PM BORIS JOHNSON in an interview in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph stated that the Tories were determined that there would be no further national lockdown and repeated his boast on Friday that Britain would ‘return to normal’ by November.
Jean Castex the French PM has also ruled out another nationwide lockdown. He said: ‘We won’t survive economically or socially an absolute generalised lockdown.’ Johnson did not display the honesty of the French Prime Minister when asked if he shared that approach.
He said: ‘I can’t abandon that tool any more than I would abandon a nuclear deterrent. But it is like a nuclear deterrent, I certainly don’t want to use it. And nor do I think we will be in that position again.’
The truth is that like France the UK capitalist class and its economy would not survive an ‘absolute generalised lockdown’.
US president Donald Trump has also claimed that coronavirus would just magically vanish at the same time that America was being ravaged by the virus and recording the highest rates of infection in the world thanks to Trump’s policy of forcing reopening regardless of health risks to workers.
Johnson is now pursuing the Trump policy for exactly the same reason – capitalism is demanding that the working class place their lives on the line in order to ensure the profits of the capitalist class, and to rescue capitalism from the rocks of the capitalist crisis.
On Friday, Johnson washed the hands of the government of any responsibility of deciding whether or not it is safe to return to work and instead handed responsibility to the bosses.
Completely reversing previous government instruction to work from home Johnson announced that now ‘we are going to give employers more discretion’ in deciding whether workers return to their jobs.
At the same time as Johnson announced that there would be no further lockdown the government’s chief scientific advisor Patrick Vallance was giving evidence to the House of Lords that flatly contradicted the Prime Minister’s claim that there would be no further second wave.
Vallance told peers: ‘As you release measures it is inevitable as you get more contacts that you will see more cases … Come winter, the challenges will be very much greater and of course there is a risk that this could need national measures.’
Vallance warned: ‘Everyone that I’ve spoken to thinks it’s highly likely that this disease will continue to circulate and will come back in waves.’
Speaking on Sky News on Sunday, Tory foreign secretary Dominic Raab said it was important to give businesses ‘a sense of a target, and a sense of hope’.
The hope Johnson has given the bosses is that workers will be driven back travelling on overcrowded public transport to work in unsafe conditions and forcing them to accept new wage-cutting contracts or be sacked. Johnson and the Tories have nothing but contempt for the safety of workers and their families. Their only concern is for the profits of the capitalist class.
The mad rush to declare coronavirus effectively ‘defeated’ and push for a reopening of capitalism is a sign of the desperate state of the UK economy.
Far from bouncing back, the vast majority of British companies will go bust once the life support of the furlough scheme is finally ended in the autumn, throwing over 4 million out of work.
There will be mass unemployment that goes far beyond that imposed on the working class during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
What is clear is that in their desperation to restore profits in the midst of economic collapse, capitalism is prepared to sacrifice the lives of millions of workers to coronavirus.
They have decisively rejected the model for combating the disease through lockdown and rigorous track and testing that has proved so effective in China.
Their model is to let the weak and elderly die while millions are thrown onto the scrapheap of unemployment, just so long as the bosses and bankers make a profit. The working class will not stand for this! They have their own ‘nuclear option’ in the form of mobilising in a general strike to kick out the Tories and bringing in a workers’ government and socialism. This is the only way forward!