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The pandemic and other business

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In his weekly Hayes in the House column, MP Sir John Hayes looks back on 2021 and forward to 2022

As we anticipate the New Year, another exceptionally challenging one passes. As well as our usual woes and worries, the pandemic has touched every life and taken too many.

Covid and its consequences are amongst the biggest challenges our nation has faced in my lifetime.

MP Sir John Hayes (53976101)
MP Sir John Hayes (53976101)

Unforeseen restrictions to our way of life, and unprecedented public spending, were necessary to curb the worst effects of Covid-19, while scientists rushed to produce essential vaccines which will allow us to live with the virus rather than struggling with the socially corrosive fear of it.

The miracle of modern medicine; our world-leading vaccination and booster programme, reinforced by the Government’s wise decision to unlock during the kinder summer months, have given the UK far greater freedoms than our Continental neighbours.

However, as the threat metamorphosises we are far from being out of the woods and there is yet more work to do.

No Government could have dealt with all this without difficulty.

Striking a balance between maintaining cherished cultural norms and ensuring public safety is a challenging dilemma.

In meeting it, I have considered the worth of every measure carefully – and will continue to do so.

Meanwhile, other pressing Parliamentary business continued throughout 2021.

As usual, this has meant speaking regularly in the Commons on issues of all kinds.

From a recent debate on the economic significance of the food industry; to holding our Security Services – MI5, MI6, GCHQ etc – to account every week on the Intelligence and Security Committee, as well as which, over the last three months, spending dozens of hours scrutinizing both the Higher Education Freedom of Speech and the Judicial Review and Courts Bills.

The first is a vital effort to defend free speech from ‘woke’ zealots’ attempts to distort the past to dictate the future, the second begins the task of rebalancing criminal justice in favour of public order.

As my work in Parliament on these existential questions takes effect, I am conscious that we must never allow the trajectory of our national destiny to be determined by fear, no matter how insidious it may be. In recent months, repeatedly pressing the Government to tackle the wave of illegal immigration from across the Channel, and to reverse the constitutional vandalism of Mr Blair’s destructive Human Rights Act; which affords the same so-called ‘natural’ rights to harmful, vicious criminals as it does to their harmless, innocent victims, I have met the Home Secretary, Lord Chancellor and my friend the Attorney General to embolden these efforts.

This Government was elected with a majority and a mandate to challenge the subversive ‘politically correct’ leftist assumptions beloved by the liberal bourgeoisie.

Questioning the Home Secretary on the floor of the Commons, I summed this up in the following way – “People who voted to take back control have every right to ask the question: ‘If you cannot protect the integrity of the borders, what can you control?’.”

The integrity of our borders, the pre-eminence of the rule of law and the safety of our streets are matters which will occupy many of my days during the coming year.

Mindfully humble of the immense trust placed in me by my constituents to represent them in Parliament, on these issues, and countless more, rest assured that during 2022 the people of South Holland & The Deepings will have a clear and certain voice in the House of Commons.

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