She's a bit of a shit show in the UK then?
Dear Prime Minister,
What a total shit show. I would usually attempt to be more eloquent, but I feel this is the most accurate term.
This has been a tough six months for everyone. Working from home, and home educating three children in three different key stages has been phenomenally hard. Throw in the mix managing everyone’s anxiety levels (which are understandably high) and keeping my family safe, especially my vulnerable husband, surviving financially and following all of the rules put in place by the government; ‘playing my part’ to use your own words.
Return to school last week and it was a mixed bag of emotions. Excitement equally met with trepidation. Six months away from something is a long time for anyone, but for small children it is huge. We had some first day wobbles and a couple of tears, but the overriding feeling was joy. To see their friends and have some snippet of normality return to their lives…long awaited. I could not be prouder of the way my children have handled these last six months and how well they returned to school and applied themselves, sensibly taking on board all the changes now implemented in their school.
What a shame that you could not equally ‘play your part’ when required.
My youngest returned from school on Monday with a temperature. This results, as I am sure everyone knows, in the entire household being isolated for 14 days or until a negative test can be produced. Monday 14th September was the first Monday all three of my children had been in their education settings since March 16th. Just like that we had taken two steps forward and one back. Naively I assumed I would organise a test and life would resume upon receipt of the result. Never did I imagine the total shit show that would ensue.
I completed the online form, to be advised that there were no home swabs available (that was my preference as I am trying to not traumatise my children too much more this year) so alas I would have to select the test centre option. I refreshed the testing page every 10 mins for 28 hours. Yes, I stayed up all night. The only slots I was offered were in Aberdeen and Swindon. I live in Pulborough,West Sussex. I decided to call 119 as your website says many sites will not see under 18s and I wanted further clarification on this. After being on hold for 45 minutes – they cut me off.
After 16 hours of trying, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase a kit from Lloyds-Pharmacy This was not something I decided on lightly, at £150 per test…but I felt I had little choice. My children were devastated at the thought of missing out on two weeks of school already, and my husband and I simply cannot afford any further time off work.
I proceeded through the checkout process and prior to payment, a pop up stated that my transaction was being terminated as they will not send swab tests to under 18s. There was also a stark warning, that if I changed his date of birth to mine, to swerve this, I would be reported to the relevant authorities for fraud and to social services. SOCIAL SERVICES. Are you kidding me? For what? Establishing whether my son had Covid to hopefully return him to education as quickly as possible? What a bloody joke.
I continued therefore on the government website for a further 11 hours, eventually being offered a slot in Guildford, when I went to finalise the booking your website chucked me out. I had to start all over again and by the grace of god I managed to get a slot within the hour. 28 hours after I began the booking process.
I understood from reading and watching a variety of news and media, and listening to Matt Hancock himself (painful but necessary), that the test centres were overwhelmed again. Imagine my surprise when I arrive today to find it empty. Literally empty.
Not overwhelmed. Not overwhelmed in the slightest. We arrived half an hour early as I was worried about traffic and I apologised to the security guy who told me not to worry, it will be good to see them doing some work!
This is absolutely shambolic and my children, who have had a bloody tough year and stuck to every rule you put out there, are suffering because of your ineptitude. I am incandescent with rage. You should be hanging your head in shame. You won’t, of course, because you and the majority of your so-called government are too self-seeking and arrogant.
Boris Johnson Conservatives. Andrew Griffith MP
Angela Rayner Keir Starmer