At the start of this week many of us are still recovering from a number of events that took place last week. For those of us in the UK, the lockdown following a huge increase in COVID-19 cases over December faces many of us with uncertainty. The change set out by the Government last week which partly reflects the new variants of Coronavirus has also led to major challenges for the teams of people who work very hard to keep all of us safe. Not only do the Councils, NHS, Police, Fire and Rescue and the educational groups have much more work to do as a result of the lockdown but many more of their teams are also being impacted by COVID compared to the previous nine months. Along with these public sector agencies there are some charitable and commercial organisations that are also playing a key role for us. The decisions by the Government to determine which groups of us will receive vaccines as a priority is one of the elements that needs a serious review both nationally and locally given the situation, we are in. Clearly some of the teams I have mentioned are already relatively high on the list of people who will be vaccinated, but sadly some are not even though they provide vital services for our safety and support. We clearly need to find ways of ensuring that their staff and families are better protected as they deal at the frontline of our communities in a range of cases. The people who work in these agencies include many behind the frontlines, but their actions are sometimes just as important as the men and women who appear in public.
Along with the UK or perhaps I should describe as the English situation, given how changes are already taking place over COVID and Brexit in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, there is another set of tragic events that have occurred in a different nation. It is one that we have always been told is our favourite nation and by our side or our preferred contact. Donald Trump and Joe Biden along with a number of other senior politicians in the USA now need to start to resolve what will happen next. This is following the appalling action by a relatively small number of people who attacked the Capitol area in Washington DC whilst the Government was determining the formal result of their 2020 Presidential Election. It is clear that the actions and communications from Trump prior to and during the appalling situation on the 6th January is a significant part of the problem that still exists. The violent campaigners were being supported by the President and some of the other politicians even as they were starting to break into the Capitol Building in Washington. I have observed comments from a number of British people as well as some Americans who are strong supporters of Donald Trump over the last four years. It was very interesting to see that a number of them finally stepped away from supporting him as the news arose last week. However sadly some claimed that the news was corrupt and others that the people involved were undercover Biden supporters which shows how weird these cases are when the Mayor was prevented from expanding the National Guards.
It is clear that both nations and the elected leaders have got a great deal of work to do to try to significantly improve our lives and those of people around us. Clearly political groups do not have the ability to stop health issues arising and indeed they cannot easily direct individuals or groups of us as we respond to or reject their calls. It is arguably far more important for us to respond to health and lifestyle issues than matters that are essentially political. However sadly the political leaders can sometimes pay far more attention to their political priorities than the broader issues for our nations and indeed International situations. There was a time several decades ago when on both sides of the Atlantic, the people who voted were also much more supportive of politicians and so the elected people were able to set out plans for their nations that engaged the residents. We are now in a very different position and so we need all politicians to start to work much harder to engage with communities at both a national and perhaps more importantly at a local or at least a regional level. As the US and English Governments seek to find their way forward over the next few weeks and indeed years, they will need to find ways to get us to work with them, and perhaps just as importantly to find out what we consider are the most important priorities for each Nation.