and retreated to a hideaway. This actually was the thing to do, given that he had been announced as having CV19. At a later juncture it came out that he did NOT have the virus. This I just do not understand. Again- your call ?
During this period of doing nothing, a couple of things stand out. A football match at Anfield and a horse racing event at Cheltenham. Whilst all this was going on, the Govt proceeded to do not a lot. We will never know what effect those sporting events have had. It is somewhat telling that Gloucestershire has a relatively high infection rate. It is dramatically high compared to the rest of the South West. Your call ?
Days and weeks ticked by, the Govt stuck to its "Herd Immunity" mantra. The virus established itself in the UK population. Medical experts flanked the PM at daily briefings, the plan did not change. The death toll grew. Overly self confident and inexperienced Ministers continued to trot out the same old stuff. All over the globe learned experts spoke out, the WHO was ignored. Time after time the likes of Peston were shredded on national TV by these experts. The Govt continued to do not a lot. Your call ?
Ventilators cropped up on the news channels. We did not have nearly enough. This was huge. Or it should have been. The Govt just batted it away with its usual overly self confident and arrogant, dismissive tone that Cameron first used in his days. Then PPE forced its way into the headlines. It staggered the nation that the ones treating the stricken were short of what are actually life saving uniforms. In this case the lives being saved-or not- being those of the medics. It gets worse, as soon as this became apparent many UK businesses , small medium and large, jumped into action and tooled up to provide whatever could be asked for. They kept on working, in some cases investing in new machinery and actually recruiting staff. Some even said that they would produce the goods at cost. Truly is Bulldog spirit stuff this . All sorts of smile inducing things came to light. The Govt refused. Plus, the EU put together a scheme to pool resources and one way or another get hold of plenty of everything. The UK could have taken part in this scheme. Due to not wanting to make the EU look good, the Govt refused. The Govt puts forward that an Email was lost, the EU says differently. We could still enrol in this procurement scheme. Your call ?
Those businesses which leapt at the chance to dig us out, are now exporting the stuff they make to other countries. At this point I request a brief break while you consider this last point. Your call ?
NHS staff started to die. Some of them may well have died regardless of the PPE they were wearing. I rather doubt that. The WHO has certain standards of kit that should be supplied to medical staff. The Govt trumpets that all of a sudden they are supplying oodles of the stuff. They neglect to inform us how much of it is WHO rated. I suspect much of it is not and that this is due to saving money. At the expense of lives. This is perfectly illustrated by the "Turkish Airlift" episode. They Govt rushed to announce this miracle achievement, putting forward that despite the entire world being hungry for PPE they had secured 84 tonnes of life saving kit. The plane eventually arrived days late at Brize Norton carrying three crates, or 41 tonnes. Your call ?
Daily mortality figures have become the focus of the nation. This should be the one thing that is delivered with absolute honesty. Everyone in this country deserves to know these numbers. Instead we get the, now normal, falsified figures. All along this sorry episode the old have been excluded. All those dying alone in care homes have been excluded. It is reasonably reckoned that the actual numbers are 40% higher than those provided. We do not know who within Govt took the decision to do this. Your call ?
The Govt used the conversion of a conference centre in London to claim a new hospital had been built. They made all sorts of grandiose claims to make the whole thing seem like a miracle. They claimed 4K beds, 16K staff, this they put forward, was a whole new phase in the dynamic approach of the Govt to conquering the virus. As usual truth dawned and the following came to light. Any patient referred to this place had to bring the required staff with them, along with the required kit. In other words, it represented a drain on proper hospitals. Any staff at the place were fast tracked medical students or those who had come out of retirement. Here's a thing regarding returnees, the partners of any returnee who dies whilst in service will not receive the Death in Service Grant.
Cold hard truth, any partner or child of a deceased returnee could lose around 83% of pension payments, and could reasonably expect to lose 50%. Your Call ?
Finally, this is breathtaking. This Govt used over 100 hundred fake twitter accounts, supposedly from real nurses, to bolster support for their questionable approach to the virus. They actually used pics of real nurses in these deceptions. It appears that these deceptions originated within the Department of Health and Social Care and all came from one person. This sort of brazen lies became the way under Cameron. Your call ?
There we have it. I would not want to be tasked with trying to defend any of that. This is one case where I would request a meeting with the Hearing Officer and put forward that I would represent but not defend. Politics in recent times has become a sewer level game of who can get away with the most untruths. Justice and honour demand that only the truth will do. One last time for now, YOUR call ?
Thanks for looking in. Please help by passing this stuff on.
Society not Economy.