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  • Lawrence Bailey

Recognition should mean something more



It doesn’t matter whether you’re running a country or a council. Right now, there’s an endless succession of complex issues to address and very little time in which to do it.

As citizens, we look for guidance from government and feel obliged to accept what we’re told at face value. Today’s wisdom differs from last week’s version but so do a lot of other things.

It’s understandable too that recriminations are never far below the surface. We try to look on the positive side but worries persist that the testing strategy is wrong or that we don’t have enough intensive care beds or ventilators.

We’re pinning a lot of our hopes on science to eventually deliver us from this crisis, although what’s now apparent is that scientists have been warning about a looming pandemic for years.

So should we blame our leaders or ourselves that this message got drowned out by other interests? Can we learn from this?

Of course, it’s not just those at the top who are under terrific pressure. What do we say to the people who daily put themselves at risk on our behalf?

We’ve always known they were there but it’s only now, as this crisis continues, that we finally appreciate the impact they have on our lives.

There’s been much talk of public gratitude for workers holding it together in hospitals and elsewhere. I’m happy to sign up to all that but I also think that something tangible should be involved - especially for those who take the ultimate risk.

Basically, my view is that the families of frontline workers who fatally fall victim to Covid19 infection should be eligible for the same kind of compensation package awarded when a police officer dies in the line of duty. I don’t know how much it would cost and, quite honestly, I don’t care.

This is essentially something I’m proposing in principle. I’d look to our leaders to put it into action and I’m delighted to say the idea has the backing of Swansea East MP Carolyn Harris. She is taking up the suggestion at Westminster.

Of course, I’d much prefer that our governments took every precaution to protect our heroes in the first place. I don’t think I’m alone in that respect but recognition should mean something more than applause.


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The scammers aren’t going on furlough

This is a tough time financially for many people. However, there’s no slowdown for the scammers and crooks who are eager to cash in on desperation.


There’s currently a fake text doing the rounds. Supposedly from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, it states you’re entitled to a tax refund. The sum is modest enough to look genuine and you’re asked to ‘verify’ your identity. Warning: this is a con-trick. You could end up with malware on your phone that could make you victim to identity theft. Block the number and delete the text.

HMRC operate complex security safeguards. They will never contact you directly with this type of interactive message. There’s also the official-looking text or email that alleges you’ve been fined for breaching lockdown regulations. The same advice applies: delete and forget.

If you want to know more, visit www.gov.uk and type “scams”. It could save you a lot of money.

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