IN A VIDEO call with Tory backbenchers on Tuesday night, prime minister Boris Johnson boasted that capitalist greed was responsible for the UK’s vaccination programme saying: ‘The reason we have the vaccine success is because of capitalism, because of greed, my friends.’
Johnson quickly realised that blurting out the truth that capitalism is a system based entirely on greed was a bad mistake and urged his MPs to ‘forget I said that.’
At least some of the Tory MPs present didn’t think it was a bad thing to admit publicly that capitalist greed is good, and rushed off to leak his remarks to the press. Johnson’s boast about capitalist greed playing a positive role in coronavirus vaccines was met with outrage.
Julia Grace Patterson, a doctor, and chief executive of the campaign group EveryDoctor, condemned Johnson’s ‘disgusting remarks’ writing on twitter: ‘The enormous efforts of scientists and healthcare workers have delivered success. What will ensure that vast swathes of the world’s population cannot access vaccines safely? Capitalism and greed.’
Nick Dearden, director of the group Global Justice Now, said: ‘The prime minister will call this comment a slip of the tongue, but it’s an incredibly revealing remark. It shows just how warped his understanding of this crisis is. We have a vaccine because of massive public investment and the remarkable work of scientists at publicly-funded universities. We’ve rolled it out because of our incredible National Health Service.’
He added: ‘Greed, however, drove big pharma to privatise this work and withhold doses from millions worldwide to protect their profits.’
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was developed by publicly funded universities not by private companies, and the incredible roll out of the vaccine owes nothing to the companies paid millions by the Tories for useless test and track programmes.
In fact capitalist greed and its insatiable desire for profit has led to the UK recording one of the highest death rates from coronavirus in the main capitalist countries, second only to the US.
The pandemic has so far cost the lives of over 125,000 people in the UK, and thousands of these deaths were caused by the refusal of the Tories to bring in a lockdown for weeks after scientists were urging them to do so.
Instead, in order to keep capitalism open and the profits rolling in for the bosses, they operated a policy of herd immunity, letting the virus rip through the population on the basis that only the old and weak would die.
When forced by the opposition of workers to go into partial lockdowns they ended them prematurely, determined at all costs to get capitalism working again and restore the profits of the bosses.
This has been the guiding principle of the Tories all along – to demand that the working class make sacrifices in order to satisfy the greed of the bosses for profits.
With the covid vaccination programme offering the route to ending lockdown, the Tories are preparing to demand more and more sacrifices to save bankrupt British capitalism.
Already, they are imposing wage cuts on public sector workers in the form of wage freezes while NHS workers, who have borne the brunt of the pandemic, are being offered an insulting 1% increase – a further wage cut after inflation.
Across private industry, fire and rehire is spreading as the means to smash workers wages and conditions as capitalism attempts to increase exploitation to bolster profits.
Johnson’s blurted admission that capitalism is based solely on greed and places profit above the health and lives of workers, is a stark warning of the class war that the Tories are prepared to unleash on the working class.
Workers will not accept making these sacrifices to keep the bosses in profit but will say ‘enough is enough’ and that capitalism must go.
What is urgently required is to build the WRP to provide the leadership that will organises the strength of the working class in a general strike to kick out the Tories and go forward to a workers government that will expropriate the bosses and go forward to a socialist economy that places the needs of the people first not the greed of capitalists.