Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1106/31504
From The Socialist newspaper, 21 October 2020
Leicester lockdown: disillusionment and anger
Lindsey Morgan, Leicester Socialist Party
Leicester has been under some form of lockdown since March. We were the first city to go into local lockdown, and it has been difficult for lots of us dealing with periods of isolation, businesses going under, and people losing jobs.
Leicester is consistently one of the most underfunded cities in the country. Due to a combination of poor-quality housing, sweatshop workplaces, workers who can't take time off sick (especially migrants), and piss-poor financial support from the government, we have had high infection rates.
The local Socialist Party has encountered mixed moods on the streets. Various people are enraged by the hypocrisy of local politicians flouting the lockdown rules then telling us how to behave. For many who have stuck to the rules and not seen friends or family, particularly in the early stages, it has been painful.
The length of the lockdown has meant, though, that many are making their own sense of the restrictions. They see the barefaced profit-first rules as lacking sense. The fact that the lockdown meant, basically, 'do what you like as long as you're spending money', wasn't missed by many of my friends and family, or by locals speaking to us on Socialist Party campaign stalls.
Parents who have had to send their children back to school increasingly understand how unsafe it is, but often feel they have no choice but to take the risk or lose their job.
The anger, though, hasn't always resulted in people rushing to chat with us. Over a decade of austerity and local service cuts by the city's Labour council have meant disillusionment, and sometimes a flat mood in the city. But when you do get talking to people, you find the need for proper working-class political representation and a fightback is understood.
The anger is bubbling under at the moment, but it will find expression. We are fighting to channel that into building for a socialist future.
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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.
In The Socialist 21 October 2020:
Health before profit - Work or full pay
Wales 'firebreak' lockdown fails to protect workers
Liverpool lockdown: suspicion and anger
Newcastle lockdown: stress and breakdowns
Leicester lockdown: disillusionment and anger
Why the Socialist Party is backing Hugo Pierre for Unison general secretary
Nigeria protests: 'This movement needs to fight the whole rotten capitalist system'
Horrific murder in Paris: fight intolerance and racism!
South Africa: Mass day of action for permanent jobs and a living wage
Tories reduce winter homeless funding: reverse the cuts,use the empty homes!
World capitalism's terrified strategists abandon austerity - for now
Test and Trace U-turn on stopping local case reporting
Oxbridge gets private Covid tests: pool resources to test us all!
Millennials disillusioned with 'democracy'
Under the microscope
RMT: Programme to fight redundancies and cuts
Action on Covid transmission in schools now
FCC dismiss Unison activist Tony Smith
Optare workers strike over pay broken 'promise'
Solidarity with Deliveroo Couriers in York
Students: Give us our money back
Fight for your future at the online rally
Southampton: Coxford community condemns racist attack
Socialism 2020: Will you help our finance appeal?
Selling the Socialist: increase in NHS anger
Truth about Zane: Cover-up Tories crack
Kent: Chaotic privatised asylum process
Teignmouth hospital closure threat ... again!
Books that inspired me: For Whom the Bell Tolls
Beware the billionaires bearing gifts
Disabled students let down by "rotten education system"
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