Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 27 May 2020

Dispatches from the front

Eerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!

A park notice during coronavirus lockdown, London, 10.5.20, photo JB

A park notice during coronavirus lockdown, London, 10.5.20, photo JB   (Click to enlarge)

An NHS health professional

"Don't use the Q-word" has been said more than once this week. But it does feel eerily quiet.

We have now reorganised yet again as most of our patients are classified as 'cold', and intensive care is only half full. All the extra capacity created early on is now empty, but no one is suggesting we dismantle any of it, as we fully expect it to be needed when we are hit by the second wave. And we do still have an entire floor of Covid-positive wards.

We are working with the local private health sector to restart urgent work, particularly orthopaedics. But they call the shots, and we have to step in when they don't have the right staff or equipment - it's chaotic, and their priorities don't put patients first.

There are lots of work issues arising from the crisis. Staff who are self-isolating being forced to take annual leave is just one of them.

Schools fear

But the issue staff are most concerned about is reopening schools. Some of our kids have been attending school throughout, but others are home with partners juggling between shifts. We know the care we take using PPE for every patient, regardless of symptoms.

So how the hell will teachers manage without apron, gloves, mask and visor? It's madness, and many just won't send their kids.

At the beginning of this pandemic, we felt we were lambs to the slaughter, as most health workers experienced the acute lack of resources. But now it's like we have all the protection, and the workers outside are being forced back to work without any of the PPE we've fought for.

We say to the rest of our community: if it's not safe, don't return to work or school - stay safe, join the union, and get organised to fight back.

Donate to the Socialist Party

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.

  • 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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • 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 special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 27 May 2020:

What we think

Reckless lying cheats


Schools aren't safe

United action can defeat Tories' dangerous school plan

International news

Economic collapse leads to renewed protests across Lebanon

Chinese state's imposition of draconian law reignites Hong Kong protests

Coronavirus news

Care home workers suffer PPE shortage and job loss fears

More blunders and profiteering in Tory track-and-trace scheme

Eerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!

Coronavirus pandemic news in brief

BAME Covid-19 deaths

Black and Asian Covid-19 deaths: an indictment of capitalist inequality

Workplace news

Strong union response needed against job cuts

No return to unsafe construction sites

Energy firm plans to make 2,600 redundant

Fight P&O's billionaire bosses' jobs cut plan

Hull Trades Council debates workers' political representation

Lessons from history

The 'Lucas Plan'

1920s Britain: A "country nearer Bolshevism than at any time since"


Mick Cotter 21-9-57 to 20-5-20

Fighting fund

We need readers' support to fight capitalist crisis

Readers' opinion

Going viral - Socialist comments and letters


Home   |   The Socialist 27 May 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleCovid pandemic and Northern Ireland - workers must resist the bosses' offensive

triangleNottingham unions fight council job cuts

triangleEnd the scandal of sweatshop labour

triangleA socialist NHS fit for heroes

triangleMoJ cleaners' covid outbreak


triangleTory full return to school plans gamble with lives

triangleBoris's new big deal

triangleTories put profit before lives

triangleTowards an anti-racist school curriculum


triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Capitalism is bad for mental health

triangleTory NHS betrayal

triangleNo going back: Nationalise social care!


triangleSocialist Party Wales: Starmer turns Labour right - Time for a new workers' party

triangleHong Kong: The fight for democratic rights


triangleTV: The school that tried to end racism


triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



UCU: election victory for combative rank and file



Fantastic virtual NSSN conference: "Fight for our lives and livelihoods''


Socialist Party

The best place to start - join the Socialist Party


Trans rights

Trans rights protests oppose Tory backsliding


Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter - the fight is not over


Equal pay

Homerton hospital workers deserve equal pay and conditions



Jobcentre reopening: only union struggle will put safety first


Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets council workers strike against wholesale attack on terms and conditions



Nottingham unions fight council job cuts



Bangladesh: Stop closure and privatisation of Jute Mills


Fighting Fund

Fighting Fund: Target smashed by half time



Change in leadership needed to secure union's future


Black Lives Matter

BLM has not stopped - protesters flock to Socialists


Ken Douglas

Red flags line road for Ken



Leeds City Council in danger of bankruptcy

triangleMore Reports and campaigns 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



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


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: 07748 534 891

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



Alphabetical listing

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020