Reading the news headlines today, I wondered if I was going mad.

“NHS to use celebrities in drive to encourage Covid vaccine take- up” one said. Reading on, I was informed that only about 7% of us would be the targets of this drive. Presumably, the other 93% which include me are happy to roll their sleeves up straightaway.

A month ago before the possibility that large numbers of doses were even remotely likely to become available, our top virologists were warning the public against allowing the wealthy to ‘queue-jump’.

After all, it’s no secret that they are usually able to get medical treatment and anything else they want by merely ‘flashing their cash’. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of us have been waiting for ages to get treated for various life-threatening illnesses.

Every day we read about the ways in which the wealthy have ‘ripped off ’ society. It’s been estimated that there is over a £trillion held in tax havens, tax avoidance and tax evasion is rife and company pension schemes have been raided by corporate bosses whilst public sector workers are denied appropriate pay.

This Tory government’s officers have been awarding £multi-million contracts for Personal Protection Equipment and Testing facilities to personal friends who have been just intermediaries in the financial processes involved and apparently had no prior experience at all beyond ‘networking’.

Their failures have been excruciatingly painful with warehouses full of the wrong goods and ‘Test and Trace’ has been the worst in Europe.

The suggestion that we now hand rich celebrities ‘approbation medals’ to ‘voluntarily’ jump the queue for vaccination and get applauded for doing so seems absurd to me.

It’s ‘dressing up foxes to look like lambs’! There isn’t a celebrity on the face of this earth who should get preferential treatment over ordinary people whatever the motive.

Although I have paid for private treatment myself in the past faced with six-month waits for appointments, no-one in this country should be able do that.

Wealth doesn’t make one person’s life worth more than another’s.

We should all realise that by buying private medicine we are both robbing the NHS of vital services and the less well-off of decent lives.

MIKE JOSLIN

Dorchester