The working class needs to make its own rules

چاپ
11 January 2022

Yes, of course there's “one rule for them and another for us".  This is no revelation.  But apparently Angela Rayner and her Labour “colleagues” have only just discovered that we live in a class society...

    So, the “Bring Your Own Booze” party at Downing Street on 20 May 2020, may get self-righteous opposition MPs - especially - but also Johnson’s rivals in the ever-fractious Tory Party, to get on their high horses.  But frankly speaking, this is just “par for the course”!  Why would any “normal” person be surprised?  Not at this party, nor the Christmas cheese and wine, nor any other dodgy thing that went on in their corridors of power, for that matter!

    In fact, one could perhaps be surprised that Johnson was stupid enough to be found out.  Or maybe not.  After all, the crew in Westminster on all sides, would not be there if they were not deluded, not to mention blinded by their own self-promotion in the first place.

    And here it is worth adding that while Starmer and Co seem to think they can now go in for the kill against Johnson, they have never had any significant disagreements with him when it comes to policy - especially on Covid!

    The hypocritical tears being shed by most of these characters over the rest of us, who may have been unable to attend funerals, see sick and dying relatives or friends, are just that: hypocritical.  In fact just as the “clapping for the NHS and carers” was hypocritical clap-trap.

Workers and profits exempt

From day one of the Covid “rules” - agreed by both Tory and Labour - exemptions were made which quite consciously placed workers in harm’s way.

    These exemptions went way beyond the essential NHS and care staff.  Exceptions applied to an ever-expanding category of so-called “key” workers, including supermarket workers, transport and postal workers, food factory workers, supply and warehouse workers...  It’s a long list.

    Workers were told to go and socially mix and mass gather at work every day of the week regardless of the dying and dead from Covid.  By the end of May, in fact, even construction workers and car workers were told to go back to work.  Hardly essential for humanity, but certainly essential for the bosses’ profits.

    What’s more, the precautions meant to be implemented at workplaces were seldom adequate and were neither monitored nor enforced.  As a result, there were strikes (like at the DVLA) over the risks that workers were being asked to take on a daily basis.

    And who can forget the 29 London bus drivers who died of Covid, one after the other, in the space of the few weeks between March and May 2020?  Yes, sent to work so that NHS workers could catch the bus to work, at a time when masks (despite the already-known protective effect) weren’t mandatory and of course vaccines were still a hopeful dream.

Utterly “sick” rules

Today the hypocrisy of the bosses and politicians has reached a new level.  Wessex Water and IKEA’s unvaccinated workers are having their wages cut if they have to self-isolate: instead of full basic pay they’ll get Statutory Sick Pay of £96.35/w.  This, after the government has just exempted the vaccinated from self-isolating if they’ve been in contact with Covid.  And never mind that the vaccinated can still catch and pass the virus on!  This just adds further illogic to their unsafe “rules”!

    Morrisons supermarket already began penalising unvaccinated workers last September.  Though it didn’t pretend this was to persuade them to get jabbed.  It was trying to “claw back biblical pandemic costs” on the backs of its “key” workers who’d been coming to work all through the pandemic.  Never mind that it was still “on track to make profits of more than £431m for the full year”.

    And by the way, Sunak is currently paying part of the bosses’ SSP bills!  What a good trick by IKEA, Wessex Water, et al!  They plan not only to save on paying normal sick pay, but to get SSP refunded!

    If anything condemns this system’s rule-makers it’s their consistent refusal, precisely, to ensure that bosses pay full sick pay.  And on top of it, they even prevent part-time workers from qualifying for the £96.35 SSP pittance.  In fact their rules amount to an outright “incentive” to risk attending work while sick.  The new penalties for the unvaccinated increase this risk 100-fold!

    So yes, one rule for them, another for us...  All the more reason not to obey -  and certainly not to obey without question.  The working class must always ask: do the rules serve its interests?  Ultimately all the capitalists' rules will have to be abolished.  When the working class builds a new society without classes, it will make its own rules, which will operate in the interests of all.