3 June 2020
While primary schools were supposed to reopen to 2 million pupils at the beginning of this week, parents of about half those children felt it was not yet safe to send them back. This is just the latest indictment of the government’s incompetent handling of the Covid-crisis.
But their chaotic lifting of lock-down, and their dodgy statistics, including the "too much too late" contact-tracing, were only aimed at one thing, anyway: to allow bosses to get workers back to work. And as far as social distancing and other safety measures go, there is no enforcement whatsoever, only “guidance”.
Of course, there have never been any real rules for the bosses in this system. And neither are there any now. They have had several months of "shielding" themselves, thanks to Sunak's so-called job retention scheme - which turns out to be nothing but a job-cuts preparation scheme. It gave companies time to plan and prepare an even greater jobs' massacre than we’ve ever seen before.
Already on the cards are 12,000 job cuts at BA, 9,000 at Rolls Royce, 4,500 at Easy Jet, 3,500 at fashion brand Monsoon Accessorize, 1,200 at McLaren - and many, many more. Not to mention the companies which have already collapsed, such as coach-holiday provider Shearings with 2,500 job losses or holiday-provider, TUI. Last week, the manufacturers’ lobby group, Make UK, said that 70% of its members are making plans to cut jobs.
Just as in the aftermath of 2008, in places where there aren’t immediate job cuts, like Nissan Sunderland, the workforce is being told there will have to be “increased flexibility”, if their future is to be “assured”. And sacked BA workers are being told to reapply for jobs on lower wages and under worse conditions!
Yes, despite the fact that this "crisis upon a crisis" is unprecedented, the bosses see it as nothing more than another opportunity to turn the screw further on the working class.
But the working class has been paying for the bosses' crises for far too long. Enough is already too much. We cannot allow any further attacks like this. It is time for us to do something which is also "unprecedented". And that is to use our full collective strength to fight back, for once - and for all.
...we must seize the time - and fight back!
The brutality of the police who murdered George Floyd in Minneapolis goes far beyond the kind of racism which has always been “normal” in this sick society. But this time, the hundreds of thousands of protesters out in the streets, all over the US, are determined not to take this latest cop-killing of a black man, lying down.
We need to take a leaf from their book. They show that they can fight; indeed they show that there is no other choice but to fight - even in the middle of this global pandemic, which, in the US has killed over 100,000 and pushed over 40 million into unemployment.
Yes, there has to be a fight - not just to get rid of the plague of racism, but to get rid of the class-based capitalist system which spawns it, dividing us, to control us.
In fact the US and British politicians presiding over this rotten system today, share in common an utter incompetence and nationalist US/Britain “first” bigotry. These have fuelled racism in both societies. And resulted in the highest number of Covid-19 deaths in the world as well as unprecedented social catastrophes for the working class - and the black working class in particular.
Of course, all over the world, governments have failed to control the virus. Worse, they’ve been incapable of using the world’s combined resources to do so, coming up with all kinds of inward-looking, competitive rhetoric. And in every country in the world, bar none, the poorest sections of the working class are paying the highest price for the dual crisis that capitalism has brought upon itself.
But here in Britain we can fight back. We MUST fight back. We should demand that not one job is cut! That work is shared out among all of us. And that shareholders dig into the record dividends paid last year - £110.5bn - to pay the cost of this crisis and to pay us all decent, living wages!
Of course the virus of greed which infects the bosses and their decrepit, outdated system, has only one ultimate cure: the revolution which many of the protesters in America are talking about today. For them it may just be words, said in fury. But the truth is that there is no way to reform this system. That has been tried over and over - and in much better circumstances than today - to no avail. It will have to be overthrown.