THE Prime Minister and Chancellor are to ‘now self-isolate as normal’ after both met with Health Secretary Sajid Javid who had tested positively for coronavirus. This disabled government will now be working from ministers’ homes with PM Johnson conducting meetings remotely.
The government is being badly beaten by the virus, despite having two working vaccines, and is continuing to ‘Reopen the economy’ to the virus today.
Labour however remains in support of ‘National Reopening Day’, agreeing that whatever the dangers to the working class it is more important that the capitalist economy keeps on working.
Meanwhile, a London Underground line has reopened after it was closed on Saturday because staff had received isolation orders after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
Transport unions have warned of ‘dire consequences’ in the coming days as the latest figures showed infection rates rising in all areas of London in the seven days up to 12 July, with Hammersmith and Fulham recording the highest rate of 436 cases per 100,000 people.
The Unite union said yesterday that ‘Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, must be ready to extend furlough and work with trade unions to introduce short-time working protections, or risk tens of thousands of skilled jobs and our economic recovery’.
Steve Turner, Unite’s assistant general secretary for manufacturing, said: ‘My members at Nissan and thousands more across manufacturing, health, hospitality, retail and public transport live in fear of being pinged by the app as it means that they can’t work because they have to isolate. Businesses, already reeling from Covid disruption, face more insecurity, downtime, closures and lost services.’
He added: ‘They should have picked up the phone to talk with unions and employers about how to sensibly re-open the economy … As a result the virus will rip through our communities and there’s every danger the economy will take another hit this autumn.’
Turner concluded: ‘The Chancellor has to be ready to extend furlough and work with us to introduce short-time working protections, as our competitors have, to protect our industrial heartlands. If not, tens of thousands of skilled jobs and our recovery will be at risk.’
Meanwhile, the BMA’s Dr Penelope Toff, co-chair of the BMA public health medicine committee, warned: ‘The enormous surge in Covid-19 infections this past week should serve as the biggest indicator yet that easing all remaining restrictions on Monday is not in the best interests of people or the economy.’
She added: ‘We’re already hearing of ICU wards beginning to fill up and many Covid-19 wards being reopened.’
Scientists have also warned that: ‘Allowing the virus to spread in low-and-middle-income countries with low vaccination rates risks “producing variants instead of vaccines”,’ which campaigners say would send the UK’s vaccine programme ‘right back to square one’.
Nick Dearden, Director of Global Justice Now, said: ‘There will be no so-called ‘‘freedom day’’ for most of the world, who may wait 57 years to receive Covid-19 vaccines at present rates. And with the virus spreading unabated in low-and-middle-income countries, new variants could threaten the UK’s vaccine programme.’
This disabled government is ‘returning to normal’ today, with infection rates doubling and trebling. The truth is that capitalism is unwilling and unable to deal with this crisis since it will tolerate no interference with its profits.
China is the only country that has been able to smash the virus, by a 100% close down of its economy with no jobs lost or wages cut. The Chinese economy is now once again booming while the US and UK economies implode.
The trade unions must stop pleading with the Tories, at a time when the government is planning massive job, wage and pensions cuts.
With the Tory government now in disarray the trade unions must tell Johnson that the working class is not going to pay for the crisis and that the unions will call a general strike to bring down his government to bring in a Workers Government.
This will take all the actions that are needed to smash the virus and defend workers’ jobs and their futures by bringing in a nationalised and planned economy under workers control and management.
This is the only way forward.
The Tories’ ‘national reopening’ must be ended with a general strike that will bring in a workers’ government and socialism.
There is no other way forward but to continue the work of the Russian and Chinese revolutions to replace capitalism with worldwide socialism!