Shelagh Fogarty condemns Sajid Javid's 'insulting' and 'leaden' social care comment

6 October 2021, 17:21

'Families are on their knees before that care is needed.'

By Tim Dodd

Shelagh Fogarty has hit out at the Health Secretary Sajid Javid's "insulting" and "leaden" comment that people should turn to family first for social care before the state.

It comes as the Health Secretary called on the public to step up during his speech at the Tory conference on Tuesday, saying citizens "have to take some responsibility".

Mr Javid explained: "The state was needed in this pandemic more than any time in peacetime. But Government shouldn't own all risks and responsibilities in life.

"We as citizens have to take some responsibility for our health too. We shouldn't always go first to the state. What kind of society would that be?"

Shelagh responded to the remarks: "All of it made me want to scream. Some of it was true-ish, but only when backed up by proper state help.

"A - it was all said 30 years ago when I was first starting out as a journalist," she said.

"We tested the theory that [Catholic] countries like Spain have the right attitude to caring for one another, they don't go straight to the state. [It] turned out, when I examined the question, there was no welfare state to speak of in Spain."

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She continued: "So thank god for the church and thank god for families... That's where, to me, the stupidity of Sajid Javid's comment and the insult of Sajid Javid's comments reside.

"Millions of families are working very hard everyday to care for someone.

"To my mind, the reason Sajid Javid's comments are so insulting and so leaden, is that more often than not, good, caring, involved families are on their knees before that full package of care... actually comes to pass."

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