Socialist Worker

Patel’s pretend praise for NHS migrant workers is so pitiful

Issue No. 2705

Priti Patel is fine to let overseas workers pay for their healthcare while they risk their lives

Priti Patel is fine to let overseas workers pay for their healthcare while they risk their lives (Pic: flickr)


Just a few short weeks ago home secretary Priti Patel was showering praise on migrants working in health and social care.

Their “extraordinary ­contribution” would be recognised she said while ­hinting that the huge fees they must pay to use the NHS would be “reviewed”.

The absurdity of ­overseas health workers putting ­themselves at risk in British hospitals—but having to pay for the “privilege” of using it—proved too embarrassing, even for Patel.

The immigration health ­surcharge is part of the Tories’ “hostile environment” policy. It’s due to it rising from £400  to £624 a year in October.

However, Tory contrition is not known to survive more than three weeks. On Saturday, as soon as the home secretary felt she could get away with it, her office sneaked out a tweet.

“It is wrong to suggest the home secretary said there would be a formal review into this policy,” it said.


Rabidly anti-muslim ­attitudes among the Tories run from the top to the bottom of their filthy party. 

From former prime ­minister David Cameron’s claim that London mayor Sadiq Khan is an Isis supporter to Boris Johnson’s talk of veiled Muslim women looking like “bank robbers” its clear that this fish is ­rotting from its head.

So you’d think that with the Equality and Human Rights Commission having an entire filing cabinet’s worth of Conservative cases to investigate they’d be keen to get going

After all, didn’t they chomp at the bit to investigate claims of antisemitism in the Labour Party

Apparently not. The ­watchdog last week dropped plans to launch an inquiry and instead gave a big thumbs up to Tory plans to investigate itself

Perhaps the Tory inquiry will start with Downing Street chief of staff Dominic Cummings

He was responsible for the hard right Spectator magazine’s website when it published a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad with a bomb in his turban.

Will nobody think of the super‑rich in these days of crisis?

The world’s wealthiest hop from one country to another so as to avoid taxes a normal person would pay. But now tax advisors say closed borders are causing havoc.

Thousands of wealthy individuals are trapped into staying where they are—and as such are liable for normal taxes.


More invisible victims of the virus.

The German state has been forced to apologise after wiping Israel off a map published as a part of a military report. 

The Military Counterintelligence Service, has apologised after its annual report displayed Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories in the same colour as neighbouring Jordan.


Hapless Hancock’s app gets you sacked

Hapless health secretary Matt Hancock’s new smart phone app was designed to keep health and care workers up to date on the latest Covid-19 guidance. But it’s run into trouble just days after release.

The GMB union has urged its members not to use it after discovering that bosses can use it to eavesdrop into what most thought were private chats.

Rehana Azam, the union’s national secretary, said, “Health and care workers are terrified of speaking out about the lack of PPE.

“Now the government launches an app that slaps their private data all over the place for anyone to see. 

“Bosses can quite easily use it to spy on workers, see what they’re saying and potentially sanction them.”


What is happening to the data from virus kits used on essential workers? 

It’s supposed to go to local authorities so they know how many positive tests there have been in their area.

But NHS sources complain that it is “disappearing into a black hole”.


Hit hard by virus? Bank on the royals

Mortgage firms are offering some hard‑hit borrowers reduced payments. But few who owe money will get an offer like the one that came from Bank De Royals.

Prince Harry and Princess Megan took £2.4 million from the queen to do up their already luxurious mansion in Windsor.

But now, having de-camped to the lucrative US celebrity market, they have to give the money back.

No need to worry though. Despite having millions in the bank, they’ve got 11 years to clear the debt.


How did Prince Andrew end up as the monster that he now clearly is?

A new “psychological profile” biography says we can quite safely blame the parents.

It recalls that with the family settled to watch Coronation Street—Troublemaker finds this unlikely—he shouted, “Oh god! Look at the common people.”


The British billionaires on state handouts 

At least 20 British billionaires have benefited from the government’s furlough scheme since it was launched in March.

And five of the richest ten own companies that have furloughed workers. 

Sir Jim Ratcliffe—best known to Socialist Worker readers as the owner of polluting fossil fuel company Ineos—furloughed most of the staff at The Pig Hotel chain, which he co-owns.

The Weston family, which owns Primark clothing brand, is worth £10.53 billion but has put tens of thousands of workers on furlough.


TOFF OF THE WEEK- JAMES DYSON

Dyson boss this week reached No.1 on Sunday Times Rich List.

Multi-billionaire vacuum cleaner salesman and Tory donor is rolling in cash.

The Britain-loving patriot ploughed cash into a right wing Brexit campaign.

He relocated his Dyson firm to Singapore and so cut its tax bill


Hey snowflakes, do as I say but not as I do... 

Olivia Utley is the Sun newspaper’s fearless “youth” columnist who does not shy away from talkin’ trash ’bout her generation.

Stepping into the hate‑filled shoes of Richard Littlejohn last week she penned a diatribe headlined, “It’ll do our spoiled young Remainers good to remain in Britain for the summer holidays”

Utley’s joyful reaction to lockdown doesn’t sit so well with some of her previous Tweets though.

Back in August last year, she wrote, “Really enjoyed my BBC Papers debut... Now off to France for a week... Goodbye.”


Things they say

‘The ship is sinking’

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro thinks his time is up. His thoughts were revealed in a leaked tape  

‘I’m not going to wait for [the police] to fuck my family and friends’

Bolsonaro mulls his exit

‘If it’s not safe enough for fans inside a stadium why should it be safe for players?’

Watford captain Troy Deeney is against restarting the season—and footballers using tests best saved for care workers

‘Most days I come across a person who has “barn door” Covid-19 symptoms but a negative result

Doctor Nick Summerton on research showing a third of coronavirus tests wrongly give patients the all clear

‘He’s following government advice to work from home’

Royal Mail spokesperson on former boss Rico Black who ‘resigned’ from the company last week and was then spotted at Lake Zurich in Switzerland


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