India’s covid catastrophe: Modi takes his cue from Johnson and Trump & No inquiry needed! it's obvious this system is rotten

 India’s covid catastrophe: Modi takes his cue from Johnson and Trump

When the devastating wave of Covid infections began to sweep through parts of India last week, a worker in Gurgaon industrial zone near Delhi was heard to say “I think they just want to kill us”.

    That’s exactly how it seems. Modi stopped short of announcing a national lockdown and carried on his election campaigns right up to last week. He appears maskless, as do his ministers, one of them even boasting that he attended a rally while suffering from Covid. No preparations for this outbreak had been made, even though Covid cases have been rising since mid-March.

    Though there are now restrictions in many states, the Confederation of Indian Industry has delayed plant closures - although some have now shut for 2 weeks, taking the opportunity to sack contract workers! Migrant day-labourers from Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai had no option but to go back to their villages in an exodus on almost the scale of last March.

    In the same Gurgaon, 7 Maruti factory workers are already dead from Covid, 1 has died at Honda and many more are sick. Yet Maruti keeps working; there is no lockdown in Gurgaon’s Haryana state.

    The biggest factor in deaths - now reaching 198,000 - has been the lack of oxygen. Major hospitals just ran out. Staff had to watch their patients die. Two weeks into this shortage the government banned industry from buying oxygen supplies, but failed to requisition its stockpiles. Much of these have escaped onto the black market, as have stocks of the anti-viral drug remdesivir, which is selling at 4-5x its usual price.

    Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) plants to make oxygen weren’t ramped up, even if this was part of the plan last year. It was done in Kerala, which now has surplus oxygen. Not even 10 of 162 planned PSA plants were set up in the rest of the country.

    Modi now says everyone over 18 can get vaccinated! But companies can sell jabs (if they have them!) at “self-regulated” prices. So far, only 10% of the population has had a 1st dose, even though India is the world’s biggest vaccine-producer. There’s an acute shortage of supply; in his boastful vaccine diplomacy, Modi told manufacturers to send vials abroad, well into this new wave. Now many states can’t start a roll-out before 1 May at the earliest.

    It’s true that India is one of the poorest and most populous countries in the world. But the virus has been aided and abetted in this present catastrophe by the policy of its government and its capitalist class. That worker from Gurgaon is right. It seems as if they want to kill “us” all.

 No inquiry needed! it's obvious this system is rotten to the core!

It’s being called the greatest miscarriage of justice in British legal history: the Court Of Appeal has just quashed the convictions of 39 subpostmasters. In the years between 2000 and 2014, the government- owned Post Office falsely accused over 900 of its employees of fraud and theft, forced them to pay back money they never had, put them on trial and then sent them to jail. By now, many have served lengthy prison terms, lost their livelihoods and some were even driven to suicide. Yet so far, the Post Office has offered derisory sums of just £20,000 in compensation for what, on its part, really is criminal.

    The initial convictions were made because the Post Office lied about the reliability of its Horizon IT accounting system, supplied by Fujitsu. The Appeal Court found that the Post Office knew all along that there were serious issues with this system, but pursued the convictions regardless.

    Now the Labour Party is calling for a "proper inquiry". Just as it’s calling for a “proper inquiry” into the “refurb” of Johnson’s flat, as if anyone needs proof that Johnson is corrupt and a liar. Anyway, it is “standard practice” for MPs and prime ministers to fiddle their expenses.

    But what do these official inquiries achieve, even if they do ask questions which need answers? Certainly the government should, for instance, be held accountable for the Covid deaths - starting with what happened in care homes - yet it is the person who was ultimately responsible, i.e., Boris Johnson, who appoints the lead investigator! How much will that inquiry reveal?

    In fact, which inquiry has ever told us anything we didn't already know, or actually made any changes? The ongoing Grenfell Tower inquiry into the fire, has still not resulted in the de-cladding of hundreds of other blocks with the same inflammable coverings. The Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war, as well as coming more than a decade later, did not put Tony Blair in prison. But that, in fact, is the very point of these pointless exercises.

    They are there to protect a murderous system, defend the indefensible and bury the truth.