Stoke on Trent
30th May 2022
PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE – SUE GRAY REPORT
I witnessed a performance worthy of “Private Pike” when my MP for Stoke on Trent South, Jack Brereton, spoke in the debate about the conduct of our nation’s Prime Minister during the Covid Pandemic. Defending his leader’s behaviour with a juvenile and vicious little snipe at the opposition leaders he clearly believed this somehow made it okay for his Leader to break not just “rules” but the “law”. His rejection of Sue Gray’s report brilliantly illuminates his political outlook. While we were adhering to the laws severely restricting our behaviours his mate’s decadent cavorting should go unpunished. If ever there was a demonstration of the “Us and Them” of politics this is it. And it matters because those laws had a massive impact on peoples’ lives. Being one of “them”, representing people in workplace discipline procedures for decades, I understand the inevitability of anyone found in possession of alcohol in their workplace facing disciplinary investigation with equal certainty that consumption of it there would bring a charge of gross misconduct and dismissal whatever the mitigation offered. I cannot understand how an event to celebrate someone leaving their employment with food and drink could be defined as anything other than a “social event” to be conducted outside the workplace – but these events, no less illegal than those of the sleazy Soho of the 1960s – could only, similarly, have taken place behind those closed doors in order to conceal them. The contempt they have demonstrated for “us” I feel for “them”.
Retired Members Section
North Staffs Branch
Communication Workers Union (CWU)