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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 October 2020

Tories put profit first: Gambling with our jobs and lives

  (Click to enlarge)

James Ivens

Roll up, roll up, and place your bets - at the great pandemic wheel of fortune! Red, you win the virus; black, you lose your job. Don't fancy the odds? Too late! The government has made a wager on your behalf.

Or how about a hand of lockdown poker? Stop the spread or open the economy; packed queues at work or social isolation at home - it's dealer's choice! Unfortunately, only Tory ministers are permitted to deal. Sorry - house rules!

And here's the secret: the house always wins. While workers risk whiplash following the back and forth on pandemic restrictions, it's our livelihoods - and our lives - the bosses and their politicians are gambling with.

The world feels like it's spiralling into chaos despite most of us doing our best to stop it. But while we suffer the risks and the restrictions, the dole queues and the disease, the capitalists are still cashing in.

Billionaires in the US sucked up another $845 billion of wealth during the pandemic's first six months. Union buster Jim Ratcliffe, Britain's richest man, has moved to Monaco to dodge tax.

Winners and losers

If you feel like you play the game but never win, you're right. If you feel like the restrictions and exemptions can be arbitrary and unfair, you're right.

So the rules of the game need to change. Workers and our unions have the power to change them.

Instead of employment roulette, we demand work or full pay. Instead of coronavirus lottery, we fight for workers' control of workplace safety. Instead of one rule for us and another for Dominic Cummings, we call for democratic oversight of lockdown measures by unions and communities.

The capitalist casino issued billions of free chips to big business when the bosses' luck turned. We know the resources are there. We just need to build a movement to fight for them.

For public ownership and democratic planning, not capitalism's Covid casino. Join the Socialists, and together we can beat the house.

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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.
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In The Socialist 7 October 2020:


Coronavirus news

Tories put profit first: Gambling with our jobs and lives

Massive testing 'glitch' caused by privatised fragmentation

Contact tracer speaks out: privatised system 'in chaos'

Under the microscope


Workplace news

Unison: Hugo Pierre's fighting programme to transform the union

Equity 'Panto Parade' demands more support for arts workers

Tate strike suspended

Ikea day of action

York couriers' strike


News

Fight for jobs and homes for all - defend the right to asylum

Spooks step up surveillance of left

Probation Service: 'angry, frustrated' staff need fighting lead


Students

Cardiff student protest demands: 'refund our fees!'

Southampton students oppose unjust collective punishment


Black History Month

Non-fiction: 'Why I no longer talk to white people about race'


International

Worldwide capitalist crisis deepens - step up the fight for socialism

'Frozen conflict' reignites in Nagorno-Karabakh enclave

Germany: "Heroes" strike to demand a pay rise


Campaigns

9,000 for education by Netflix

Free Siyanda Mngaza

Leicester: Don't let them close our hospital

Waltham Forest: Council picks over 60 sites for mass gentrification

Say no to finance capital-backed luxury tower block in Enfield

Socialist Party: Campaigning for the NHS

Final total: 73,586 raised - now let's do it again

Defend Bracknell Community Services


Readers' opinion

Film: 'Sick' - 'They've got people looking in the wrong direction'

The Socialist Inbox


 

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