“It’s no surprise that low-wage workers have been treated with disrespect at Downing Street” – Darren Lewis

If the government can prove over and over again that they don’t care about you, what makes you think they care about the people they probably look through every day when they show up for work?

Cleaners and security guards across Whitehall protested
Cleaners and security guards across Whitehall protested

In the 20 years that I’ve been doing this job, the three groups of people I’ve probably spoken to the most are cleaners, caterers, and security guards.

Mainly because the lack of diversity in media and sport meant that they were often the people I would identify with the most.

At press conferences, they usually stood at the door, did the catering, or tended the restrooms while everyone else came in with their laptops and notepads.

So we nodded at each other as we walked in or smiled at each other in solidarity and looked for each other as we walked out.

You probably have your own versions of them – people you are very proud of.







Boris Johnson (right) at a meeting in the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street on his birthday
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Picture:

PA)

We would think about the rudeness with which they were sometimes treated.

Older members of my extended family were used to this contempt.

Hopefully the past week will serve as a reminder that they deserve better.

But it didn’t surprise me in the least to read about the low pay and the ‘unacceptable’ disrespect that Downing Street staff were treated with during Partygate.

Also the vomit, the red wine on the walls and the general rubbish for people either trying to shut down the parties or having to clean up afterwards.

The United Voices of the World union has confirmed that most of these cleaners are black, Asian or from minority ethnic groups. Now knock me out…

As Sue Gray said in her report, the culture of irreverent drunkenness came from the top.

If the government can prove over and over again that they don’t care about you, what makes you think they care about the people they probably look through every day when they show up for work?

Well, kudos to the cleaners and security guards across Whitehall who have been protesting this corrupt, toxic culture to them.







Sue Gray has exposed the behavior of Boris Johnson and his associates behind closed doors during the Covid pandemic
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Picture:

Zuma Press/PA Images)

Good for the whistleblowers who in turn have shed light on ministers routinely breaking rules which would have resulted in punishment and fines for those cleaners and security guards.

Because Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “apology” to her was never worth the paper it was written on.

Former Chancellor George Osborne probably thought he was being respectful with his tweet after Sue Gray’s report. Instead, condescension shone through.

“One of the things I remember most about life in Downing Street,” he said, “was how incredibly friendly, generous and lovely the team that runs the place are – cleaners, janitors, reception and police.

Working 24/7, not very well paid, but always there for us.”

I wonder who could have done anything to improve their pay?

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/its-no-surprise-low-pay-27106541 "It's no surprise that low-wage workers have been treated with disrespect at Downing Street" - Darren Lewis

Fry Electronics Team

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