Covid-19

Videos: Socialist commentary on the Covid-19 crisis

Watch videos giving socialist commentary on the Covid-19 crisis below. Many are subtitled. Click in the top right of the video, for the contents of the playlist, and to watch other ones. See Workers' Liberty's channel for other playlists and videos.

Surveying our workplaces

Our union reps are going to all five big sites in my NHS Trust conducting a health and safety survey of workers in as many teams as possible and looking at ventilation arrangements. Yesterday I got about 60 surveys from around 15 different teams, recruited several new members, a few members who are going to step up to be part of a network of workplace contacts, and possibly one new rep. I found out about really risky work practices in poorly ventilated areas of the hospital that have been developed largely on the hoof by frontline staff. Much of the infection risk could be avoided with...

Covid: campaigning for the long haul

The labour movement’s fight for social measures on Covid is far from over. It is entering a new phase. Four weeks’ delay, to 19 July, will probably not be enough to enable the “complete easing” scheduled for 21 June. The story that some countries have already conquered Covid and “reopened completely” is untrue. By keeping rigid border curbs, some remote islands like New Zealand, and other countries with strong “natural” borders, have been able to ease internal restrictions except for episodic short lockdowns when border quarantine fails. It’s not “all over” even for them. They still have their...

Building our solidarity against their G7

Former Labour leader Gordon Brown cites a figure of $33 billion (£23 billion) urgently needed before the end of 2021 for vaccines, virus-testing, and PPE this year, and maybe the same in 2022. That’s just 0.08% of the yearly total revenues of the G7 rich countries who met in Cornwall on 11-13 June. “Instead”, as Brown says, “they offered up about $7 billion worth of vaccines”, some 870 million doses in place of the 11 billion needed this year. They could donate more doses now through the Covax scheme, and help to build new facilities to produce and roll out vaccines, but they don’t. US...

Lab leak theory very unlikely

Jim Denham makes apt criticisms of the Morning Star in his article in Solidarity 596, for yet another article that is both demagogic and championing the Chinese ruling class. Yet he is gives too much ground to the continued viability of a lab leak theory of SARS-CoV-2's origins. Contrary to what Jim's article implied, the WHO mission did investigate the possibility of a laboratory leak. They found "direct zoonotic spillover... a possible-to-likely pathway; introduction through an intermediate host... a likely to very likely pathway; introduction through cold/ food chain products… a possible...

Their G7, our global solidarity

To the picturesque seaside resort of Carbis Bay, Cornwall, on the weekend of 11-13 June, the leaders of the “G7” group of seven of the world’s richest states flock. Fossil-fuelled reboot to an even more unequal, exploitative, violent and destructive world continues. It’s building back bleaker, as vaccine nationalism and pursuit of private profit permit this pandemic to tear onwards through societies, and to compound the evils of pre-Covid capitalism. Cornwall is seen as central to the UK’s green tech sector, so the choice of location is an attempt to flaunt green credentials. But a thin one...

Don't even investigate, says Morning Star

As matters stand the balance of scientific opinion is that the Covid-19 pandemic probably started by a virus jumping from an animal host to humans in the Wuhan wet market or elsewhere. But we don’t know and may never know. The Biden administration in the USA is launching an investigation, which includes considering the idea that the virus leaked from a lab. Of course the Biden administration will have political motives in including that idea, just as the Chinese authorities had their motives for promoting the theory that the virus came from outside China. But it is not pursuing Donald Trump’s...

Against Covid: requisition big pharma

The G7 meeting on 11-13 June will probably come up with some promise to speed vaccinations worldwide. It will surely fall short of the comprehensive public requisitioning of Big Pharma, and emergency world jab plan with priority to old or frail people and to health and care workers, that we need. Pfizer expects $26 billion in revenues from its Covid vaccine this year. For Big Pharma bosses, holding on to their patents and profits comes before saving lives. The quick spread of the Delta virus-variant in Britain, and the Covid spike in Taiwan, which thanks to its strict island-border quarantine...

Join the 26 June protest

The People’s Assembly (PA), an anti-cuts group, has called a demonstration in London for 26 June, noon from Portland Place. The PA was formed in 2013, is financed by trade unions including Unite, and now has “Corbynite” former Labour shadow minister Laura Pidcock as its secretary. The small socialist group Counterfire is important in its backroom workings. The protest is supported by several unions besides Unite (NEU, PCS, RMT, FBU...), and by Extinction Rebellion, which plans additional protests of its own on the weekend 26-27 June. Awkwardly, the protest, planned months ago, has accumulated...

Winning decent jobs for all

Café and restaurant bosses in Britain, the USA, and elsewhere complain that a shortage of workers may now push them into raising wages. About time. A pay survey estimates the average wage in fast food in the UK at £6.50 an hour. (The legal minimum wage is £8.91. But only if you’re 23 or over. For under-18s it’s £4.62, for apprentices £4.30). In the USA the estimate is $11 average (£7.75), and the common workers’ demand is $15 (£10.57). But the bosses are puzzled because they’d expected huge unemployment by now and a “buyer’s market” for labour. Thanks to public pressure making the Tories...

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