Call for maximum action to stop the coronavirus

We need our unions to protect us

by Jonathan Neale I have been a union member all my life, and a shop steward in several jobs. But I’m worried now. Some of our union leaders are about to make a very serious mistake. On Monday, April 27, Heather Stewart in the Guardian reported that “ministers have held a series of high-level meetings […] Read more »

The UK Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Colin Leys The UK government’s handling of the pandemic does not look good. The country is locked down at enormous economic, social, and psychological cost, while the number of people dying from the infection is rising towards a thousand a day. As a result of the lockdown, which began on 23 March, it is hoped […] Read more »

Politics in the lockdown

by Andrew Burgin  ‘We won’t return to normality because normality was the problem.’ Chilean workers’ proverb ‘The number one objective right now is to save my people. We need to close down.’ Christian Smalls, Amazon warehouse employee who led a shutdown in New Jersey. When society stands on the cusp of great change, or even […] Read more »

Facing the COVID-19 Crisis in Poland

The Polish government has prioritised protecting the profits of the financial sector and large companies and placing the burden of the crisis on working people. Gavin Rae writes: The numbers of those infected or killed by the COVID-19 virus in Poland have remained low in comparison to many western European countries. This is because the […] Read more »

South Africa: the coming storm in health and state

“Disasters are political. Disease is also political. Class determines who has medical aid and who does not, who has access to water, sanitation and safe means for heating and lighting and who does not.“ Abahlali baseMjondolo (homeless people’s movement), 22 March 2020 David Hemson writes: With a declaration of a state of disaster by President […] Read more »

Two policies and their outcomes

by Michael Wongsam Despite the widespread denial and obfuscation, it is clear that the Johnson government at least seriously considered and planned to act on the reckless strategy of pursuing ‘herd immunity’ via the permitted infection of a large proportion of the population. This is despite siren voices even on the governments’ own advisory committee, […] Read more »

Spain promotes contingency plan against domestic violence

As concerns rise internationally about the incidence of domestic violence during lockdown, the Spanish state’s Ministry of Equality has published a ‘Contingency Plan against gender violence in the face of the COVID-19 crisis’. The Plan includes a citizen awareness campaign, which calls on society as a whole to work together against gender based violence. “March […] Read more »

Cancel local authority debt

To provide councils with resources which are desperately needed for this unprecedented crisis, cancel the debt owed to the Public Works Loans Board, writes Martin Wicks. Taking on more debt is not the only way to create spending power. Debt cancellation, for instance the debt owed by local authorities to the Public Works Loans Board […] Read more »

The pandemic, the working class and the Left

Andrew Burgin writes: The Coronavirus pandemic is accelerating across the world. Every few days the scope and scale of the disease is increasing. Hundreds of thousands of people are being infected, many thousands have already died and many tens of thousands will die. In China where the outbreak was first identified, it has been brought […] Read more »

Lessons from the onset of the Covid-19 crisis in Greece

This is an important report from Takis Georgakopoulos, head of the intensive care unit at the hospital of Patra for many years. Takis was also head of the national organisation of public health prevention policies during the Syriza government. Starting from Achaia region… The first case of Covid-19 infection in Greece was identified at the […] Read more »