Rachel Clarke: Now we health workers know how empty Boris Johnson’s ‘clap for heroes’ really was

When the NHS saved his life last April, Boris Johnson could not have reacted more fulsomely on social media. “Our NHS is the beating heart of this country,” he waxed lyrical in a widely posted video. “It is the best of this country. It is unconquerable. It is powered by love.” The prime minister made a point of singling out two of his intensive care nurses by name, Luis Pitarma and Jenny McGee, whose courage, devotion and duty left him struggling “to find words to express my debt”.

Those of us risking our lives at the time – making the daily choice to brave hospital wards, general practices and care homes steeped in Covid – watched askance as the media lapped it up. We remembered all too well the footage in 2017 of Conservative MPs in the House of Commons literally cheering as they voted down a proper pay rise for nurses. Boris Johnson was, of course, among them, as were Rishi Sunak, Matt Hancock and the rest of the current cabinet.

Full story in The Guardian, 5 March 2021