Coronavirus disaster in Boris Johnson’s Britain

This 11 May 2020 video from Britain says about itself:

Angry parents plan boycott of schools reopening on June 1st

Angry and frightened parents are planning to boycott plans to reopen schools in the UK on June 1.

Concern is growing over the jaw-dropping announcement from the government, with teachers and parents pointing out the impossibility of social distancing in schools. There is clearly no plan whatsoever – and no answer to the “Five tests” that the National Education Union has put forward.

Health workers have also joined the outcry against this deeply irresponsible decision, saying it will be “disastrous” to end the lockdown this early.

So now parents are refusing to send their children back to school, and have called a zoom meeting on Thursday at 8:15pm to get organised. Register here.

And sign the NEU petition herehere.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 11 May 2020:

Teaching unions condemn Johnson’s ‘reckless’ plan to reopen schools

TEACHING unions have condemned Boris Johnson’s “reckless” plan to start reopening schools in England from June.

The Prime Minister announced on Sunday night that a phased reopening of schools could begin as early as June 1, starting with reception, Year 1 and Year 6 classes.

Officials made clear that nurseries would also be covered in the initial phase, with an ambition that all primary school children would return to class by the summer.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain, 12 May 2012:

Johnson further obfuscates ‘vague’ back-to-work advice during press conference

BORIS JOHNSON added further confusion to his “vague” and “perplexing” back-to-work and “stay alert” message during today’s Downing Street press conference on the coronavirus crisis.

The PM appeared to attempt to clarify his address to the nation that he made on Sunday night that has sparked criticism from opposition parties and trade unions over its lack of clarity.

In his pre-recorded address to the nation, he said that those that can return to work should return today. But Mr Johnson’s deputy, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, confused matters even more by saying that the guidance applies from Wednesday.

‘SO WE ARE at real risk, without any coherence without any safeguards, that the infection could have a second surge,’ warned Chaand Nagpaul, Chair of the Council of the British Medical Association (BMA) yesterday, heavily criticising Tory PM Johnson’s push to drive people back to work: here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 11 May 2020:

Key workers voice fears about having to travel on busier trains

KEY workers voiced fears today about having to travel on busier trains after PM Boris Johnson “actively encouraged” those who cannot work from home to return to their jobs.

Doctor James Wilson, 29, who works at West Middlesex Hospital in Isleworth, said he was “very nervous” about how his commute will change over the coming weeks.

“Based on what we have been seeing in London over the past few weeks about some people not following the rules, I am not sure they will follow the two-metre distancing rule when travelling,” he said.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 11 May 2020:

If we’re all in this together why wasn’t your boss on a packed train today?

CONFUSION reigns. And whether this is the considered consequence of government policy or the inevitable result of an incompetent administration divided over the best way of avoiding responsibility for the fallout from this faltering lockdown is hard to say.

The wilfully optimistic can hope it is incompetence. Those of an incurably pessimistic intellect will conclude that it is policy.

One way or the other, the statistics tell a grim story, with particular groups of working people most likely to suffer the most damaging consequences of our government’s maladroit management of the coronavirus crisis.

The extreme vulnerability to the infection of black and ethnic minority people, the fact that key categories of workers in transport, retail and social care experience a higher incidence of infection and death, that working men in the lower-skilled occupations have the highest rate of death reveals the truths that are most often hidden in the official discourses of class society.

Every statistic tells us that where you stand in the class structure of our class society is the most active factor in charting the route this virus takes as it works its way through society.

If your job means you can work from home in an environment over which you have decisive control, then your chances of catching this infection, of being hospitalised and of dying are so much less than those who have to travel to work on crowded public transport, work close to others and whose working environment is subject to the prerogatives that class society (and the laws that sustain its procedures) reserve for the employing class.

We are not in this all together. We will know this virus is under control only when bosses travel to work on public transport and when MPs sit close together on Parliament’s benches.

So long as the Covid-19 culls CEO and top executives with nothing like the ferocity that it levels care workers and bus drivers, we will never see an even-handed approach to managing this crisis.

If our rulers, the rich who need not work, individually fear for their health and their lives, collectively they fear more for their profits.

And this is why the monopoly media ran last week’s corrosive campaign that, in raising expectations that the lockdown was ending, weakened our collective resolve to stay at home.

The Daily Telegraph, owned by a pair billionaire brothers safely tucked away on a tax-free rock in the English Channel, and which speaks to and for the conscious and unconscious minds of the reactionary middle classes, tells its readers that “the trade unions must not stand in the way of Britain’s progress.”

The fact is that with a government of the rich and the propertied in office, the trade unions are our best barrier to the progress of this coronavirus.

A specious line of argument is promoted that the NHS has been protected, is no longer vulnerable and that production and profits can resume.

The unspoken subtext is that the NHS has proved its capacity to handle a continuing throughput of the stricken and the dying, and that maintaining a tolerable level of continuing coronavirus deaths is an acceptable price to pay for the resumption of economic activity.

The metric that measures the credibility of the government is the level of support it enjoys. Up to the weekend, it was up in the nineties. Today it is halved.

But don’t think for a moment that this Tory government is guided exclusively by polling figures. It is not your opinion that counts, but the opinions of the rich and powerful.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain, 12 May 2012:

Socialist MPs accuse Johnson of waging ‘class war’ as figures show higher rates of Covid-19 deaths in service sectors

SOCIALIST Labour MPs accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson today of waging a “class war” by urging people to go back to work and putting profit before safety.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) data revealed today where the burden of the pandemic is falling.

Workers in service jobs — carers, bus drivers, security guards, chefs and retail assistants, for example — have suffered higher rates of death linked to Covid-19 during the pandemic than other workers … .

By Peter Lazenby in Britain, 11 May 2020:

Government failures have left care homes sector ‘on a cliff edge’

GOVERNMENT failure has left care homes in Britain facing a “three-wave tsunami” that threatens to destroy the sector, a care home boss warned today.

Nicola Richards, director of Palms Row Health Care in Sheffield, said that the sector was “on a cliff edge,” with homes across Britain facing closure as they spend an extra £38.6 million per week on Covid-19 costs.

She said that 18 residents had died and a further 60 tested positive for coronavirus at two of the three care homes she runs in the city. And she warned that without government intervention, the death toll will keep rising.

By Peter Lazenby in Britain, 11 May 2020:

Care home staff demand bosses pay workers who self-isolate after many are penalised

CARE HOME bosses in Scotland are laying off staff without pay if they have to stay home because they have the coronavirus, Unison said today.

Research by the union exposed how infected staff in Lanarkshire who stayed home to protect residents were being left with no income and deprived of the £94 a week in statutory sick pay.

The union has now written to care home bosses in Scotland calling for staff laid off because they have contracted the virus to be paid full wages.

By Bethany Rielly in Britain, 11 May 2020:

MPs warned that homeless people are still in an ‘emergency situation’

HOMELESSNESS campaign groups warned MPs today that there was still an “emergency situation” on the streets, with hundreds sleeping rough in London alone.

Councillors and charities gave evidence at a housing, communities and local government select committee meeting on the progress of the Tories’ response to homelessness during the Covid-19 crisis.

Over the past two months, councils and charities have co-ordinated an unprecedented effort to move rough sleepers into hotels following a call by Housing Minister Luke Hall in March to “bring everyone” off the streets.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 11 May 2020:

Covid-19 contact tracing app only works on newer Apple and Samsung phones

THE government’s Covid-19 contact-tracing app being trialled on the Isle of Wight only works on the newer operating systems of certain smartphones, it was revealed today.

Huawei and some older mobile phones cannot run the app, said Dr Geraint Lewis, who is in charge of its development.

Speaking to BBC Radio Solent, he said that phones needed to have the capability of running bluetooth low energy (BLE) wireless technology, to measure the distance between people’s phones, and to be running operating systems at least as recent as either Apple iOS 11 or Android 8.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 11 May 2020:

Starmer criticised for failing to categorically back unions over Covid-19 workplace safety

SIR KEIR STARMER was criticised today for failing to unequivocally back unions that stated that their members would not remain at work amid the coronavirus crisis if it is unsafe to do so.

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that people should be “actively encouraged” to return to work if they cannot work from home, but to avoid using public transport “if at all possible.”

The Labour leader was asked by LBC whether he’d support a union with safety concerns.

Men’s football: Positive Covid-19 case places fresh doubt over possible Premier League return: here.

9 thoughts on “Coronavirus disaster in Boris Johnson’s Britain

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