From asylum seekers to A-levels, here's 4 of the worst things the Tories did this week

From asylum seekers to A-levels, here's 4 of the worst things the Tories did this week

It hasn't exactly been a quiet week for the Tories.

First, they exposed their callousness by accusing vulnerable asylum seekers trying to reach Britain of being "invaders". Then they sparked outrage by downgrading thousands of A-Level students' exam grades.

Oh, and at one point Priti Patel got into a fight with ice cream.

So here's 4 of the most terrible things the Tories got up to this week.

1. Claimed that secondary school leavers could be unfairly advantaged by the pandemic

Education secretary Gavin Williamson wrote in The Telegraph:

If we didn't [standardise grades], we would have seen them shoot up, which would devalue the results for the class of 2020 and would clearly not be fair on the classes of 2019 and 2021.

But worse than that, it would mean that students this year would lose out twice over, both in their education and their future prospects. 

People pointed out the irony that an education minister with no formal background in education is concerned that students might be over-promoted beyond their competence.

As it happened, 35 per cent of results were moved down a grade and those that lost out the most from standardisation were pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.

2. Threatened to make it harder for vulnerable asylum seekers to settle in the UK

This week, the ministry of defence deployed a surveillance aircraft to spot asylum seekers attempting to cross the English Channel and reach the UK. Meanwhile, Boris Johnson said that his government will "look at the legal framework that means when people do get here, it is very, very difficult to send them away again, even though blatantly they've come here illegally".

Anne McLaughlin, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees, pointed out that it's "not illegal for people to cross the Channel".

She also criticised Johnson's lack of empathy, saying:

The language seems very deliberate and ideological about views that people need to be seen as not human, but criminal.

Other Tory MPs accused asylum seekers of "invading Britain", while Priti Patel got into a fight with Ben & Jerries ice-cream over the issue.

3. Led the UK into the biggest recession on record

Obviously, the coronavirus pandemic that plunged the UK into a recession was beyond anyone's control. But how the government handled the pandemic – or, in places, completely failed to – has also had an enormous impact.

The UK's economy has been hit harder than that of any other G7 nation, partly because our lockdown and test and trace system came so comparatively late. This in turn has meant that businesses remained closed for longer and some people continued to avoid them when they reopened.

So much for a "fantastic year for Britain".

4. Forced to cut 6,000 NHS contact tracers

The government laid out its plans for a restructured test and trace system, due to come into effect in two weeks' time. A third of NHS tracers are to be cut, while the remaining 12,000 will be redeployed locally.

The system, infamously hailed as "world beating" by Boris Johnson, clearly needed to be revamped.

Last month, The Independent revealed that in northwest England, only 52 per cent of close contacts were being reached.

Meanwhile, the government finally began to trial their new test and trace app in the Isle of Wight and London borough of Newham after months of delay.

So, there you have it. While most of us tried to relax and enjoy a refreshing ice-cream during the blistering heat-wave, the government was picking fights with it instead and leaving a bad taste in many young people's mouths over the A-Level fiasco.

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