12 months later - a general working class “lock-down” needed!

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
16 March 2021

Exactly a year ago this week, Johnson’s government imposed its first - too late - lockdown against Covid, claiming to be “following science”.

    In the light of the current “halt” placed on rolling out the AstraZeneca vaccine, by so many EU governments, without real grounds, the question has to be asked, does any government really “follow science”?

    In fact here in Britain it is “modellers” from SPI-M, the “Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling”, who lead the decision-making. Today they admit they didn’t know what they were dealing with 12 months ago.

    Of course they didn’t. They are neither virus nor disease experts. Modelling is based on statistics, i.e., on number-crunching. Has everyone forgotten the saying that “there are lies, damn lies... and statistics”? Yes, data can be manipulated and used selectively to prove what you want it to prove. Which is why it has to stand up to general scrutiny.

    And from day 1 in this pandemic, the government has tried to get the modellers and their “data” to fit in with its policies, to justify the unjustifiable. Yes, to save, not lives, but the profits of British bosses - and ministers’ political skins. If these two objectives can be called “science” then words, like numbers, can be twisted to serve any purpose!

    What happened after the summer proves the point. By then, nobody (least of all the modellers) could argue that they didn’t know what they were dealing with. Even when the belated lockdown came, it was anything but “stringent”- as the working class knows full well - because industry has remained open throughout and workers have caught Covid in unprecedented numbers.

    Now, governments abroad, who all operate within this same money-first, human lives second, system, are using a pseudo-scientific question mark placed over the AstraZeneca vaccine, as a cover for their own inadequacy in the face of the 2nd Covid wave. Is it irresponsible towards the populations? For sure it is! Especially when so many people are already uncertain about whether to trust vaccines or not! And especially when there is a general vaccine shortage.

    Would politicians really try to control vaccine demand in such a cynical way? Of course they would. Here in Britain, where Covid deaths have reached 126,000 - more than any country in Europe - the working class has learnt through a bitter 12 months’ experience to put nothing past the politicians and the bosses they protect. We know that we will have to save our own lives and livelihoods, and that the only way to do so, is through our collective fightback. And the sooner the better.