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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 December 2020

Quiz 2020


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What a year! The Covid pandemic, the worst recession in living memory, the Black Lives Matter movement, the US presidential election, the Brexit debacle, growing class inequalities...

How can one forget, you might say. Well, let's see how much you remember of the 'year from hell' in our annual quiz.

Good luck and stay safe.



1) Any number of Covid-fixing false claims. But an 'accurate antibody test kit' will do.

2) Cabinet minister, and ex-Ukip parliamentary candidate, George Eustice.

3) Fellow Cabinet buffoon Michael Gove.

4) Contentiously, India. The dish Nargisi Kofta (meatball containing an egg) was a hit with British soldiers in Empire days.

5) Donald Trump - who else?!

6) Johnson's ex-chief advisor Dominic Cummings, who claimed that he drove 25 miles to Barnard Castle to test his eyesight!

7) Australia's devastating bushfires, amid record high temperatures and prolonged drought due to global warming.

8) Iran's general Qassim Suleimani, after US forces vaporised him in a missile attack by order of Donald Trump.

9) Housing minister Richard Jenrick. The Tory party subsequently received a £12,000 donation from Desmond.

10) Parasite (reviewed in the Socialist), directed by South Korea's Bong Joon Ho. The film also scooped three other Oscars.

11) The contraction of the UK economy. The comparison made is with the 1709 'Great Freeze' and subsequent flu pandemic. And that's before the Tory Brexit calamity.

12) James Dyson. His personal stash increased by £3.6 billion last year to a monster £16.2 billion. It sucks.

13) Members of the Communications Workers Union, who won major concessions from Royal Mail. The CWU's original ballot, deemed 'unlawful', had secured a record 97% yes vote.

14) Rico Back. The anti-union boss's plan to suspend the 'universal service obligation' crumpled under the threat of 95,000 posties walking out on May Day.

15) Furlough.

16) 'Herd immunity'. Until the deadly consequences to the elderly and vulnerable were spelt out to Johnson.

17) Brazil's far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro. Half a point if you answered Donald Trump.

18) Lenin. Born Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov on 22 April 1870.

19) Leon Trotsky (born Lev Davidovitch Bronstein). He died at the hands of Stalinist agent Ramon Mercader on 21 August 1940.

20) Marcus Rashford of Manchester United and England.

21) Laid-off Debenhams workers in Dublin, and Optare strikers near Leeds. Both striking groups returned to unimpeded picketing duties.

22) The Korean War-era Defense Production Act. Even though many workers had died and thousands had become Covid-infected at these food plants.

23) India's right-wing nationalist prime minister Narendra Modi. As a consequence, millions of poor casual labourers were left stranded, without resources, far from home.

24) Liberal PM Lloyd George, who succumbed to 'Spanish flu' in 1918.

25) Hapless health secretary Matt Hancock, as England had the highest Covid mortality rate among 23 European countries in the first five months of 2020.

26) Hong Kong. China's Stalinist regime of Xi Jingping moved to crush the pro-democracy protests in the former British colony.

27) George Floyd, who died after cop Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for eight minutes.

28) Slave trader Edward Colston. Scandalously, four anti-racist protesters who toppled the offensive statue have been charged by the CPS with 'criminal damage'.

29) Probation services that 21 private companies failed to properly provide. They represented 70% of the service privatised by the Tories in 2014. Extra half-point if you mentioned the Train Operating Companies which, according to the Office for National Statistics, were effectively temporarily renationalised during lockdown.

30) The actor Maxine Peake.

31) B) $378 billion - equivalent to 124% of their profits!

32) The privatised water companies in England. They accrued £48 billion in debt in the same period, meaning their borrowing went to dividends, not investment.

33) Labour-run Tower Hamlets in east London.

34) Unite union members employed by Heathrow Airport Limited. The new contracts will cut pay by up to 25%

35) Labour-run Croydon council. It has a £67 million hole in its finances following speculation into the property market.

36) Around 500 Nissan carworkers in Sunderland after the company scrapped their final salary pension scheme.

37) NHS workers.

38) Amid much mirth, 100 'Millionaires for Humanity'.

39) Huawei. Desperate for a post-Brexit US trade deal, Boris Johnson U-turned and said the Chinese company cannot supply the core parts of the UK's 5G telecoms network.

40) Israel's right-wing, and reportedly corrupt, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

41) Belarus's unreconstructed Stalinist dictator Alexander Lukashenko.

42) SARS - not a coronavirus, but the misnamed Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

43) Thailand's King Vajiralongkorn. His wealth is estimated at $45 billion.

44) Fallowfield campus, Manchester University. The university authorities installed fences around students' halls of residences without warning.

45) Bolivia, with 54.4% of the vote. MAS's previous president Evo Morales had been ousted in a right-wing coup d'état.

46) Retired High Court judge Sir John Mitting - no bias then! Among the many 1,000 left organisations spied on by the state was Militant, the forerunner of the Socialist Party.

47) The far-right Law and Justice Party (PiS).

48) 7 million. Biden got 81,282,903 (51.4%) to Trump's 74,223,030 (46.9%)

49) Officially, it's owned by Sir Phillip Green's non-dom wife Tina, who resides in Monaco.

50) Chile - a landslide vote to scrap the constitutional remnants of the Pinochet dictatorship.

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In The Socialist 16 December 2020:


Unemployment and Covid rising - the crisis is not over - Fight for jobs and safety

Mass testing - we need trade union oversight and full pay for all

Fight for NHS pay and funding

Rich countries hoarding vaccine is danger to us all

No to Tories' new anti-protest law

Maternity unit deaths - democratic, public ownership needed

Met police investigate British mercenary war crimes against Tamils

No surprise, poverty is rising


Cancel exams for class of Covid

Welsh schools close for safety after union pressure

Effective testing and properly funded safety plan needed in schools

East London shows the way: strikes are how to fight for state education

Determined strikers at Leaways school

Workplace News

Openreach and EE: Massive vote for action

PCS union conference stripped of powers by NEC

Unite launch ballot over sacked London bus rep

Christmas redundancy shock at L&Q housing association

Stop 'fire and rehire' at British Gas

New Technology

Can green technology and AI save capitalism?


'Socialism - Utopian and Scientific' by Engels

Reports & campaigns

Protests in solidarity with Indian farmers

Book: The national question - a Marxist approach

School boy assaulted by police in Tottenham

TUSC relaunch in the north west

Protest against immigration enforcement centre in Newham

Tremendous fighting fund reflects confidence


Quiz 2020


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