Election 2021: politicians seek voter-protection - but no need to give it! & Hundreds of thousands dead from covid?

 Election 2021: politicians seek voter-protection - but no need to give it!

This week's elections are not very different from elections in the past, except for one thing: the pandemic. But Johnson’s criminal Covid record of achieving one of the highest death rates in the world - 152,000 - has been forgotten already. All the opinion polls and newspapers are predicting that the Tories are going to do well. And that even the historically-Labour Hartlepool seat in the by-election there, will turn blue!

    We are told that this is because the election is still about Brexit, which Johnson "got done". But that is quite hard to credit, since Brexit is definitely not going so well! Look at fishing, or Northern Ireland's unionist anger over Johnson’s betrayal, or the border in the Irish sea, or all the businesses which have lost trade and/or their workforces...

    In fact one has to laugh. Johnson even claimed that Brexit had given him powers to "do things to make sure we don't get things like the ESL (European Super League)”! How did he work that one out? Football fans led that fight, just as they are now trying to stage another against Manchester United's Glazer family, which has been running this club into the ground... In fact vote-seeking Johnson even said on Monday that he found their violence “understandable”!

    We are also told that Johnson’s approval ratings are up because of his vaccine roll-out success. No, not thanks to NHS expertise, but Johnson's liking for private venture capitalism and his Gordon Gecko "greed is good" approach!

    Well, private greed may have helped in grabbing the lion's share of a scarce vaccine supply - at the expense of others' lives - but getting the vaccine into everyone's arms in Britain, has been a wholly "public" endeavour... 

    All that said, what is the political alternative? Certainly as far as voting goes, there is none. If Starmer needed to prove Labour's bankruptcy, he certainly did so when he launched that attack on Johnson's flat refurbishment. Because on all vital issues, like Johnson's mishandling of the pandemic, Labour was with him every step of the way. As far as Starmer was concerned, the government's Covid policy "followed science" - even when it didn't. Today, Starmer has no leg to stand on!

    All of this is no revelation. The working class remains in the same position as ever: the only way it can achieve change is not - and never was - through the ballot box, but by using its collective strength to fight for it, in the workplaces and on the streets.

 Hundreds of thousands dead from covid? G7 ministers couldn't care less

G7 foreign ministers have been meeting in London to talk about their “aid”, to poor countries, among other things... And all of them have been cutting it: all the more so, in the light of the pandemic and just when it is needed most! Then again, “aid” never comes for free. As was immediately revealed by the announcement of a £1bn “deal with India” by Johnson, after his zoom meeting with Indian prime minister Modi!

    Of course, India is in desperate need of every kind of foreign help right now. This hit home when two of India’s delegation here in London tested Covid positive, sending them all into self-isolation.

    But what is the answer of the rich G7? So far, Dominic Raab had the cheek to boast about sending “200 ventilators, 495 oxygen concentrators and three oxygen generation units”! Even if followed up by “1,000 more ventilators” it’s a drop in the ocean. Apparently sharing some of Britain’s 495m doses of vaccine is out, because Britain comes first!

    Everyone makes the point that India is home to the largest vaccine producer on the planet - but that only 10% of its population has received a vaccine. Modi only ordered 110m doses - enough for just 4%. After throwing his followers into the path of the virus during the election campaign and watching it rip through the population, he went to a temple to pray! This friend of Boris Johnson has not even declared a total lockdown.

    Of course, the main problem is that poor countries like India are prevented from making drugs and vaccines, because of patent laws - one of the issues being discussed in the G7 this week. Britain, the US and the EU are opposed to waiving these, using the lame excuse that there are too many items involved in the supply chain or that legal challenges would be problematic. They compare the £935bn ($1.3 trillion!), the annual turnover of the top 10 G7 pharmaceutical companies, to “the cost” of several hundred thousand dead in India - and for them it’s an easy choice. Their only concern is to preserve the monopoly of these companies’ super-profits. And nothing else.