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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 July 2021

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'Freedom Day' for who exactly?

Boris Johnson Estonian presidency/CC

Boris Johnson Estonian presidency/CC   (Click to enlarge)

The media are calling the end of lockdown restrictions on 19 July, 'Freedom Day'. But freedom for who exactly? If the end of lockdown is a return to business as usual, then this is cynical at best and plain insulting at worst.

Poverty, cost of living and food bank usage is still greatly increasing. Mental and physical health deteriorating, and a plethora of other issues are getting worse and worse under Tory austerity and mismanagement. Covid exposed all of capitalism's failings for all to see.

Covid showed us that even the Tories can act in a crisis, so why let it get to such a devastating point ever again? The pandemic has affected everyone, some more than others. I am a 26-year-old autistic adult with a master's degree, I struggled to get a job before Covid, and have been on and off Universal Credit for years since my graduation. Things are only worse now and I am one of many that capitalism has failed. This freedom they speak of is beyond me, for I have no money to participate.

If the Tory track record is anything to go by, it is wishful thinking to expect things to ever go back to normal on the cheap. There is much to learn from the past year or so, and only a socialist programme can stand up to the challenges we face to rebuild society.

Aaron Bradley Smith-Lyons, North London

19 July is to be a 'return to normal', but in one very important sense that had already been announced by Boris Johnson's pay offer of 1% to NHS staff, marking a return to the pre-Covid era: a decade of Tory austerity, underfunding the NHS and underpaying NHS staff.

That's why the national day of protest over the NHS pay offer on 3 July was well supported by the public. But the right-wing leaders of Unison, who did not support the protest, remain within a 'Covid bubble' believing the prime minister, whose life was saved by NHS staff, can be appealed to by an open letter signed by Unison members!

Politically, the 'Covid bubble' has burst with the loss of a Tory safe seat, failure to win a Labour 'red wall' seat, and the health secretary's resignation. The medical miracle of the pandemic was the speedy creation of effective vaccines; politically, it was the Tories' creation of not one but several 'money trees'. Now they face the daunting task of recovering that 'spending spree' by taking on a working class population and proud of its 'key workers' who saved their lives.

John Merrell, Leicester

Conservatives have always believed in 'acceptable deaths'. Earl Haig dismissed the thousands of 'poor bloody infantry' he sent to die. After all they were only working class.

Is Boris so blasť about his own death, I wonder?

Derek McMillan, Worthing

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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.
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In The Socialist 14 July 2021:


NHS

NHS: Kick out the privatisers - Fight for a 15% Pay rise

Scrap the privatising health and care bill

Tories threaten to axe free prescriptions for older workers


Covid

We cannot trust this government over Covid: Fight for a new workers' party

Trade unions must continue the fight for Covid safety


LGBTQ+

Pride is protest - Build a mass movement for LGBTQ+ liberation and socialism

LGBTQ+ workers' charter


Workplace news

Dagenham school workers strike against 'fire and rehire' pay cuts

St Mungo's strikers end 12-week strike

Telecoms workers angry at CWU deal with BT

GKN Birmingham workers rally against plant closure

Brush workers into eighth week of strike

Workplace round-up


International

New wave of radicalisation in Latin America

Putting the Olympic gravy train ahead of public health

Kazakhstan: Solidarity with protesters attacked by regime forces


News

Keep the Universal Credit uplift

Defend the triple lock - Fight to end poverty pensions

Wealth chasm widens

Right-wing study concludes youth like socialism


Campaigns

Youth Fight for Jobs is back

We need councillors who will end housing crisis - vote TUSC in Staines on 22 July

Stop Pimlico gentrification

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Everyone can spot Socialist Party in Stoke

Socialist Party meetings say: We're ready to go out and campaign


Readers' opinion

England football team

Farewell Leicester Square - the story of Britain's first black bus driver

Readers' comments


 

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Related links:

Covid:

triangle'Pingdemic' exemptions

triangleNSSN TUC rally

trianglePreparing for struggle in post-Covid Britain

triangleWealth chasm widens

NHS:

triangleUnite to fight Tory pay insults

trianglePublic sector pay - Prepare for action!

triangleEveryone can spot Socialist Party in Stoke

triangleScrap the privatising health and care bill

Tory:

triangleKeep the Universal Credit uplift

triangleWe need funds to fight Tory NHS attacks

triangleTV Review: GB News

Austerity:

triangleHopeless Hancock replaced

triangleTUSC calls for local 'People's Budget' campaigns

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