COVID-19 disaster update, Boris Johnson’s Britain

British Conservative Boris Johnson's disastrous 'herd immunity' policy, cartoon

This cartoon is about British Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s disastrous ‘herd immunity’ policy.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 20 May 2020:

Men’s Football Global union backs players who refuse to return to pitch to protect their families from Covid-19

IT WOULD be “inhumane” for players like Watford forward Troy Deeney to face disciplinary action if they refuse to return to action during the pandemic in order to protect their family, according to the head of the world players’ union.

Hornets skipper Deeney has said he will not return, citing concerns over his five-month-old son who has breathing difficulties, and over the Office of National Statistics (ONS) data which shows that black and other minority-ethnic people suffer disproportionately from Covid-19.

International Federation of Professional Footballers (Fifpro) general secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann says that Deeney’s concerns are legitimate.

By Ceren Sagir in Britain, 20 May 2020:

Privatisation of care homes left the sector unable to deal with coronavirus

THE privatisation of care homes in Scotland was a factor in the sector’s failure to deal with its Covid-19 response, a damning report revealed yesterday.

Scotland’s care homes were unprepared for the pandemic, the report by the Common Weal “think-and-do tank” found, identifying multiple system failures.

As a result, six out of 10 care homes in Scotland have had a case of Covid-19 and about 45 per cent still have cases, it said.

By Bethany Rielly in Britain, 20 May 2020:

Tory minister appears to backtrack on school return date as council revolt grows

A CABINET minister today appeared to backtrack on the June 1 target date to reopen schools following a rebellion by at least 18 councils.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland admitted that he did not know if schools would be able to open on June 1, the government’s target date to send more children back to classrooms.

The admission comes as 18 councils, representing 1,500 schools, announced that they will refuse to ask schools to reopen year-one and year-six classrooms next month.

The decision to send nursery aged children—including babies and toddlers—and primary-aged students as young as 4, 5 and 6 back into schools was taken solely by Johnson and his cabinet of deranged Thatcherites: here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 21 May 2020:

Editorial: Labour must get behind the teaching unions

IT is becoming clear that the government and its advisers, who include not only the well-publicised eccentrics closest to the premier but a wider cabal of big-business people, media moguls, bankers and Treasury types, inhabit a different moral universe from the rest of us.

The TUC has come out with a set of policies that puts rebuilding the economy post-pandemic with an emphasis on safeguarding jobs and ensuring that millions of workers are spared the “despair of unemployment”.

Contrast this approach to the mercenary instincts of our rulers and the people they represent.

As a professional and political consensus grows that the problems of an overstretched NHS cannot be tackled without an integrated health and social-care strategy, the government has refused to exempt the many thousands of overseas care workers – on whom the system depends – from punitive NHS charges.

This mean-spirited approach combines national chauvinism with a feral instinct that stands in direct contrast to the universal principles on which our NHS is founded. The health of care workers is as important as the well-being of those they care for.

There is a striking parallel between the failure of the capitalist state to provide adequate personal protective equipment for vulnerable front-line workers and the failure of the privatised care sector to tool up for an infection crisis.

The arguments for the entire care sector to be safely integrated into a health-and-care service that progressively squeezes out profit-seeking is becoming unanswerable to all but those made collectively callous by corporate greed.

Not a single member of the cabinet sends their children to the kind of schools to which the greater majority of us normal people do.

But the select group of private fee-paying schools which have the responsibility of raising what their parents anticipate to be our ruling class of the future will not be going back until September at the earliest.

In the face of an exemplary stand by the teacher trade unions, in an impressive display of united action which augurs well for the future, the government has, to an extent, backed off from its original plan to insist on full-school attendance in June.

Already teachers are coping – in trying circumstances – with teaching the children of front-line workers, as well as running online learning programmes.

A raft of local authorities have said they have no intention of restarting schools before it is safe to do so, and in this they have the support of many parents who have no wish to turn their children into silent bearers of coronavirus who might bring the infection into their or their grandparents’ homes.

That the Labour Party leadership has decided to cancel the autumn party conference makes it all the more inexplicable that it does not wholeheartedly and unanimously support the stance of the education unions on this question, or of other unions for that matter, when the interests of trade unionists and workers come into conflict with the government.

If it is too risky for adults to assemble by the seaside in September, then it is too risky for our children to be crammed in June into classes that, on average, are twice the size of those the children of the wealthy attend.

Labour in parliament must not posture as impartial arbiters in conflicts between trade unions and bosses or the government but should fulfil the founding objectives of the party to provide representation for working people.

And the ludicrous ban on campaigning which the party centrally seems to be imposing gives the appearance of passivity which its parliamentary performance does little to dispel.

6 thoughts on “COVID-19 disaster update, Boris Johnson’s Britain

  1. Pingback: School staff gets coronavirus infection | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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