Crunch time for them - and crunch-them time for us!

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18 November 2020

So those unelected bureaucrats and architects of the “Leave” campaign - Cummings and Cain - who assumed sovereignty over Johnson’s government - left by Number 10's front door last week.

    Is it just a coincidence that their departure coincides with crunch time for the thorny post-Brexit EU trade deal? It leaves Johnson isolated, for sure. All the more so, since he now must remain holed-up in his flat above Number 11, on the instructions of “Test&Trace”, for the next 10 days!

    But never mind, as with most of the niceties of governing the country, he can leave the real business to someone else, while he blusters on about being “fit as a butcher’s dog” and makes foot-in-mouth statements on the “disaster” of Scottish devolution!

    In the case of the final leg of the Brexit negotiations, it’s left to chief Brexiteer, “Lord” Frost to make the deal - or not - with the EU. It’s a choice of shrinking the British economy by another 5%, or by another 8%, on top of the 20% it already shrank, because of the ongoing world crisis plus covid.

    Frost has a long history of disagreement with the EU - implacably opposing one of the gains of EU membership (besides free movement) for the working class, i.e., the 1998 Working Time Regulations. Which, thanks to Britain’s sovereignty and independence from the EU, were soon watered down by Westminster, allowing opt-outs - so the working class here still does not have a legally enforceable, non-negotiable, maximum 8-hour working day!

    The arguments which continue to be made about “taking back control of British waters” (actually not the waters, but the free fish) and the EU refusing to respect Britain’s “independence” and “sovereignty”, work both ways. But unsurprisingly, it’s the EU which gets the blame from this side of the Channel - a Channel which will soon be a costly barrier to all.

    As for the “union” and devolution, which is on Johnson’s mind, perhaps he can explain how a non-independent, non-sovereign British government offered (without Brussels’ say-so) to grant Scotland its sovereignty in 2014?

    Yes their rhetoric over British “sovereignty” is absurd. But it’s also dangerous in the context of their policies, including Brexit, which aggravate the ongoing capitalist crisis, made worse by covid. Everyone knows what happened in the 1930s, when the economy last suffered such a deep depression.

    It is only the resurgence of a united working class ready to fight for a world without any borders, that can counteract such danger. That is what we have to aim for.

Good news for their share markets!

It’s good news that effective vaccines against covid-19 might soon be available - exactly what’s needed to save lives! Because the bad news is that the official British death toll from covid is now 61,648. Excess deaths are 70,089 and rising.

    No wonder. The government’s current restrictions are as half-hearted as ever. As are its half-measures to “help” workers who have lost their jobs, struggling on the pittance offered by benefits and the pathetic £500 for self-isolating, or much worse, trying to live on nothing at all.

    But of course, this mini lock-down is all about looking after the Tories’ friends in business: construction, manufacturing, transport - and schools - all stay open, keeping the virus circulating. On 2 December, shops will reopen in time for the Xmas rush, and in time for another rush of viral infections. Yet even so, Tory MPs are rebelling against lock-downs. That’s the level of ignorance and cynicism amongst this “cream” of the political crop!

    And now, two vaccines are announced which claim covid protection rates of over 90%: one from Pfizer-BioNTech and another from Moderna - neither of which are fully evaluated. But both are already a huge success for the capitalists: as soon as the news was out, Pfizer shares soared 15% and BioNTech’s shot up by 26.5%!

    The CEO of Pfizer cashed in straight away, making £4m! Moderna shares are up over 9% and stock market indexes around the world all hit new highs, while companies which had suffered lows because of C-19, like British Airways, saw shares up by 10%!

    What's also clear is that the pharmaceutical companies are ensuring that the intellectual property rights of "their discoveries" are protected, first and foremost. And the "modest"(!) prices of the jabs are already decided!

    Health Secretary Hancock is delighted to be able to draw attention away from the government's serial failures, by announcing that millions of doses have been ordered already, including from other companies, like AstraZeneca. And that Britain is ahead in the queue for more! Yes, jumping in front of the poor countries which don’t even have oxygen, ventilators or basic medicines for their covid patients! That is the real "success" of this abhorrent system.