Should Matt Hancock be judged on inquiry outcome or I’m A Celebrity?

This is what got readers talking today (Picture:

Matt Hancock coming in third place in I’m A Celebrity… has reignited the debate once again over his conduct during his time as health secretary.

Some readers have said that his breaking of his own social distancing ‘guidelines’ is what people should really be focusing on, while others have said that the Tory MP cannot be ‘persecuted’ and held personally responsible for Covid deaths.

Another debate that has rumbled on is rail workers going on strike amid the cost of living crisis, and one reader has said that the industrial action is “selfish” as it’s having a negative impact on his independent business.

It’s appearing that the next couple of months could become another ‘winter of discontent’ with widespread strike action in multiple industries, and other contributors have written in to say that nurses should be fully supported in their campaign for a pay rise. Read on to see what else readers are thinking.

Not everyone’s convinced that Matt Hancock deserves forgiveness

■ Matt Hancock finished in third place in I’m A Celebrity (Metro, Mon) and has probably succeeded in persuading its viewers that politicians are human. However, his performance as health secretary at the time of the pandemic must await the outcome of the Covid inquiry. How the British people will judge Matt Hancock and the Tory government will depend upon the inquiry’s findings. Scott, West London

■ Matt Hancock hasn’t successfully persuaded the vast majority of people in the UK that he is a decent bloke. In fact, he has highlighted how selfish he is. Andrew Edwards, Islington

Matt Hancock grinning and bearing the jungle creatures (Picture: James Gourley/ITV/Shutterstock)

■ Matt Hancock handled each trial with guts. Sure, he’s made some mistakes but let’s remember the context in which he – and the world – was operating during 2020. I also had a loved one in a care home and Matt Hancock did not personally kill anyone. He has paid the price with his political career. He’s done his penance in the I’m A Celebrity trials. Must we persecute people forever in this country? Let the man move on with his life. Catherine, Kent

■ If Mr Hancock isn’t considering it, a significant donation of his programme fee to perhaps Age UK or our NHS would be appropriate. Alison, Essex

■ Well, I’m A Celebrity is over for another year and the public took out their frustration on Matt Hancock. So let’s move on and not forget that the biggest law-breakers were those who attended unlawful parties at No.10. Andy, London

Nurses aren’t volunteers – they deserve fair pay

■ Regarding the nurses strike, I am bitterly disappointed and ashamed of our government. While our nursing staff work long and tiring hours, their bosses earn tens of thousands of pounds a year and do not work 12-hour shifts. How can anyone say a nurse’s role is ‘vocational’ and therefore doesn’t merit a fair salary?

We are lucky to have such caring people. The governing bodies should see for themselves just what nursing staff do. I don’t like strikes but when the fat cats claim their workers are earning enough, I’m all for the nurses striking. Barbara Young, by email

Nurses have had enough (Picture: SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty)

■ There’s a shortage of nurses. Perhaps MPs could step in as so many appear desperate for a second job. Eddie Peart, Rotherham

My restaurant is being eaten up by rail strikes – we might not survive

■ These striking rail workers (Metro, Mon) are ruining the country. We have a independent restaurant in London Bridge and it’s been hard enough dealing with Covid and now the cost of living crisis.

Food prices have gone through the roof but I can’t pass on these raises as I wouldn’t be able to sell anything.

Every time there’s a strike, we have to close the restaurant or pay our staff (if they can get in) to stand there! We have to throw away fresh food on these days. We don’t know how much longer we can keep going.

An empty London Bridge station during a rail strike during the summer (Picture: Reuters)

Every time I walk through Liverpool Street station, I see staff busy on their phones. I wish they would stop and think for a moment what they are doing to other businesses.

Our profit goes down every year. We can’t afford to pay our staff any more and I can’t ask our customers to pay more. You just have to cut your cloth accordingly. Not ruin other people’s chances. James, London

■ Are strikes the answer? I hope the unions and rail companies realise there are only losers and ultimately they worsen the economic conditions and productivity of the country, and thereby lessen the life chances of the next generation. Jim, London

Mick? Are you taking the Michael?

RMT general secretary Michael ‘Mick’ Lynch (Picture: PA)

■ Jim from Warwickshire (MetroTalk, Mon) says RMT union leader Mick Lynch calls himself Mick because ‘Mick or Mike is generally handier than Michael’. Not a lot of people know this, Jim, but I don’t think Michael Caine would agree with you.
Dec, Essex

And another thing…

Gareth Southgate should be sacked as England football manager! England needed creativity against the US on Friday but he brought on Jordan Henderson. Fred, South-East London

■ Steve Mitchell (MetroTalk, Fri) says his public transport peeve is people who stand in front of the doors. I’ve developed agoraphobia since lockdown. If using public transport is unavoidable (I need someone to be with me so that I can cope), then I have to be as near the door as possible. Kate, Manchester

Gareth Southgate fouled-up the England v USA game, a reader said (Picture: Reuters)

■ To Stephen (MetroTalk, Mon), who says ‘every day someone will try to follow me through the barrier without paying’ at Vauxhall Tube station. It’s the same on the Tyne and Wear Metro. I always pause after passing through the doors to make it harder for them. P, Tyne and Wear

■ Strawhat (MetroTalk, Fri) says it’s ‘super funny’ when bus drivers don’t stop because passengers at bus stops are looking at their phones. You wouldn’t think it funny if you were stuck in the rain with a baby in a buggy. Cassy, by email

■ I was amused by the gushing letter from Martin (MetroTalk, Fri) about the late Wilko Johnson, rock’s most overrated guitarist. Entry-level riffing and walking backwards and forwards on stage hardly puts him in the same category as Jimmy Page or David Gilmour. Denise Gordon, London

Does your commute make you want to sing or scream?

MORE : Are strikes ‘timed to maximise grief’ or staff’s last chance to save jobs?

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