They've all been happy to live with the Johnson virus & Beating the drum against Russia over Ukraine

 They've all been happy to live with the Johnson virus

For weeks now, the political question of the day has been "will Johnson resign, or won't he"?  The answer is meant to depend on the findings of Sue Gray's inquiry into the "Party-gate" scandal, (commissioned by the PM himself...), which was published on Wednesday.  But now the cops are also involved.  So in the meantime, Johnson - who wants to remain "king" forever, no matter what - is going nowhere.

    The workers and poor of this country - who live every day with the injustices of this class society - don't need this storm in the Westminster teacup to "reveal the truth" about this "one rule for them and another for us" set-up!  As for champion fibber Johnson, being "proven" to lie...  what more can be said?

    Starmer's Labour opposition has of course, smelt blood.  So, to the exclusion of everything else going on in the world, they are going in for the "kill" - or at least trying to.  But even if Johnson resigns or is sacked, Starmer, whose personal popularity sits at 29% (Johnson still has a 1 point lead!) is unlikely to gamble on a general election, which he may not win. 

    It is worth remembering that up to now, Labour and the rest of the opposition politicians have been co-existing very happily with the Johnson virus.  Never mind that his government's Covid policy killed 30,000 elderly in care during the first and second waves.  Or that the official, (underestimated) death toll already passed 150,000 this month.  Johnson's vaccine and booster campaigns have given them all amnesia.

    As for the effects of Brexit, they don't even mention the word.  But what "benefits" has it brought so far?  The exodus of skilled and professional workers, adding to the dire shortage of staff in the already-collapsing NHS and social care systems; the huge losses for farmers and fishing; the disinvestment of car and heavy engineering companies, with worse to come when further trade tariffs come in, in July this year. And then there is the provocation of new Irish Troubles...  But Starmer, for one, had already decided to live with the Brexit virus... 

    So yes, the current "labouring" of this "Party-gate" melodrama, ends up being a diversion which can only, paradoxically, benefit the Conservative government - if not Johnson - at the end of the day.  The working class can get no mileage out of it.

 Beating the drum against Russia over Ukraine

Meanwhile, Johnson is beating a war drum against Russia's Putin over Ukraine.  Perhaps he hopes to have a quick "Churchill moment", in the light of all the calls to resign!  So on Monday he claimed that the 60 Russian battle groups massed on the Ukraine border were evidence of a “plan for a lightning war that could take out Kyiv”.  And he warned Russia's Putin not to attack - because this would be a disaster "for us all"... 

    Putin has been deploying troops and military hardware along Russia's border with Ukraine since last November.  However his foreign minister Lavrov continues to deny that Russia has any intention of invading.  Indeed, this deployment is a bargaining chip.  Talks are still proceeding between EU leaders, US president Biden and Russia's president Putin.

    For Putin, the threat is perceived to come from NATO.  For years he has been complaining about the siting of NATO missiles and the military support being provided to the countries along Russia's western border and lately, to Ukraine.  This was one of the reasons for his 2014 occupation of east Ukraine and Crimea - and of course the fact that these parts of Ukraine were predominantly Russian-speaking and Russian-identifying anyway, thus in Putin's view, "rightfully" Russian.

    NATO, established during the Cold War to "resist" the then USSR, was never disbanded when the USSR collapsed.  Today, Cold War rhetoric is being revived.  For all the imperialist leaders, but Biden in particular, hyping up the threat of war with Russia is a useful distraction from the domestic crises they all find themselves in...

    So Biden has put 8,500 troops on standby.  Britain has sent weapons.  On Saturday, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss declassified secret service intelligence claiming Russia was plotting to install a puppet leader in Ukraine.  One might wonder why, if the US and Britain are in conflict with Putin, they had nothing to say about the Russian troops sent to Kazakhstan two weeks ago, which shot and killed working class demonstrators fighting against price rises?

    In fact today, the imperialist leaders - led by the US - are willing to share their role of global policeman, even with someone like Putin, to maintain their degenerate and increasingly unstable "world order".  And at the same time they threaten Putin himself, if he tries to break their rules.  And never mind the potentially catastrophic consequences for the populations who might be caught in the crossfire.