We don’t need no stinking badges

Faced with persistent calls for health and care workers to receive the personal protection equipment and the coronavirus tests which they so urgently need, let no one say that the British government hasn’t been listening. The problem is that it’s been listening to something else entirely, and that something else appears to be the sound that Matt Hancock’s fingers make as he sticks them in his ears and goes la-la-la. Instead of offering health and care workers the things that they’ve been screaming for to help keep them safe as they save our lives and the lives of the likes of Boris Johnson, Matt is instead going to give them all a nice shiny badge. A badge. A… Badge… Can I just ask the Health Secretary a follow up question please – “A fucking badge?”

It’s like the worst episode of Blue Peter ever. And at the next government press conference we can expect a Conservative minister to present us with the tinsel wrapped corpse of a dead care worker propped up on an empty squeedgie bottle and proudly announce, “Here’s one I killed earlier.” This is an object lesson in what happens if you don’t make sure that you get a responsible adult to govern you, kids. Matt wants us to know that if a care worker contracts coronavirus and dies, then their relatives can get one of his shiny badges to put on the coffin. Isn’t that grand? Why, that will make them feel so much better. You can just feel the appreciation oozing out of them as they try to make some personal protection equipment out of a binbag and a pair of marigolds. There are a million things that hard pressed care workers would far rather have received than a pat on the head from Matt Hancock.

The announcement was met with incredulity, the sort you get when you’re expecting to be rescued from a desert island and a drunk guy paddles past you waving from his pedalo before disappearing off over the horizon to tell everyone in the hotel bar how very brave you are. Badges are for boy scouts, girl guides, people who attend sci-fi conventions, members of the Socialist Workers’ Party, and the Sheriff of Tombstone. Care workers would much rather have a living wage and the equipment that they need to do their jobs without dying. Every health and care worker in the land is now reenacting that scene from Blazing Saddles. We don’ need no steenking badges. All they want is to be able to do their jobs safely and with dignity, and what the UK gives them is clapping and a badge. Next time MPs say that they want a pay rise, tell them that they can have a badge instead.

The French have given out €1500 as a bonus to their healthcare workers as a small token in recognition of the sacrifices and risks that they take for the common good. In the UK they get a badge. Or to give it the correct term by which is now widely spread on social media and in hospitals, health centres, and care homes across the UK: WTF A Badge? Unless this badge says “Boris Johnson is an absolute roaster,” it’s highly unlikely that many health and care workers are going to wear it with pride. However it seems that the actual wording on this so-called care badge will be CARE in large letters with The Tories Don’t written above it in italics. A badge. Someone should make a range of badges for care workers, and indeed anyone else who wants one, saying “I’ve been patronised by Matt Hancock” in a range of attractive pastel colours.

It’s not even a new badge. It’s not as though this is the care worker equivalent of the medals won by members of the armed services. This is just the rebranding of an initiative that was launched last year to total and complete indifference. And this was the high point of the entire press conference, the grand finale to which Matt had been leading up. It’s probably not even available for care workers in Scotland and Wales.

Care workers are low paid, hard pressed. They work long hours for little recognition, performing highly skilled and extremely stressful jobs dealing with vulnerable people who have complex and demanding needs. A high percentage are working class women who go home from their demanding jobs which pay a pittance and have demanding home lives looking after children or older relatives. A high percentage are ethnic minorities who are subject to racist abuse from some of the Brexit loving British exceptionalists who put this pathetic bunch of inadequates in power. A high percentage are migrants, who are demonised and traduced by that same Tory government that now wants to fob them off with a badge. These are the very same people who just a few months ago Priti Patel dismissed as low skilled workers who are not valued by the British state and whose immigration status is to be subject to the racist whims of the Daily Mail. But now they’ve got a badge. Isn’t that great.

At the beginning of April Matt had announced a five pillar plan to increase testing. The core of this was that testing would ramp up during the month. Sadly for Matt, and even more sadly for the rest of us, none of the commitments which Matt or his government have made in previous announcements have been kept. He told us just a short while ago that by the middle of April there would be 25,000 tests being carried out daily. The actual number is still only 16,000, a long way short of what was promised. The same Matt Hancock had promised by that by the end of this month there would be 100,000 tests being carried out. On current form that target is going to be missed by a substantial margin. But never mind. There’s a badge. It’s shiny. Just like Matt. And if you stick your finger on the back of it you’ll get a little prick. It’s called Matt.

During the press conference, Matt seemed unable to give any answers to what criteria the government was going to use to end the lockdown. He’d have been as well saying “I haven’t got a clue, but here’s a badge.” Although to be honest that’s pretty much a fair summary of what actually transpired. We’re being governed by patronising idiots. Maybe instead of a badge care workers could get a living wage, decent working conditions, and the equipment that they need to do their jobs without putting their own health and the health of their families at risk. But no. Matt’s giving them a badge and a round of applause. That’s the British state all over. It expects ordinary people to sacrifice and to die, and in return it pretends to care, it patronises, and it offers a shiny worthless bauble. And then it gets back to the serious business of making the rich richer.

And finally, because we could all do with some cheering up during these difficult times… There are real heroes. And none of them are in the British government.

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47 comments on “We don’t need no stinking badges

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug We don’t need no stinking badges Faced with persistent calls for health and care workers to receive the personal […]

  2. Hamish100 says:

    BBC news. I guy called Kilgour from care home company criticising government. Is this the same guy whose companies have donated to the tories? If this is the case shouldn’t the BBC have told us? Separately and a wider argument private companies are responsible to run their care homes safely. Training of staff, provision of PPE, care of residents lies with them. Too many of them are washing their hands saying , who me?
    From experience many care home owners drive top of the range BMW’s while they pay this staff at the lowest levels. This must change.

    • Golfnut says:

      A recent inspection of Care homes in Scotland reported that all Care homes in Scotland complied with the statutory requirements, not so in England, where about 80 failed.
      Part of that Statutory requirement is the supply of PPE.

    • Alasdair Macdonald says:

      Hamish, Mr Kilgour is, indeed, a Tory. He is a long term donor to funds and also a pro-union activist. He was allowed to make a speech criticising the SG and Jeanne Freeman, with only perfunctory questions which were essentially teeing up the next section of his ‘speech’.

      Interestingly, the Morning Star, which is as baleful about Scottish independence as the Mail, Express or Telegraph, gave his statement uncritical coverage, but omitted to say he was a Tory.

  3. Michael says:

    Nice one, Paul. To be pedantic – I can’t help it! – the ‘steenking badges’ sequence in Blazing Saddles is an homage to the film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, in which the expression is famously used by a Mexican bandit.

  4. Ah, the Treasures of the Sierra Madre…

  5. deelsdugs says:

    An emotionally charged post with a heartwarming runny nose video Paul.

  6. Macart says:

    All of that. Well said.

    The same government historically hell bent on dismantling the NHS. The same government which, only two years ago, denied the health service a much needed pay rise. That government now expects a service they’ve treated so dismally and for so very long, to step up and save their collective arses.

    Thing is. They’ll do that anyway. It’s what they do. They’ll do it despite being under funded, under staffed and under equipped. They’ll do it despite being ill prepared because they know what a duty of care is actually all about.

    What they require of government, is that said policy gonks show the same level of dedication, professionalism and CARE as they do.

    Mind you. We’re talking about a Tory central government, so badges, a clap and a simply super meeja campaign sounds about right.

  7. David Agnew says:

    A badge. That’s all these people are worth to these pinchfisted coin clippers. A worthless fucking badge. No equipment. No additional resources. No extra money. No respect.

    Just a cheap badge.

    Like “Herd immunity” these fuckers wrote off Tens of thousands because they’d rather see your granny die than spend anything to save her. Now they’re going to reward the people desperately trying to save them in spite of the tories, with a little badge.

    Waiting for the tories in Scotland, to be photographed standing around recycling bins, singing how shite it is to be Scottish.

    “Illness is neither an indulgence for which people have to pay, nor an offence for which they should be penalised, but a misfortune the cost of which should be shared by the community.” – A. Bevan

    “Many people will lose loved ones. Take it on the chin” – Boris Johnson

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. J. K. Galbraith

  8. Keith Roberts says@ 7.48.
    The phrase was actually :
    “We don’t need no stinking watches”in the movie, and while chief Bandito was swinging the watch in front of an apprehensive Humphrey Bogart, his unseen pal struck the timepiece with a bullet.
    Metephorically speaking,if Hancock’s the bandit and the watch is his inept amatuer handling of this crisis, we need to be that bullet.

  9. Ken2 says:

    If the Tories had not cut essential healthcare funding. The healthcare services would be in a better state. Careless imbeciles. They are clueless beyond belief. Total hypocrites. Is it only when they are at death’s door they care a damn about the health service, healthcare or the people working there.

    The Westminster unionists are a cabal of heartless corruption. More monies wasted on a useless medal trinket. Instead of being put to good use genuinely helping the healthcare workers. Giving them more support that they need. Instead of running down the essential services for years.

    Spending £Billion of wasted monies on HS2, Hickley Point and Trident. Leaving people to die instead of funding essential services for half the cost. The Brexit scandal and lies. MSM corruption. No one dies because they have to stay in a train 10 mins longer. Every hour service. Long distance. Johnston just authorised this massive waste. A total waste of space.

    The UK one of the most unequal society in the world.

    The Tory/unionists are killing off their own supporters. The elderly. Vote Tory to die younger. Not a great political achievement. The decline in the life expectancy age, in the rest of the UK. Going backwards.

    The Tory/unionists can be vote out in 4 years. After they have messed up even more. The catastrophe of lying Brexit.

    Johnston now away hiding after messing up as expected. Leaving the poison chalice to someone else. The routine of the selfish existence. Leaving others to take the flack. Typically as expected. A lame duck government. A useless UK government. Non existent. Totally lacking of any form of leadership. Tragic, especially in a crisis.

    The state of the Labour Party as well. Paid (public funds?) Party officials trying to lose an election. An absolute scandal. Lord Ian McNicol and cronies. Now headed by a Sir. Is there no end to the corruption. The total abuse of power. More Lords than equality or fairness.

    Britain one of the most unequal place in the world. Totally non cohesive or sustainable. The Tory/unionists can be voted out. What a replacement.

    Thank goodness for Devolution and better policies in Scotland. People voted for it.

  10. carolclark1 says:

    A badge! A feckin badge! You’re kiddin me oan. Words fail sometimes, what is wrong with these people.

    Thank you Paul, you have articulated my feelings so much better than I ever could at the moment. It just makes me so angry.

    Oh aye, and thanks for that lovely video. I think I might have to stop now, my eyes seem to be leaking for some reason.

  11. Ken2 says:

    There are major rules and legislation of care around Care Home services. Private or otherwise. They have to follow guidelines or it is illegal activity. They can be banned or sanctioned.

    All the staff in charge have nursing experience and qualifications. Experienced professionals. Run to professional standards of care, They cannot ‘just do what they like’ without sanctions.

    There is a high standard of care expected. Good care given especially by the lower paid assistants. These people should be and are highly appreciated. Totally caring. The elderly respected. Or sanctions can apply,

  12. Ken2 says:

    No wonder people are getting angry. The usual muck up.

  13. Dr Jim says:

    If the Tories had their way we’d have an American style health system, for those Tory voters who might have thought they wanted that before this Pandemic I bet they don’t want it now, and no amount of Blue Peter badges will ever make Scotland want it

    If Scotland does the *right thing* then we’ll never have to worry about it,

  14. jim says:

    This is all beginning to stink of dark forces working behind closed doors now.

    A report by Laura Kuenssberg on the BBC website today detailing supplies of PPE reaching care homes being paltry at best with some ” being confiscated by Border Control for the NHS”
    This sounds like ‘ eleventy thousand and fifty thirteen’ fingerprints all over it, leaving Hancock to try to convince the Scottish and Welsh governments that of course they wouldn’t do that.

    This ‘Appropriation’ of PPE is not going to go away no matter how much BBC Scotland try to dismiss it as rubbish.

  15. Davy says:

    My wife blew her f-ing top yesterday as she watched this, their was a lot more “f-ing” about where Matt Hancock could stick his f-ing badges.

    I am regarded as a key worker as I work in a signalbox, my wife works as a cleaner (house-keeper) in a local care home. She and all her fellow cleaners, care workers, kitchen staff, laundry staff, nurses, admin-staff are the real key workers and all deserve more than a f-ing badge.

    Because they are all f-ing HERO’S.

  16. Legerwood says:

    In Scotland the carers are getting more than an insulting badge that was apparently introduced last year so not even a new idea.

    In Scotland:

    ‘Social care support workers providing direct adult support will have their pay increased to at least the Real Living Wage rate of £9.30 an hour for all hours worked, including sleep-overs and hours worked by personal assistants. The Scottish Government will also provide funding to third sector and independent providers specifically to ensure staff receive sick pay if they are off work ill or because they are self-isolating.’


    Everyone would like it to be more but better, way better, than a badge.

  17. Bob Lamont says:

    Hadn’t caught up with the “news from where we are” yet, but not greatly surprised by the badge “initiative”, it’s just the sort of cheap gimmick this “detached from reality” lot would imagine impressing the natives, and yet another WTF moment in British history…. Wampum?

    Hard to believe that England’s majority will continue to vote this shower back into power despite justifiable rage at what has been done to them in their name. Doctors, nurses, staff and care workers have been at the front end of this crisis, but society broadly will have taken a hammering and hopefully be re-evaluating where it’s priorities lie.
    When inevitably the media goes into overdrive to return to the “normal” which amplified this crisis, we can only hope they are met with a resounding GTF…

  18. James Mills says:

    A Badge ? Is the cost being deducted from their wages ?

    • John Mooney says:

      YES,the fecking BADGE will cost you approx £8 quid! Tories,dirty evil bastards every last one of them,I have seen a lot in my seven decades but this farrago puts me beyond rage,I find myself being consumed by a cold hard fury,there will be a reckoning when this pandemic is over ,let us never forget what these tory bastards have done! ps.has the worm cummings been spotted anywhere!

  19. Selkie says:

    “We can be heroes ‘ video was so cathartic for me. Good old Bowie. I am just out of hospital after urgent breast cancer surgery, diagnosed 3 months ago. The NHS are the REAL heroes in these uncertain times.

  20. robert graham says:

    oh well thats it we are all f/kd ,

    Dame Vera Lynn has been spotted on the Horizon , with the age old english favourites wait for it ,

    Well Meet Again – followed by ,

    Land of Hope and Glory – and finally
    There’ll Always be an England
    Better Together Aye fk/n Right .

    Yer right Jack shut the friggin Border

    • Legerwood says:

      And the Herald today with photos of Gracie Fields on a visit to the Empire Exhibition in 1938. Bless.

  21. Chicmac says:

    Nicola, take note:

    ” I have lodged a formal complaint to the European Commission relating to instructions reportedly issued by Public Health England to the main domestic suppliers of PPE in the UK not to sell certain high-demand items to care homes outside of England.

    This has led to orders of this equipment by care home owners in Wales and Scotland being refused. EU regulations relating to Personal Protective Equipment, which still apply to the UK in the transition period, clearly state that ‘Member States shall not prohibit, restrict or hinder the placing on the market of PPE.’

    – Adam Price, Plaid Cymru leader.”

    From a BTL quote on the National article.

    • Chicmac says:

      Also in the revised message from gompel there are still three ‘unspecified’ items which are not being distributed to Scotland and Wales. These need to be specified so that alternative sourcing can be arranged. Meanwhile we just have to guess.

      I’m guessing it is not plasters, nit shampoo and acne cream.

    • Legerwood says:

      This ‘instruction’ about PPE to distributors/manufacturers was contained in a report published by the UK Gov on 10th April 2020. In para 1.38

      If you read further on in the report you will find this:
      “”Taking a UK-wide approach
      1.52 It is vital that we meet this challenge as four united nations. At every step of the
      way we have ensured that we have worked side by side with the devolved nations
      and we have set up a weekly four nations PPE oversight board to manage
      demand and supply.
      1.53 Each of the Devolved Administrations has their own supply chain operation for
      PPE and is responsible for ensuring distribution within Northern Ireland, Wales
      and Scotland.
      1.54 We are working closely with colleagues in the devolved nations to ensure supplies
      of PPE are distributed equitably across the four nations . In the past week, we
      have authorised the release of nearly 20 million items of PPE to the devolved
      nations to address immediate shortages of specific items and we continue to work
      closely with the Devolved Administrations to meet the need for PPE across the
      whole of the UK.
      1.55 However, it is recognised that, in particular circumstances, Devolved
      Administrations are also pursuing their own sourcing of PPE to meet their
      particular needs.””

      The UK Gov has, on paper at least, provided PPE to the devolved nations thus they hope covering their backsides. But so much of what the UK Gov says never ever comes to pass. It also raises the question about what sources of PPE (para 1.55) are open to the devolved nations if the UK Gov has stopped the major distributors/manufacturers from supplying them?

      Look carefully at some of the wording and you realise it is very similar, if not identical, to the statement by Gompels. Interesting. Raises the question: who wrote Gompels’ statement? I doubt they would have read that far into the report if they even read the report.

  22. Roddie says:

    When I heard the announcement of the badge my reaction was similar to many here. However, on chan4 news a carer in E London said that she wanted a badge (as NHS staff have) to show shop staff that she was an essential worker. Through lack of badge she was turned away during an essential-workers only time slot.

    So someone on the front line saw merit in it.

  23. Dr Jim says:

    Folk are mentioning Vera Lynne and the like and if you check Amazons top recommendations for music albums you see that Vera Lynne and Anne Shelton and many of the other wartime albums of songs are the popular choice at the moment

    There are plenty of things to say about that but I’m holding myself back for my own sanity

  24. Petra says:


    FGS not content with trying to do us all in they’re after our Irn-Bru now.



    Check out Ann’s links on the Indyref2 site.


  25. James Cheyne says:

    A badge of psychology, this is how the elite think,
    We will also get a badge I hope for staying in lock down for a undetermined amount of time until they come up with vaccines,
    That will not have undergone rigorous testing for a long period of time,
    We will be told how totally safe it is, how it’s been tested for years,
    I seriously worry about the way our government down south think we are all stupid, and they can feed us any b…sh.t they want without us questioning the rhetoric,
    What help is a badge to frontline workers, my sister, her son, and my 2 daughters in law are all front line workers,
    They could do with the ppe that was stealthily being refused to Scotland and Wales, instead.
    This badges are as daft as telling us all that Co2 is bad for you, anyone who is old enough and did chemistry knows that Co2 is the air you need to breath, carbon monoxide is bad,
    But if you can apparently be brainwashed into thinking that herd immunity is good, that badges save lives, that Scotland and Wales are being treated with respect, or that those up top have your best interests at heart, then you will roll up your sleeve, stick your arm out and say I don’t care what is in the vaccine, just give it to me.
    My father was a medic in the army, and said a lot of drugs were often tested on the soldiers without them knowing it, Bromide was one of those drugs mixed in amongst others as vaccines, our own soldiers were used as test subjects, even for gas masks, by our own government, and a lot of them became seriously ill.
    There is no short term safe fix for vaccines.
    If we are forced to take a psychological vaccine drug only verified by the people at the top in our government, forget about a badge I want a paper sticker stuck to my chest that says IDIOT.

  26. Reblogged this on An Accident In Space And Time and commented:
    Badges. As an ex care assistant, this has my blood boiling. How low can you get?!!

  27. Robert graham says:

    SKY News right now arse wipe Rennie asking questions of an adult -First Minister-

    With all due respect any internet blogger has more right to be on there than this embarrassment to humanity ,

    What about Cyril Wullie and maybe the inquiry into Steel that was dismissed by your party ? a bloody brass neck by an irrelevance.

  28. Ken2 says:

    Badge of honour. The Tories voters should consider the Party for whom they voted cut the NHS funding for years. Having been elected to support it. Cameron & Co. Cut tax especially for the wealthy. Inequality and unfair. Tory voters who live in a vacuum. Especially in Scotland. Hypocrites.

    Clegg cut Education £6Billion a year (5) having been elected to support it. £30Billion. Cut essential services and welfare. £18Billion. (£3Billion a year over 6 years). Austerity.

    Thank goodness for Devolution. SNP Gov. Increased SNHS funding and supported Education, Welfare funds. Increased tax slightly for the wealthier.

    Health and education two of the most important for a successful economy. A well educated, skilled, healthy population. A more equal, cohesive successful community and society.

  29. Alba woman says:

    Two way Family Favourites and Workers Playtime next !

    • Robert graham says:

      Ha Ha Alba Woman ,

      I will see your Family Favourites and raise you a Listen with Mother ,

      Aye the auld ones are the best ones,

      There will be blue birds over * * * ah Christ this house arrest is getting to me .its like a re run on all our yesterdays ahhhhhh .

  30. Welsh Sion says:

    Just think what could have happened if they’d stuck a Butcher’s Apron on that badge. It would have been a classic dead cat on the table.

    Scots and Welshies would have been decrying it for that reason and the yoons would have been shouting at us for:

    – not pulling together against Covid-19
    – not being patriotic

    That is, “Ach, it’s only those whiny, whingeing Scots and Welsh again.”

    The real issue of PPE (its lack in the Celtic nations and its selective supply to Englandshire) would have been effectively side-lined – something they wanted from the start to cover up their inadequacies.

    Ye gods, has it come down to this? (And then I read WGD’s latest and realise that barrel bottoms have been passed a long time since.)

    On a slightly happier note, I’m grateful for the highlighting on here of Adam’s continued good works. I’ll also try keep posting things regarding Plaid’s response to this situation.


  31. Petra says:

    Scotland and Wales, WS, “Better Together.”

  32. Paul Keats says:

    Badges?! Yeah, what a fucking great idea from a government so fucking useless they make Trump and his sexbot Pence the epitome of Can-do! As the patronising Thursday Clap, that xan fuck right off! The NHS needs PPE that works, better pay and conditions, NOT clapping and dustbin lid-banging from fuckwit sheeple!!

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