House of Commons,

Monday, 2 January 2023

Dear Stephan P. Barclay,

I am always taken aback by those people who manage to study a trade and then work their way through a series of educational courses to remain at the top of their skills, while not necessarily advancing along some promotional ladder. They often tend to be the most dedicated, ensuring that others benefit from their learning, from their commitment, and even passion, for the job. In your two short stays as Secretary for Health and Social Care, you should be one to appreciate this level of care, the willingness to advance, to be there for those placed under your trust, to work in what was once the most revered and efficient health care system in the world. Indeed, you will undoubtedly recall Matthew Taylor remarking that you would do well to remember you are taking on such a system, with the underlying notion that you should not belittle those who work in it, nor undermine their workplace.

People who seem to jump from one position to another, who cannot hold down a job for any great length of time, and clearly do not use that time to advance their skills are, however, always very suspect. Glancing through your vitae, I see many such instances, right down to an embarrassingly brief attempt in the British Army. It is hard to imagine, seeing the many offices you have held, that there has been any time, let alone intent, to learn, to advance in skill, to be of some use to others. The only dedication that appears on your part would, by intimation, be to hold your parliamentary seat for as long as possible, while fogging up your lack of activities with a wealth of useless titles, and precious little actual work.

We see this wonderful attitude coming across in the lack of meaningful dialogue with health care unions, and your continued refusal to face facts, to learn from those in the business who have the experience you lack, to see that these people, working in an essential trade, are being condemned to poverty, depression and mental health ailments by your stiff and unmoving lack of care and insight. You have, it is clear, washed your hands of all responsibility, but not in the righteous manner of, say, Pontius Pilate who, as you might know from Sunday School, refused all his political and judicial responsibilities by washing his hands of a just man. He absolved himself because the death of Christ was what the people wanted. You are running away from what the people want, what your own constituents desire: the guarantee of a National Health Service for all, as you have pathetically run away from so many other things in the past.

Yours sincerely,