Dare on care
LET Covid be a wake-up call: it’s time to sort out social care once and for all.
After two decades of hand-wringing, this country still doesn’t have a fair and well-resourced adult social care system with a properly supported workforce.
Why? Because politically, social care has always been the less glamorous cousin of the NHS.
Come election time, politicians of all stripes promise to address the crisis.
But when they get into government they invariably kick the can down the road.
And these endless delays are costing lives: care home residents were more likely to die of Covid-19 in the UK than in any other major European country bar Spain.
We know the Government has had its hands full since the election dealing first with Brexit, then with the fallout from lockdown.
But if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that social care is a huge and pressing problem which we can’t afford to ignore.
Boris Johnson has the most powerful mandate in 20 years and over four years left in power. That gives him a golden chance to reinvent the structure and funding of social care and ease pressure on the health service.
He must not squander it.
IT shames this country that modern slavery thrives in deprived pockets of UK towns and cities.
Leicester’s sweatshops — where desperate people are paid a pittance to work in horrific conditions — were an open secret long before the second Covid wave hit the city.
But everyone from the mayor to the Government turned a blind eye.
Now, we see the cost of that inaction.
If we are to “build Britain back better” — as the Prime Minister intends — he and his Government must start thinking about the quality of British employment, not just the quantity.
And if that means cracking down on profitable fast fashion companies paying taxes but bending labour laws, so be it.
West End goals
WE welcome the news that the Government is to bail out thousands of live music venues and theatres.
They need some breathing room if they are to survive the summer.
But with thousands of venues on their knees, £1.6billion will only go so far.
Which is why imaginative ideas are needed to get venues open safely, such as spraying theatregoers with disinfectant at the entrance.
It sounds odd. But anything to save panto season is surely worth a shot.
After the year we’ve had, we’ll all need a laugh come Christmas time.
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