The coronavirus is good for something, at least: racism has been put on hold for a year!

Unfortunately, vicious stupidity is still very much top of the government's to-do list, right after making up random bollocks about chemicals and pretending it didn't take two months to post out the face masks.

Yesterday our unbeloved leaders made a song and dance about the fact those immigrants working as NHS medics, with a visa due to run out this year, would have an automatic 12-month extension.

Perhaps disappointingly for Boris Johnson, doctors, nurses, paramedics, cleaners, lab technicians, radiographers and others did not take a moment to step outside and applaud him for his largesse. But then they were probably busy doing unimportant things, like ventilating the airways of thousands of men, women and children who cannot breathe because of a dreadful pandemic of exactly the sort that governments have been warned about for decades.

Still, they are no doubt very grateful, as they bend over a patient coughing up millions of viral particles directly into their faces, that they are protected by the triple shield of a catering hairnet, a gown made of duct tape and binliners, and a delay to their inevitable deportation.

No doubt that thought powers them through each 16-hour shift of death and terror, at the end of which they can expect to be booed in supermarkets, spat at in the street, and allowed to bed down in the spare room of their own home while not having a hug from anybody they know.

If we were all able to join the Cabinet's Houseparty meet-up, no doubt we'd hear many voices echoing the customer at Aldi in Liverpool, plaintively asking on behalf of twats worldwide: "I know the NHS do a good job, but so what?"

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Fleet Street Fox

Last week, Boris Johnson stood on the steps of Downing Street, suffering the early signs of a deadly disease sweeping the globe, and joined in a national round of applause for those 1.2m NHS employees, carers, emergency services and other public servants putting themselves at risk to save the lives of strangers.

He then turned round, went into self-isolation, and decided 2,800 of them could be deported NEXT year instead.

Outside the NHS, public servants have built a well-equipped hospital, in a week. They have sequestered ice rinks for morgues, dispensed medicines, driven buses so those without cars can still buy food or carry out key worker jobs, emptied the bins and maintained the electricity grid. They, too, will include many migrants.

They likewise face being booted out thanks to Brexit, thanks to an insane promise to cut immigration, thanks to racism that nary a single ham-faced goon will admit to but which nevertheless runs wildly through all these policies like, well, like a virus that just crossed the species barrier.

The Mirror has launched a campaign for the Nightingale Medal, to honour every member of the NHS who is fighting coronavirus. There is no celebrity, no reader, and certainly no politician with two brain cells to rub together, who'd deny them it.

But it's not enough. Not only should such a medal go to other emergency services, to cleaners and receptionists and lab technicians and, yes, binmen and army logistics crews, but each and every one of them who is not currently a full British citizen should be invited, if not begged, to become one.

Roll out the red carpet, give them our shiniest blue passports, punt them to the top of the list. "Whatever it takes," as some Prime Minister once said, live, to 10m voters. They have all proved themselves more useful than the vast majority of British-born citizens, so adding them to our team can only lift the national average of everything.

Getting a few of them into government would help

But in November, Johnson decided to increase the visa fee for NHS staff to £625.

In December, 2,000 doctors told him the NHS had 100,000 vacancies, its worst winter crisis yet, and funding must increase as 5,449 people had died just waiting to be seen in A&E.

Weeks ago he was told that his plan to ban 'low-skilled' migrants earning under £25,600 would decimate the care industry, which is currently dealing with the same covid-19 risks as the NHS but with less attention and protection.

And only last month, Johnson was planning a new law to allow him and his ministers to seize control of the NHS and force it to do their political bidding, whatever its so-called 'medical expertise' might indicate it should do.

Hat tip to John for first mentioning it...

Johnson was Foreign Secretary in the government that, in October 2016, was warned a NHS flu pandemic exercise called Operation Cygnus had revealed there were not enough ventilators, and too little 'surge capacity' in intensive care, and then did the square root of Fanny Adams about it beyond ensuring these facts remained secret.

Last year, he was pledging 50,000 more nurses, 6,000 more GPs, and 40 new hospitals. Today, 1 in 4 medical staff are stuck at home without coronavirus testing. We do at least have one new hospital, but it's only temporary and does anyone remembering him gleefully promising half a dozen massive morgues as well?

As his chief adviser Dominic Cummings so memorably, and publicly, said: "Tory MPs largely don't care about these poorer people. They don't care about the NHS."

Johnson, of course, does. When it suits him.

"Can't I wash my hands of the whole thing?"

In the months to come, when coronavirus has receded, his government will quietly carry on with visa fees that are highway robbery and political machinations that are publicly-lethal. If the disease flares up again this winter, he'll be out applauding, and then go back indoors and plan to forcibly remove doctors, nurses and countless others who add far more to this nation than they will ever take from it.

There's no doubt a medal, of some sort, will be struck. And it's just as likely deportations will restart when it's "appropriate", or voters have forgotten, whichever is the soonest.

It's probably those bloody foreigners' fault, coming over here, saving our lives. Whyever would they bother doing that?