The royals don’t deserve a six-week holiday, but I know the people who do – Hayley Matthews

Hayley Matthews thanks the nurses, police officers, firefighters and all the other unsung heroes who keep things moving smoothly while the rest of us are on holiday.

Saturday, 4th January 2020, 6:00 am
Many of us have enjoyed a festive break, but it was business as usual for staff in the NHS. Picture: PA

So I see that a lot of people are back to work and for many the holiday season just didn’t happen – it was business as usual. The nurses are grafting hard (and probably didn’t even get a break), the police officers and firefighters are on duty as usual and the street cleaners as well as many others who squirrel away unnoticed, have kept things moving smoothly. They are the heroes of the city and without them everything would be gridlocked, carnage would ensue and we’d all find ourselves jumping in the car heading for the Highlands like Tom Cruise from a scene in War of the Worlds.

These are the people who deserve a massive break, so what does annoy me slightly is when I hear that some of the royals take a six-week holiday during the festive period. I mean six weeks, really? I hardly think living a privileged lifestyle with private travel, PAs, chefs and various other members of staff to help you deal with the fluffiness of everyday royal life leaves you stressed out enough to be needing a six-week break.

Maybe I’m just a bit bitter and feeling sorry for myself because we’re just getting rid of round two of the Norovirus. I can genuinely say that since the schools broke up for the holidays we’ve been out of the house twice. So forgive me if I sound a little bitter thinking of the royals enjoying a long holiday when the rest of us are working our butts off – some of us having a sorer bum than others. I feel like I need a break but I know there are some who are worked much harder and those mentioned above are the ones I’m talking about.

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Yes they get their holiday allocation but could you imagine for a second working in A&E in the middle of New Year? Or even being a fireman on duty with all those rockets setting of fireworks in their back garden after a 12-pack? The witching hour springs to mind with lunatics galore guzzling down electric soup and behaving like they’ve never seen a gin and tonic.

I don’t know how the emergency services do it and I don’t think they get thanked enough, paid enough or ultimately, respected enough. The least we could do is behave ourselves a little to alleviate the stress on the services as I’m sure there are many calls in to the 999 hub that will be a tad non-urgent. But what am I basing this on you might ask? Well, I remember interviewing a 999 call handler out at Bilston a few years ago and she told me some of the most ridiculous call she’d had in her time there. That’s not to even mention all the hoax calls and kids playing idiot who call in for a stupid thrill. So with numbers showing there has been a 2.7 per cent rise in the amount of calls compared to the previous Hogmanay, I bet you a break doesn’t even come into the minds of the 999 crew.

These guys are the ones who should be getting six weeks off or the equivalent pay in lieu for their outstanding and continuous efforts to keep us alive, well, safe and sound. So from all us idiots who you’ve saved after drinking too much or those who’ve seriously injured themselves, thank you. You’re all incredible and we couldn’t do it without you.

We might not all be able to thank you enough but seriously, without you we’d know all about it.