What’s “trustworthy” about any of them?

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
27 May 2020

So now we’re told that the “public” is “losing trust” in the government... because Dominic Cummings went for a drive against lockdown “rules”!

    As if Boris Johnson or any of his ministers still had anyone’s trust! No, they’ve proven themselves utterly useless from Day 1 of this Covid-19 crisis. One screw-up has followed another! And it’s not just a matter of egg on their faces. This has unnecessarily cost thousands and thousands of lives! That is criminal irresponsibility.

    Today the excess deaths - that is, those who have died from Covid-19, plus those who have died of other causes, over and above the number who would normally have died in this period - is 54,000.

    This means Britain has one of the highest death rates in the world, if not the highest, bar Trump’s USA and Bolsanaro’s Brazil. Yet Britain, with its unique national health service (even in its deteriorated state), could have prevented the spread of the virus as soon as it was known to be so infectious and so lethal. But “prevention” was not a strategy which this government or its “scientific” advisors chose to follow.

Political lives before human lives

No, instead of instituting immediate social distancing measures in the first critical weeks of the outbreak, Johnson went to a rugby match and allowed other sporting events to bring hundreds of thousands together in close proximity.

    And then the slogan went out: “protect the NHS” - but at the expense of those most vulnerable to the virus - the elderly - and at the expense of all other NHS functions - as it was turned into a Covid-only Health Service! And let’s not forget the white elephant Nightingale Hospitals: a gross miscalculation - but which made a nice profit for the contractors!

    All this, because Johnson figured that a political focus on “the NHS” was going to keep him and his government in the hearts of voters. Never mind their past record. But it is this blind calculation to save, not human life, but their political livelihoods, which can be held almost solely responsible for these excess deaths. Of course, the inability of Hancock to solve the PPE shortage is a significant contributing factor. And yet now that cases of Covid-19 are finally decreasing, Hancock explained in yesterday’s press conference that he has only just “found a way” to get PPE provision under control!

    What is more, we’re told that “test, trace and isolate” is being put into action “soon”, when it should have been the government’s very first response - along with quarantining all travellers into the country!

    But of course closing the stable door after the horse has bolted has been bumbling Johnson’s modus operandi all along. And even now he leaves this door ajar, by making quarantine a matter of individual responsibility. Anyway, can this talk of 14-day self-isolation for travellers into Britain be taken seriously, when it could well just be another ill-conceived bargaining chip in their Brexit talks? Especially since the airline companies are screaming blue murder over it, as they beg for larger and larger government subsidies?

We refuse to be “collateral damage”!

And talking of subsidies, while the working class bears the brunt of the coronacrisis, companies are getting a cash-vaccine. So we hear that Jaguar Land Rover is asking for a “more than £1bn” loan (or even a takeover if it cannot repay this).

    Indeed, car companies were among the first to take advantage of the free handouts in the form of the furlough scheme. And now, ahead of other retail, their showrooms are to open from 1 June - anything to sell more cars, given that this April, new registrations had slumped to 1946 levels...

    In France, President Macron has just promised £7bn to subsidise car buyers and makers. But nevertheless Renault says it will close at least 2, maybe 3 plants, cutting 5,000 jobs.

    Unsurprisingly, there are no guarantees for the workers. But in France, workers are taking pre-emptive strike action to fight these attacks: the plants may just have opened but the workers are staying outside!

    Here in Britain it is already the same story of job cuts. The workforce is expected to take the blows from this crisis - just as it took them during every other crisis, so far. But it doesn’t have to be like this. Why should any worker be thrown onto the scrapheap, when useful and environmentally-friendly essential production is desperately needed - whether it is ventilators or hydrogen fuel cells?

    It’s very true that logical and sensible planned production cannot be expected under this chaotic capitalist system, which has long passed its sell-by date - but which is nevertheless enthusiastically promoted by the elected politicians in government.

    Of course, they have a stake in it. But the working class has none. In fact the coronavirus debacle has demonstrated how downright dangerous it is for us to tolerate their rule over us.

    Obviously it’s not the likes of Cummings who are the problem. It’s the whole lot of these upholders of a rotten and useless system - on all sides of the House - who need to be thrown into the dustbin of history.