Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1101/31336
From The Socialist newspaper, 16 September 2020
Under the microscope
Covid-19, photo NIH/CC (Click to enlarge)
Bosses' pandemic profit bonanza
32 of the world's biggest corporations are in line to make an extra $109 billion profit under 2020's pandemic conditions, says Oxfam. The 'S&P 500' US stock market index hit an all-time high of 3,581 points on 2 September, while recession and unemployment punish millions of workers.
The 25 most profitable global firms could pay over $378 billion in dividends this year - equivalent to 124% of profits. Chemicals giant BASF took £1 billion in emergency loans from the British government - and plans to pay shareholders over €3 billion!
Meanwhile, Oxfam reports the pandemic fallout could push half a billion people into poverty. 400 million jobs have gone already, and the ILO reckons 430 million small enterprises are under threat. One 63-year-old manager made redundant by his restaurant even resorted to handing out CVs at Leeds railway station.
Privatised testing and treatment fiasco
The government is looking to hand £10 billion to private hospitals to fill in for overwhelmed NHS services over the next four years. Why not cut out the middleman and just fund the NHS? And how will Tory plans to axe Public Health England help the problem?
Aside from the wasteful drain of profit extraction, how can we even trust the private sector? Healthcare regulators in England and Scotland declined to publish care home death tolls because this would "likely prejudice the commercial interests of care providers"!
Johnson's welcome (but belated and secret) mass testing proposal, 'Operation Moonshot', would cost £100 billion. No doubt the Tories will try to hand this to private bosses too.
Meanwhile, swab tests can miss 30 to 50% of infections, finds Cambridge University. And even the paltry number of tests administered so far was subject to "an adjustment" last month - the government had overstated the figures by, oh, 1,308,071.
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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.
- 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.
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In The Socialist 16 September 2020:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Our lives and livelihoods at stake
Sketch: The rule of six - some guidance from your government
Johnson's brinkmanship over EU deal deepens capitalist splits
Blame politicians, not workers and young people
Capitalist profit and the race to develop a vaccine
'Covid marshalls' must be accountable to communities
Under the microscope
Angry health workers demand 15% now!
NHS workers: "We deserve a fair wage" - 15% now!
Workplace news and analysis
National Shop Stewards Network lobbying for a lead from the TUC
PCS members in DWP reject unsafe extension of hours
Ireland: Debenham's occupier speaks out
London bus drivers begin strike ballot over remote sign-on dispute
Tate workers on indefinite strike hold march and rally
Reinstate Tony Smith
Reinstate Richie Venton
Dispatches from the front: schools need Covid tests!
Covid and the third sector: for public planning, not charity stopgaps
Non-fiction: Left Out - the inside story of Labour under Corbyn
International socialist news and analysis
Egypt: Support for al-Sisi dwindles as his regime increases repression
Nigerian police repress peaceful anti-government protest
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Two weeks to donate: we need your help
Coventry: scrap 'profit before people' hospital parking charges
Covid generation says 'fund our future'
Why I joined the Socialist Party: Tories and Blairites only care about corporate greed
Selling the Socialist
The Socialist 16 September 2020 |
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