IN common with millions of other UK citizens of advancing years, I’ve had my vaccine jab, being deemed to be vulnerable to this dreadful Covid disease.

Congratulations to the scientists of this country and worldwide, coupled with the hard work of frontline workers in the NHS and all frontline employees, working 24/7 in very difficult circumstances to keep the nation safe and eradicate this global health crisis.

I cannot thank the medical team and volunteers, and everybody at the Taunton Racecourse hub, enough for being so kind and helpful.

Nobody saw this coming, but it has to be said that our Government was warned several years ago over whether they were prepared financially for any unforeseen global health crisis.

The advice from experts was ignored and we weren’t as prepared as we could have been.

In fairness, it would have been a difficult situation for any government to address.

However, Boris Johnson’s Government took a very light-hearted and flippant view of what’s turned out to be a long-lasting pandemic.

The criticism of the handling of the crisis has been well documented, with mistakes that - with that wonderful thing called hindsight - could have been avoided.

Also, a lack of clarity, decision-making at very short notice and many policy u-turns.

Seemingly, too often we are, as a nation, playing catch-up.

Historically, the NHS and many of our public services have not been a comfort zone for any Tory government.

Testimony to this is that when the introduction of an NHS for everybody in the UK was debated in both Houses of Parliament, the Tory party and the Tory-friendly right-wing press were very hostile to free, socialised medicine for everybody.

Anyway, it was passed in Parliament and became law on July 5, 1948.

Every now and again, the Tory party peddles the line that the NHS is ‘safe with us’.

The downside to this Government’s handling of this pandemic is that, with the Brexit debate being pushed off the main news headlines, the Brexit agenda is still a high priority for it.

In that scenario, one wonders if the Government have got their eye completely on the ball over the health crisis.

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Brexit was pushed through Parliament at breakneck speed, and was it accident or coincidence that a very streaky Brexit agreement made the top headlines very late on Christmas Eve?

Was it done, despite the health crisis, as a Brexit Christmas gift, conning us all into believing that Brexit would fill our stockings with joy?

Our hallowed NHS was never more needed than it is now. It’s unthinkable what would happen without it.

Sadly, even now - and it’s in the public domain - many Tory MPs, with their very friendly press barons, would love the wholesale privatisation of our NHS, and the hallowed BBC.

Brexit is a very narrow and dangerous ideology; right-wing ethos, aggressive nationalism, bogus patriotism, mass deregulation of everything we hold dear.

The Prime Minister and Government should come clean and tell the country that the NHS is not for sale. It was never designed to compete in the marketplace.

On account of all the population’s financial hardships caused by the pandemic, it upsets many Tory MPs and supporters that they have no other alternative than to implement big handouts which, by another name, is state socialism - the completely opposite ideology of the Tory creed, of mass privatisation and ‘standing on your own’ ethos.

January 1, 2021, could become known as National Doomsday, the day this right-wing government inflicted the biggest dose of self harm for centuries.

Brexit is a flawed concept, not at all helping the present health crisis, despite some pro-Brexit ministers saying it’s because of Brexit we lead the world in vaccine production.

One thing this pandemic has taught us is that, whatever problems life throws at us, we are very much better off doing everything in a spirit of togetherness, rather than in the isolationist ethos, which is the ideology of nationalistic patriotism, preserved by Brexit.

Without togetherness and allies would, or could, we have been victorious in World War Two?

Nazism in the 1930s tells us all we need to know about extreme nationalism.