UK

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Face down the unions’ WFH intransigence

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Face down the unions’ WFH intransigence


Hallelujah! At long last, the Prime Minister has fired the starting gun on Britain returning to work normally – and the economy firing on all cylinders.

With Covid on the run and work from home rules axed, Boris Johnson has made it plain he wants our towns and cities abuzz again. Quite justifiably, he has told Secretaries of State to get staff back to their desks.

After all, civil servants keep the wheels of national life properly oiled. It’s vital they shift a string of bureaucratic backlogs – from processing HGV licences to renewing passports – which risk paralysing Britain.

But with depressing predictability, the intransigent public-sector unions are digging in their heels, branding Mr Johnson ‘reckless’ with Covid still rife.

Boris Johnson has fired the starting gun on Britain returning to work normally

With breathtaking arrogance, they declare old working practices are gone for good.

They must be faced down!

The truth is, working from home suits many civil servants, for whom lockdown has been overwhelmingly positive.

Many have been on full pay for a fraction of their normal work – with the added advantage of not paying for commuting.

Perhaps they should emulate the delivery drivers, NHS staff and indeed Downing Street, who have toiled in workplaces throughout the entire crisis.

Remaining in suspended animation also torpedoes prosperity and destroys businesses that rely on footfall.

Whitehall must set an example to white-collar Britain. There are no excuses for it to be a ghost town a day longer.

Punctured pygmies

The plot to unseat Boris Johnson is deflating faster than a punctured balloon.

Red Wall defector Christian Wakeford has become a pariah. The local Labour party in Bury South don’t want him, his erstwhile Tory chums in the absurd Pork Pie Plot have shunned him and the Labour leadership will drop him like a hot brick once he’s no longer of any propaganda value. A return to obscurity beckons.

Meanwhile, focus groups suggest Sir Keir Starmer has made little headway with voters despite Mr Johnson’s travails.

And many of the 2019 intake of MPs who wrote letters expressing no confidence in the PM have reportedly withdrawn them.

For those more interested in the smooth running of the country than Partygate, the omens are looking far better.

Once Sue Gray has finished her inquiry, perhaps Boris can focus on the future – rather than being dragged into the past.

Channel cover-up

No one could accuse ministers of lacking imagination when alighting on ideas to tackle the Channel migrants crisis.

Unfortunately, not one wheeze – from armoured jet skis turning back illegal dinghies to disabling traffickers’ boats with netting – has actually succeeded. Record numbers are reaching our shores.

So ministers have found another way to make the problem disappear: Scrapping daily migrant figures. Such a ruse to avoid bad headlines will be an own goal.

An information vacuum risks stoking fears the Government has given up on border control. Channel migrants are fed and housed at taxpayers’ expense, so aren’t we entitled to know how many arrive?

This cover-up undermines trust in the immigration system. It must be reversed. 

  • If America still assumes responsibility as the world’s policeman, Joe Biden is Inspector Clouseau. For as Russian troops mass on Ukraine’s border, the gaffe-prone President appeared to give Vladimir Putin a green light to invade – then hinted Nato was split. Last summer’s chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal exposed Mr Biden’s geopolitical ignorance. Witlessly suggesting Kremlin aggression will go unpunished proves he’s not only inept, but dangerous.

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