NHS employees have been asked if they would prefer a badge, a medal or a pay cut as punishment for not wanting a badge or a medal.
The Conservative government, which is watching the country proclaim its love for the NHS with increasing alarm, is hoping trinkets will do the trick or it will have to go in hard.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said: “What a wonderful job the NHS is doing, and wouldn’t it be marvellous to reward its staff not with intangibles like more money or better conditions but with something they can keep in a drawer.
“Like old soldiers they can wear their medal and remember when the country needed them, or they can wear their badge and get respect, or they can take a 25 per cent pay cut over three years. Their choice.
“Because they might be heroes now but if they don’t want their badges they’re opposing a heroic pandemic-battling government and it’s basically wartime and they’re traitors.
“Did Luke Skywalker and Han Solo ask for common areas, reduced training costs and the restoration of shift allowances when they blew up the Death Star? No. They were happy with medals.”
Hancock then reminded Britain that clapping does not constitute any kind of contractual obligation on the part of the state.