The Row

“It doesn’t matter”, said the Prime Minister. “I said we had to pull all the stops out. I promised on national tv that we would leave no stone unturned. I promised that the armed forces will be mobilised. I want everybody on the case.”

“But sir, that’ll be costly”. Said his permanent secretary. He continued, “if we get the army in, we’ll have to worry about getting them to wherever they’re going. And once they get there, we’ll need to put them up in hotels…”

The Prime Minister cut him short. “Money? Money? Who gives a monkey’s about money? This is a national emergency, man, can’t you see that it’s all hands to the pumps?”

The civil servant bristled, and took a deep breath. He calmly responded, “I’m sorry, sir. I’m merely pointing out that we already have nursing staff on the ground, who are willing and able to administer the vaccine. It will cost us a fraction that the armed forces would, and the rollout itself would happen at the same speed. The effect of using the armed forces will be negligible, sir”.

“But I want the photographers to see the fucking army out there! I promised the army and I want the fucking army! I want them to see I’m doing everything I can. Now stop arguing and just do it!”.

“Yes, sir”, he said, and rose to leave the room. As he closed the door, he heard the Prime Minister call after him: “Full Fatigues”.


This, of course, is complete fiction..

Author: Mister Bump UK

Designed/developed IT systems in finance, but had a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Returned to developing mainly health-related software from home, plus some voluntary work. Married, with a grown-up, left-home daughter.

15 thoughts on “The Row”

  1. I love it when everyone pulls together and I’m glad we have the army helping out, if not we’d not get through the age groups as quickly as we have.

    I’m grateful for the other army too, the army of volunteers who’ve stepped up to help. I have nothing but praise and admiration for everyone involved in the magnificent vaccination rollout.

    I have a family member, a nurse who has stepped in to vaccinate as a volunteer. And there were volunteers at my doctor’s too – Marshall’s keeping everyone in line as it were, and volunteer vaccinators.

    You must be proud of your wife too, giving the vaccinations day in and day out. Well done to her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the critical thing is the speed that it can be rolled out. If using volunteers or the armed forces helps with that, all well and good. But somebody told me the other day that some sessions locally have been cancelled, not through any shortage of manpower but a shortage of vaccine.

      Yes I am proud of my wife, but she is still earning her usual hourly rate for doing this, so it is effectively overtime for her. Even so, given that she still has the power to say “no”, I’m glad she has said “yes” and given up her free time. It sounds wrong, though, that we have some people being paid something. and others being paid nothing (to do what is presumably the same job).

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Funnily enough, we did have a chat about this when the murmors first started. She would have been happy to volunteer if everybody else had been volunteering, but as soon as she learned that some people were being paid, she thought it only fair that she should have been paid too.
          It’s kind-of all or nothing.
          It sounded absolutely fair enough to me, her view.
          In terms of yje mechanics, the government is paying the surgeries for every vaccine administered (rather like flu) so even if a volunteer donates their time, somebody, somewhere is being paid.

          Like

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