TORY science minister George Freeman admitted yesterday that the government had rejected the advice of its own experts at SAGE over restrictions designed to hold back the spread of the new Covid Omicron variant in Britain.
Freeman made his admission after leaked minutes from a meeting of Sage revealed that they had recommended the reintroduction of pre-departure tests for people returning to the UK from countries placed on the ‘red list’ of countries where the Omicron virus is most prevalent.
Freeman admitted in an interview on Times Radio that this advice had been ignored because ‘the economy would be on its knees’.
He said: ‘In the end ministers have to make tough decisions about the balance of health and the economy here in the UK.’
Freeman went on: ‘We are guided by science but health, economics – it’s a trade-off. The economy would be on its knees, and that is not in anybody’s interest.’
It certainly isn’t in the interest of a capitalist system so weak and bankrupt that even the most elementary precautions to try and stem the spread of the highly contagious Omicron virus would bring it crashing down.
Freeman also made it clear that the Tories were not really concerned with any inconvenience to every traveller when he added ‘We are making sure we are not supporting the spread of the virus internationally but we do need people to be able to come here and do deals.’
The overriding concern for the Tories is to make life easy for the ‘dealmakers’, the hedge fund operators and international bankers.
Nothing must be done to give the impression that British capitalism may be forced into a lockdown.
When the Omicron virus first hit the headlines last Friday the response of the world stock markets was to immediately see share values plummet.
They only made a slight recovery this week after pledges by the US and UK governments that there would be no further lockdowns regardless of the risk to the lives of workers and their families.
Yesterday, the stock market recovery went into reverse when the US confirmed its first case of Omicron in the USA as the capitalist financial world reacted with fear that the global recovery they desperately hope for would be wrecked.
This followed a warning from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that Western governments could be forced to bring in emergency financial support for businesses and households as the Omicron variant causes a severe global ‘slowdown’.
The brutal fact is that the capitalist economies of the West don’t have the money to bail-out the businesses and banks let alone provide any financial support to the millions of households that if any further lockdowns are forced on them by workers refusing to risk their lives to keep capitalism from collapse.
It would spell a global crash of world capitalism. This is why the Tories have dropped any pretence of being guided by scientific evidence.
It is also behind the increasingly strident demands from world capitalism for China to end its lockdown and abandon its strategy of eradicating Covid entirely in order to ‘save’ global capitalism.
A recent report by Chinese mathematicians at Peking university, using the modelling methods used in the West, showed that if China had followed the UK in opening up and ending all Covid restrictions it would have faced a ‘colossal outbreak’ of more than 630,000 infections a day!
As it is, China reported just 23 new Covid cases last Saturday while the UK recorded 48,374 daily cases yesterday.
China was able to pursue its ‘zero tolerance’ to Covid while at the same time recording an economic growth greater than those of ‘opened-up’ capitalist economies because of the socialised property relations established by the Chinese revolution and which freed production from the grip of private ownership and the need for profit at all costs.
The only way forward for the working class is to put an end to a bankrupt capitalist system that puts profit above the lives of workers by bringing down the Tory government and bringing in a workers’ government and socialism.