‘WE WERE hoping for a V: a rapid economic bounceback. We would have probably settled for a W: a wobbly recovery, with dips along the way. Right now even an L – a steep plunge that at least bottoms out – would be acceptable. Instead it is starting to look like an I: a collapse that goes down and down.’ So wrote Matthew Lynn in Saturday’s Daily Telegraph.
He further observed: ‘There is no point in keeping businesses alive if they were simply going to collapse in 2023 or 2024 anyway.’ The whole of Chancellor Sunak’s bail out strategy has thus been rubbished, along with the future of capitalism.
The Tories and the Labourites are now split between those who advocate extended regional lockdowns, and those who say that we must learn to live with the virus and that measures should be taken to open up the economy and set it and the young people free from all restrictions to consumption.
The vulnerable now includes not just pensioners, but 50-year-olds who have put on weight. The latest news is that they will have to be protected from themselves and perhaps confined to their rooms, so that in the winter crisis, they do not overload and crash the NHS.
This is the Brave New World that capitalism is opening up. It is one where if at 50 you fatten, society and the NHS will have to be protected from you.
Yesterday, Professor Peter Horby issued a warning that another national coronavirus lockdown is a possibility and the UK is at a ‘precarious point’ with the numbers of people admitted to hospital rising. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce tougher local restrictions today.
In fact, the original national lockdown should have been continued until the disease was crushed as it was in China, but the capitalist class would not accept this, since it would obviously have slashed their profits.
The latest news from China is that the economy of the deformed workers’ state got another boost in September as the service industries recorded their fifth consecutive month of strong growth.
China has beaten the virus and production and exports are proceeding forward. From the start, China adopted a policy of total lockdown with workers continuing to get their wages, and having access to food supplies and healthcare while the virus was being taken on and defeated. Such an approach was out of the question in the UK and the USA where the bosses profits come first and healthcare a poor second!
In fact the Cygnus report of 2016, which showed that the UK was completely unprepared for the pandemic, is to be published after a legal action, and shortly workers will be able to read just how unprepared the British government was to deal with the coronavirus and the desperate crisis that it caused.
The Johnson regime is now, despite an 80-seat majority, in its own desperate crisis, with its own Tory ‘learn to live with the virus’ faction growing rapidly. In fact, Saturday’s Telegraph also lauded Churchill’s war time national government as a model one for dealing with crises.
In fact, Churchill’s national government contained as his deputy Labour’s Attlee and Ernest Bevin, as his Minister of Labour, who legally forced the Bevin Boys to work down the pits to dig out the coal in the national wartime emergency of the time.
Today, the UK ruling class is more and more looking towards a national government that will see Labour urge workers to make all the necessary super sacrifices to keep UK capitalism going.
There is no doubt that Starmer and Co are more than ready to do their duty in saving British capitalism by joining such a national government. There is also no doubt that sections of the trade union bureaucracy would follow Bevin’s example and join such a regime that would decree special measures to put British capitalism back on its feet at the expense of the working class.
Workers in the trade unions must demand new leaders that will stop pleading with the Tories and start fighting them, to defend the millions of jobs that are being scrapped and to smash the virus, as in China!
The union leaders must be removed and replaced by a revolutionary leadership that will mobilise the millions of union members to bring down the Johnson government and bring in a workers’ government and socialism.
A socialist natonalised and planned economy will not only be able to defeat the coronavirus, it will be able to build a new society where production is planned to satisfy people’s needs, not to make fortunes for a handful of billionaires.
Join the WRP and the YS now to fight for this socialist revolution!