I’m in awe of the people who are leading the fight against covid-19 in our hospitals and care centres. They aren’t receiving the PPE and testing they need from our bloody Gov’t but they keep working to keep us alive and too many of them are paying the ultimate sacrifice. Never will they be taken for granted again I hope. And let’s not forget our other key workers like postmen, refuse collectors, delivery and transport drivers, retail store workers, teachers and many more who are battling on, keeping essential life still available to us
I don’t know yet what I can do to say thank you to them properly but I’ll find something. Maybe this is a start. I demur in the face of people like Captain Tom who has captured the public imagination, which is delightful. But I haven’t contributed as I don’t do charity because I think it’s a failure of Government action and we should be challenging them not bailing them out. It must sound heartless but I’m not without caring. I do stand on the step every Thursday evening at 8pm to applaud all these wonderful people but I now feel like it’s a bit tokenist to be honest. The first night it happened felt quite spontaneous and I’m sure the NHS staff must have got a little buzz to feel that such a public outpouring of support was just for them, for once. It must have been reassuring for them but what they really need is stuff not happy-clappy sentiment.
And that brings me to the point of my posting really as I’m watching the BBC’s One World – Together at Home tv programme in support of the NHS and other key workers. I know they aren’t asking for personal donations (I’m led to believe the organisers have invited major corporations to make substantial contributions but no details are offered on how that’s gone) but is it, you know, helpful and welcome to the front line workers? Now I’m absolutely sure there are many people out there saying how wonderful it is for celebrity singers to warble their songs of support from home. But am I alone in finding it slightly excruciating? For one thing many many celebs are just breaking their bones in a desperate effort to present themselves publicly at the moment and some of this prog smacks of it. I’ve never heard so many songs being murdered by their originators. Sir Paul McCartney just about crucified whatever it was he wrote so many years ago. I disliked most of it apart from the Stones, perhaps because seeing them perform unplugged was so unusual (though Keith looked particularly unbolted). The presenters were all insincerity and fawning.
I don’t know, maybe I’m just being overly cynical (though having watched Tom Jones’ rendition I’m not so sure). How is this helping at all? Do our frontline guys get the support they bloody need and deserve because Sir Elton sang a song in his garden and couldn’t be bothered to move the kids play stuff? If the BBC was really serious about the situation and not just looking for a Sunday Night at the Stars’ Homes Palladium wank off, I would have preferred something harder hitting to be frank. Filming Matt Hancock helping out for a week-end at a busy hospital or care centre missing half of its staff because of self-isolation would be more illuminating than listening to Little Mix’s deeply-informed views on the health service and their spine-chilling a capella version of Touch.
Come on BBC you are the national broadcaster. Get a spine and on behalf of us all start using your airtime to challenge this Gov’t on their record dealing with the worst, hardest, cruellest, most virulent pandemic we have faced, possibly, in centuries. You have a bloody duty to stand up for our key workers with exacting rigour and scrutiny not fucking celebrity pandering.