Is there anyone alive who is surprised that ex-health secretary Matt Hancock did not comply with equality duty when making top COVID appointments? Fresh from the High Court finding him guilty of dishing lucrative PPE contracts out to his friends and even his local publican, Hancock is now adjudged to have ignored race and disability when deciding on who to run the disastrous Track & Trace system that spaffed £37bn on a project that simply did not work.
As Angela Raynor, not exactly a fan of the Tories said, "Boris Johnson and his cabinet seem to find themselves on the wrong side of the law time after time," she said.
"From crony contracts to ministers' mates landing top jobs, it's always the public who pay the price for Tory sleaze. This time they have failed in their duties to those from disabled and Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities."
Matt Hancock was always going to be the fall guy, one wonders what sweetener he was offered to take the decisions he must have known would kill his career from that point on? Yet is all this skirting round the biggest issue of all? For it’s not going to bother most ethnically diverse or disabled people that they didn’t secure a high profile job working for the government, they didn’t ever expect one anyway.
What WILL bother them is that this cheating, duplicitous cretin had the power of life or death over their loved ones. For those that had cancer early in 2020? Tough. Or heart problems? Tough. Mental issues from the restrictions on movement? Tough.
What they wanted was for the NHS to pay back the trust they had put in it – and it failed. Not only did it fail, but Hancock’s decisions – like the one to close endoscopy units nationwide to out-patients condemned tens of thousands to a premature death. Did he listen to the voices that were begging for treatment or diagnosis? No, instead he listened to the likes of Neil Ferguson and his fantasy projections.
For there was the biggest transgression on the subject of equality. The great and the good were placed over the “little people” Once again, people found they were not “all in this together”. They found themselves begging for the crumbs that fell from the elites’ plates.
Those who lost loved ones as a result of his actions mostly have limited interest in whether he followed a protocol or not – they want to establish who was culpable for the deaths of their relatives and friends.
Martin Day – Party Secretary