Johnson expects his law (and the army) to stop the virus!

23 September 2020

So now there is a “stark warning” from government that at the current rate of COVID-19 spread, there could be 50,000 infections/day by mid-October, if new measures aren’t taken to “suppress the virus”...

    Advisors Vallance and Whitty appeared on BBC TV against a sombre grey background, this time on their own, to relay the message.  Yes, no political “minders” accompanied them.  Johnson wanted them to be taken seriously, because thanks to his zig-zagging policy and the latest fiasco over testing, public mistrust and the open flouting of rules has been growing - and many regard Vallance and Whitty as mere government apologists.

    That said, there is no doubt that the rate of spread of the virus is increasing.  The picture here is replicating - 2 weeks later - that of France and Spain.  The reasons for this are obvious.  In the absence of a vaccine, the only way to prevent the virus spreading is for us to keep away from each other.  The infection rate went up not long after all lock-down restrictions were relaxed and holiday-makers returned to work. So no, “we did not drive the virus into retreat” as Johnson claims!

    It’s common sense that it’s not possible to go abroad, return to work, school, or university, travel on public transport or eat or drink “out” - and at the same time “suppress the virus”!

    And if young people have been getting sick, this is not due to their “irresponsible social mixing”, but government policy which sent them into social situations at work, pubs, cafes, etc.

    But now, in taking new measures, “liberty and the economy” come first, for all the politicians and on all sides of the House.  “There must not be another lockdown” says Labour’s Starmer.

    Well, if these politicians did want to stop the virus, there is no balance to be struck, as they claim, between their profits-first economy and the population’s health: another lock-down would be needed.  But only because there is no social infrastructure left in this country, under public control, to implement the kind of “test, trace, isolate and treat”which would be needed to cut the spread of Covid - as was successfully done in China and countries like Taiwan and South Korea.  Or even in the poor Indian state of Kerala! The irony of this is obvious!

    Johnson’s latest rules are now to be subject to large fines or prosecution: instead of collective responsibility and adequate social provision, there is the “rule of law”.  That says it all about this society - which is why it is so urgent that we fight to change it... collectively.