Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1080/30516

From The Socialist newspaper, 31 March 2020

Coronavirus news in brief

Empty  London tube station, March 2020

Empty London tube station, March 2020   (Click to enlarge)

Lockdown cladding 'time bomb'

New tests have found that 'high-pressure laminate' (HPL) cladding is almost as deadly as Grenfell's 'aluminium composite material' (ACM) cladding in a fire. In 2017, 72 people were killed when profit-motivated cladding on Grenfell Tower acted like a wick spreading an inferno up the building.

As of September 2019, over two years later, government figures still recorded up to 24,800 homes in 324 buildings covered in Grenfell-style ACM cladding. Industry data suggests at least a further 340 tall buildings have dangerous non-ACM cladding, including combustible HPL, says Inside Housing.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) says that buildings "could and should have been made safer with a comprehensive testing regime immediately after Grenfell, but the government failed to act." FBU general secretary Matt Wrack points out that "with people spending far more time at home under the lockdown, this is a ticking time bomb."

It's another failure of the big business politicians and the capitalist system, which put profit above preparation. Cladding off now! No safety - no rent!

Homeless housed in days

On 27 March the government instructed local councils to house all the homeless by the end of the week. Great - but if that was always possible, why are councils only doing it now?

Why the hell were they waiting for a pandemic and an order from the Tories to give them an excuse to end homelessness? The Local Government Association has said councils will need more funding to cover this - why didn't they demand it before?

Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, rough sleepers are allotted parking spaces to sleep on to maintain social distance! Rough sleepers in various European countries are turfed out of shelters to prevent contagion, fined for being in public, or herded into packed gyms!

We say councils in Britain must reverse all funding cuts and demand the money local areas so urgently need. Seize empty homes now, and start a mass council house building programme as soon as Covid-19 passes!

Depression looms for capitalism

Economic output in the UK could plummet an unprecedented 15% in the second quarter of 2020, reckons the Centre for Economics and Business Research. Japanese bank Nomura is more optimistic - a mere 13.5% nosedive in 'gross domestic product' (GDP).

To put this in perspective, during the worst year for the Great Depression, 1932, GDP in the United States fell 12.9%. Of course, that was for a full year, not just three months, and British capitalism may recover a little by 2021.

But that's cold comfort to the millions of workers already losing pay and jobs. Returning to the US, an astounding 3.28 million workers filed unemployment claims in just one week. The third week of March 2020 shattered the previous record - 695,000 in the last week of September 1982 - by a factor of five.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 31 March 2020:


Coronavirus news

NHS workers speak out: austerity has left us unprepared

Schools: union oversight needed to end chaos in provision under coronavirus

Councils must use resources now for emergency response

NHS supply chain worker: privatisation has cut equipment quantity and quality

Self-isolation class divide: decent homes for all!

Fully fund hospices to care for vulnerable children

Scandalous conditions in food distribution centre

Coronavirus news in brief


World War Two

All in this together? The 'Blitz spirit' myth


What we think

PPE, tests, full pay - for all now

Labour must resist 'Covid coalition': Workers need their own voice and party

Emergency legislation: Trade unions must be on guard against attacks on workers' interests


Food supply and the coronavirus crisis

Capitalism means empty shelves, food insecurity, and soaring profits - the case for a socialist alternative


Workplace news

Key workers should make bold demands

Essential workers deserve more

Working in Mike Ashley's empire: After lockdown we won't forget how we've been treated

Hull construction workers force bosses to shut down site over health and safety fears

Bosses concede to walkouts in Northern Ireland

Bus drivers halt sackings - now restore our pay

Postal workers walk out over health, safety and junk mail

Working from home during the pandemic

Leicester: Nylacast worker exposes truth

Refuse collection workers strike


Benefits

Fight for safety, staffing and services - Covid chaos for benefits claimants

More than ever, we need accountable union leaders


Campaigns

Help us continue to fight for workers and socialism

Building the Socialist Party


Readers' opinion

Going viral - Socialist letters and comments on the coronavirus crisis


 

Home   |   The Socialist 31 March 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Coronavirus:

triangleHealth, Covid and the vaccine: It's a class issue

triangleThe Tory blame game: scapegoating the working class - 100% pay for all now

triangleMass testing - we need trade union oversight and full pay for all

triangleCovid vaccines only first step - fight job losses, austerity and 'virus' of capitalism

triangleWe need union action, not platitudes!

Government:

triangleFacebook v Australian government: nationalise the bosses' media!

triangleTories admit guilt for asylum seeker neglect

triangleVaccine algorithm can't solve capitalist inequality

triangleSocial care: End privatisation and let workers decide how it's run

Capitalism:

trianglePride flag is about unity in struggle

triangleLatest podcast - How can we fight racism and capitalism today?

triangleCryptocurrency bubble: Insanity of capitalism

Depression:

triangleAs coronavirus crisis intensifies, class antagonisms deepen

triangleFrance Telecom: Privatisation in the dock

FBU:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

24/2/21

Schools

Johnson's 'road map' for schools: Act together to protect safety

24/2/21

Uber

Drivers win case - they are workers

24/2/21

Covid

Where's the road map to jobs and wages Boris?

24/2/21

Labour

Starmer's speech a return to New Labour

24/2/21

Covid

Garment workers and Covid: Dying for less than minimum wage

24/2/21

Privatisation

Social care: End privatisation and let workers decide how it's run

24/2/21

Vaccine

Vaccine algorithm can't solve capitalist inequality

23/2/21

Britain

The struggle needs an electoral arm

17/2/21

NHS

NHS white paper: no solution to failed Tory policies

17/2/21

Covid

Covid workplace safety

17/2/21

Independence

SNP's independence referendum 2 'roadmap'

17/2/21

Socialist Students

Strike back for free education

17/2/21

Abortion

Tory consultation on home-use abortion pills

17/2/21

Fire

Tory cladding money will not make us safe

17/2/21

Capitalism

Cryptocurrency bubble: Insanity of capitalism

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999