SIR: The viral video by the Commoners’ Choir ‘These are the Bastards’ has the line: “They’re making sure it all goes back to the way it was before”.

There has been a rising hope that the great community commitment and, in many cases, heroism and real sacrifice the Government demanded of us would have some recompense in the end, that some good would come out of the pandemic, like the NHS and the Welfare State came out of the great wartime community effort. This was what Build Back Better has been about.

But the Prime Minister has hijacked the phrase with his inane imitation of the Roosevelt New Deal and schoolboy rhetoric of Build, Build, Build. While he was at it he forgot all gratitude for being saved from his personal experience of the disease by refusing to commit to improving the lot of NHS workers that successive Conservative governments have treated so badly, and urged us to ‘clap for the bankers’.

Apart from Rishi Sunak’s furlough scheme, commendable in its scale and promptness, if less so in its comprehensiveness, the Government’s record on the pandemic has been characterised by ineptitude, dilatoriness, irresponsibility and arrogance. The UK remains the second worst major nation in the world for Covid mortality.

There is to be no recompense to those who have given or who have suffered. No new way of doing things, no planning for a future that addresses the far greater crises of climate and biodiversity that we are entering. Johnson and his class have ‘learned nothing and forgotten nothing’. The Jenrick scandal tells us we are going back to rewarding developers and party donors with shady deals, destroying what is left of an already debilitated planning system and building undesirable infrastructure for an unsustainable world, instead of addressing the kind of survivable society we need.

Where are our local MPs’ responses to all the pleas for Building Back Better? Are they content to remain as voting fodder while Johnson and Cummings sell us out? There are lots of Bs possible in BBB: Bluster, Braggadocio, Baloney,….Betrayal?

Chris Gillham,

Upper High Street,