|Volume 50 Number 18, May 16, 2020||ARCHIVE||HOME||JBCENTRE||SUBSCRIBE|
Tomorrow people will be receiving their letters to download the app. Well, are we to roll over so easily? I think not - there will be many who say no. What is in it for Isle of Wight people who have sacrificed so much?
Lockdown, and the solidarity and support for each other that people have shown, should not have been for nothing. All of us who have supported each other, suddenly we are all to become heroes on the island and applauded, so it seems.
Big Business wants to get up and running but what about us? There isn't going to be much summer of love or tourism this year. They don't seem to care about small business either, never mind the workers, the unemployed, pensioners, students, sick or disabled.
Are they suddenly going to test everyone in care homes? Give them the PPE? Are they going to solve the problem of Social Care on the Island? Are they going to pay our carers a decent living wage? Surely this is a minimum requirement!
Are they going to upgrade St Mary's after running it down over the years? Are they going to repatriate the parts they have outsourced? Are they going to properly pay the staff?
In other words, "What is the deal?" So far there is no deal, no negotiation. You simply return to work, come out of lockdown, more than likely sacrifice lives to come out of lockdown quickly. Where is the offer, or reward? A pat on the back - for Queen and Country? Not even that.
What about the infrastructure, the fixed link to the mainland? What about other longstanding connectivity issues like an investment in Island Line or doing something about the ferries? What about the high cost of the ferries?
No homes fit for heroes or even shelter for the homeless. It won't push up house prices or provide a safe haven.
They want it all but won't even negotiate a deal. Are people simply going to trust the Tories again? If they think people are going to come out of lockdown quickly, they can think again. It won't be business as usual. I would suggest to those people with the best intentions, don't roll over so easily, don't be naÃ¯ve and don't give in too quickly to these gangster politicians. If it is a return to profit off our backs, then they should pay.
The people got organised very quickly. They set up their support group and mechanism for each other. New friends and acquaintances have been made. Don't let it go. Keep it going. Otherwise, where is the voice on social media? We need the personalities and the authority of that voice.
If they are intent, then drive a hard bargain.
Reader on the Isle of Wight