There were times when walking around Central London that it felt very surreal. So surreal that I thought I was in a bad zombie apocalypse film. Now however things are slowly returning back to the new normal. There must be a balancing of ensuring the NHS can survive and serve its role and the economic wellbeing of our Country.
I have heard many contrasting views over the past few weeks on how we should re open our economy and I firmly believe now is the time to do so. My reasons for this are simple, we cannot trash the livelihoods of millions of people and risk entering into an economic depression because we are unsure. Unfortunately certainty is a past luxury. As a nation Britain has adapted to change over thousands of years. We should not be afraid and we should embrace this new challenge, because a challenge it is. Locking the population down for months to come is not an option - if we take this approach more lives will be lost to poverty and despair.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the disease Covid-19 is a highly infectious disease, however when I walk through Paddington station and find more station staff than commuters something is drastically wrong!
There are many ways to re-open the economy without endangering lives pubs were rarely packed and the death of the high street was the narrative we constantly heard prior to the pandemic. Regional lockdowns are another example on how we can get back to normal. If a particular area has a spike of the R rate then we cannot be afraid to enforce regional lockdowns. How can we justify locking down London and putting a stop to one of the largest economies of the World because the R rate is rising in Liverpool?
What I will say to my colleagues who are Local Authority Leaders is please consult medical experts on how they feel we can open up the economy as I’m sure you will get better ideas than simply placing copious bottles of alcohol gel through their County. I and many of my colleagues who worked on the front line have many ideas and a collaborative approach would truly ensure Britain is ready to face the next chapter in the pandemic.
Unfortunately the Welsh Labour Government is even further behind with not even a timeline when Business can re-open. Cruelly separating its citizens and enforcing a 5 mile rule when such little testing for the disease is being done is one of the scandals of the pandemic.
Having worked in the NHS during the crisis I have first-hand knowledge on how resilient the NHS is. Over countless winters we have heard of how the NHS is in crisis and will not survive another what a load of utter rubbish and left wing media propaganda this has been. The NHS has survived and showed what its made of over these last few months so lets not go back to hearing false and misleading stories in future and be truly proud of it. It does not belong to one party it belongs to our Country.
At the start of the crisis I was appalled to hear the Labour Party say that it wants ‘lavish London Private Hospitals’ to close and the NHS to take them over to help. Well, the government as we knew did far more than this and its high time we de-politicised healthcare and rejected this Labour bile.
I have many stories to share about the compassion and the heartache I witnessed but these stories are now academic. We need to move forward into this new era and welcome innovation, re-ignite our economy offering prosperity and opportunity to all.
Gavin Chambers, Chair of Islwyn Conservative Association and 2019 General Election Conservative candidate for Islwyn