The profit virus will have to be eradicated - once and for all!

Drucken
29 January 2020

Friday is the day that Johnson, his government and the Westminster establishment's nationalist bigots have long been waiting for:  Brexit will be "done" and Britain will finally sail away from Europe, towards a glorious future, reminiscent of its imperial past.  Or so they want us to believe.
    The truth, however, is that while Johnson has now banned ministers from even using the word "Brexit" in their briefs, in the real world, there will be no change.  The Brexit farce will just have won another lease of life.
    In fact, the first leg of the process was the "easy" one.  The second leg, starting in March, will be far more tricky, since it is meant to redefine Britain's economic relations with the EU.  It will involve a huge amount of horse-trading between the two sides, in order to protect the interests of their respective big companies - i.e., in Britain’s case, what Johnson already calls "the National Interest".
    Johnson boasts he can complete this second leg in 9 months.  But whether he will, is another question!  Ironically, though, only by the end of this process will it be possible to know - at last! - what Brexit really means beyond the politicians' lies - more than 4 years after the 2016 referendum in which voters are supposed to have made a "democratic choice"!

Warnings for the working class

Nothing is meant to change until next December.  But the government wants to give the impression that things are moving.  The result is the future Immigration Bill, due to come into force in January next year, which is currently being discussed.
    Like all previous immigration legislation, it will offer a red carpet to the better offs and high flyers - that much is clear.  As to the rest - including the famous "Australian-style point system" - it is so vague that it has been described by Johnson's own experts as a mere "soundbite"!
    But isn't this government's main objective to highlight its plans for drastic policies against migrant workers?  Wasn't the end of the EU's free movement of labour, the main motto of the Leave camp?  And weren't migrant workers the scapegoats chosen by the Tories in order to divert attention from their attacks against the working class, after the 2008 banking crisis?
    12 years on, the same scape-goating based on lies goes on.  Migrant workers are supposed to be responsible for the collapse of the NHS (never mind that it would be completely paralysed without its migrant nurses and doctors!), the housing crisis (as if social housing had not been starved of funding for decades!) and the crisis in education (which will be made even worse when foreign teachers stop coming to Britain!).  The same old lies!
    These lies - and this future Immigration Bill - are just weapons to divide the working class.  EU workers who have been living, working and paying tax here, sometimes for decades, are being targeted.  Their rights are meant to be protected by a so-called "settled status".  But they could easily be the victims of another Windrush-style scandal, for the same reasons - if they have no way of proving their status.  So, yes, this government and its policies are a threat to the working class.  And they should be opposed as such.

Lessons of an epidemic

Ironically, just as the British government aims at transforming Britain into a fortress against the rest of the world by tightening border controls, the coronavirus epidemic which recently started in China, is demonstrating the total irrelevance of borders.
    Not that border controls haven't been tightened up:  the 11-million strong population of Wuhan, where the epidemic started, has been locked up inside the town.  But this hasn't prevented the disease from spreading to the rest of China and now, to other continents.
    What has been the response of the richest and most advanced countries?  In the name of the "national interest", no doubt, they have been striving to repatriate their own citizens from Wuhan.  Johnson's government has been the last one to move on this account - but that's only because of its incompetence.
    Instead, these rich countries could have put all their resources - medical staff and research facilities -  at the disposal of the Chinese authorities in order to fight the disease.  Surely, by pooling together all medical resources across the planet, some sort of effective emergency response could have been put together.  But this would not be profitable for the rich countries' big companies.  So it didn't and won't happen.
    At least, it won't happen as long as this profit-driven capitalist system, based on the competition between rich individuals, runs the world.  And this is why we will need to eradicate the profit virus of capitalism from the face of the earth, as a matter of life or death!