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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 May 2020

Johnson's plan terrifies me - readers react to lifting lockdown

Park notices during coronavirus lockdown, London, 10.5.20, photo JB

Park notices during coronavirus lockdown, London, 10.5.20, photo JB   (Click to enlarge)

Vague - Muddled - Impossible

Boris Johnson has filled me with dread. Construction workers are being thrown to the wolves. It's going to be impossible to socially distance on building sites.

A muddled, vague plan, but with higher fines for those who don't get it right.

And the schools! Have I got it right? Reception, year one, and year six to go back first. How the hell does he expect five and six year olds to socially distance?

Johnson's plan genuinely terrifies me. I don't trust this Tory government, and I definitely don't trust Boris Johnson.

Boris oversees a system, capitalism, that puts its profits before our safety. We need to fight to keep each other safe.

Elaine Brunskill, Gateshead

NHS overwhelmed by cuts

So category 5 is 'material risk of overwhelming the NHS'? We're at 5 now, and we have been for years.

One in nine nursing positions are unfilled. We keep getting corridor queues, thousands of avoidable deaths routinely, and historic firsts of junior doctors and nurses striking.

Just a couple of winters ago we had the Red Cross coming into hospitals to help us. To even get to '4' we need the NHS to be fully staffed, debt written off and all facilities back under public ownership.

Adam Harsmworth, Coventry

Government does not care

Make no mistake. If we genuinely lived under a government that prioritised the physical and financial health of the nation, they would not even be thinking about schools going back in June. But no school means fewer workers at work, which means a slowed economy, which means less profit.

If they cared about poverty they'd levy a 50% tax on the wealthiest in the UK - combined wealth of 700 billion - and introduce a basic income so people could both remain safe and be financially secure.

Boris Johnson is not a changed man looking to keep us all safe. He's a wealthy man, with wealthy friends, who haven't lost a wink's sleep over poverty deaths in ten years. They won't be crying over working-class cannon fodder anytime soon.

Amy Cousens, Bradford

SNP and Tories: hand in hand

SNP now trying to socially distance themselves from the Tories, but they have been in lockstep. They went along with abandoning testing and contact tracing on 12 March, letting the virus rip through Scotland. And they do not have the capacity and resources, because of implementing cuts, to start again now.

Matt Dobson, Glasgow

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Coronavirus crisis - 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.

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  • 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.
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In The Socialist 13 May 2020:


What we think

Stay alert to bosses putting profit before safety

Tories put profit before lives - unions must stand firm on workplace safety

Furlough scheme extended - workers need 100% of wages


Schools

No going back to unsafe schools


Workplace news

Dispatches from the front: bosses prepare fresh attacks on NHS

Transport union RMT tells members: refuse to work in unsafe conditions

Leicester care workers face pay cut and worse conditions

West Midlands trade union activists discuss the battle for safety on the front line


Spanish flu 1918

The Spanish Flu of 1918 and how it "fanned the flames of revolt"


Lessons from history

A new world order - global reconstruction after World War Two

'Victory in Europe' 75th anniversary: A resurgent workers' movement and the fight for socialism


Socialist planning

Pandemic shortages caused by capitalist market - socialist planning is the alternative


Campaigns

Safe social-distancing car-cavalcade protests

Starmer in full retreat over C-19 rents crisis


Readers' opinion

Johnson's plan terrifies me - readers react to lifting lockdown

Going Viral: Socialist comments and letters on the corona crisis


 

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