At a time of great worry and uncertainty, the clap for heroes last spring was a welcome and lovely gesture that instilled a sense of community. However, like so many things it became steeped in fanaticism and lost its meaning. An attempt to revive it in January fell on deaf ears. Brits were all out of virtue and many had realised that in actual fact the NHS had never actually been in that much trouble all along. Only two of the half a billion pound Nightingales accepted any patients at all and an NHS spokesman quoted by the BBC recently admitted that during the second wave 'there were beds available across the country'.
We were played. The government and its media allies were desperate to maintain fear by constantly talking up the non-existent threat of hospitals being 'overwhelmed'. Now the NHS is being exploited again for political means, this time over pay.
Labour have pounced on the one per cent pay rise revealed in the Budget to boost their flagging poll ratings. Starmer dedicated PMQs to the issue earlier this week and the following day even used it to launch Labour's local election campaign, despite the fact the issue is beyond the control of local councils. He really is desperate.
The problem for the Conservatives is that they have blown billions of pounds during the pandemic and left themselves wide open for such attacks. However, as one nurse recently pointed out on BBC News - perhaps her colleagues should be grateful that they have a job when so many others are suffering. And that's it, right there. Unemployment has already crossed the 5 per cent threshold and is rising every day that this diabolical lockdown continues. The constant extension of the furlough scheme kicks the can down the road, but racks up debt that will have to repaid by pretty much everybody one way or another. No-one is getting pay rises or bonuses at the moment. We are in the deepest recession in British history and yet the unions and Labour are demanding an inflation-busting pay rise for the NHS.
All this opportunistic and emotive posturing is a gross insult to the millions who are suffering the effects of lockdown. No-one doubts that NHS workers do a great job, but that's exactly what it is - their job.
Little wonder then that the 'slow clap' protest promoted for Thursday evening dropped like a lead balloon. Watch below as Labour's Shadow Health Secretary takes part. Either he lives in an isolated rural property or not one of his neighbours joined him (and what's with those very creepy demon eyes?)
A compilation video of nurses participating in a slow clap did little to generate sympathy and harked back to the choreographed dancing videos that were popular during the first wave. Those cringeworthy videos should have told us that the 'crisis' couldn't have been that bad if our supposedly overworked nurses had time to work on dance moves and make TikTok videos. Likewise, the slow clap video features empty beds and empty corridors, but we're still told by Whitty and co that we are not out of the woods yet.
There is a virus. In fact there are many, but they are not all respiratory in nature. Greed is a virus, socialism is a virus and so is the mainstream media. Turn off before you become infected.