Socialist Worker

Elite liars push for an unsafe return to work

Issue No. 2706

We can help to build the resistance against the Tories

We can help to build the resistance against the Tories (Pic: Neil Terry)


The fallout from the Dominic Cummings scandal has sent a shockwave through British politics.

It comes at a pivotal moment in the coronavirus pandemic in Britain. 

Boris Johnson and his gang of pro-business cronies are desperate to end lockdown as soon as possible to restart the profit machine.

It would be disastrous if Cummings’ trip to north east England meant that everyone concludes that all lockdown measures are no longer necessary. 

The Tories were dragged into implementing anything that interfered with “business as usual”. 

Now they want to continue to protect their own while demanding workers risk their lives.

They call for the reopening of state schools, yet top private schools that teach their children will stay shut until September. 

Cummings’ trips to Durham are nothing to be sneezed at
Cummings’ trips to Durham are nothing to be sneezed at
  Read More

And they know that lockdown rule changes will force workers to travel on overcrowded public transport, yet they are chauffeured around in private cars.

Despite high death rates and dangerously high levels of infection, Johnson is now pushing to scrap even more safety measures. So outdoor markets and car showrooms in England could open again from Monday.  

People may be able to extend their “social bubble” beyond household members at some point in June, Johnson said this week.

That will seem very welcome for people who have desperately been hoping to see their relatives and friends again soon. 

But it is not driven by such concerns. 

It is based on making life seem “normal” again—and so strengthening the argument that everyone should be back at work. 

It’s another example of how the needs of business are pushed ahead of the needs of ordinary people. 

The Cummings crisis could go one of two ways.  The government could ride out the criticism, and hope for the next crisis to take the heat off the Downing Street elite.

Or the scale of hypocrisy, and the extent of government lies, could drive forward the resistance to deadly Tory rule.

Now is the time to turn our fire at the people at the top of society, whose decisions risk our lives. 

Everyone should fight to stop the wider reopening of schools on 1 June. 

Parents, teachers and other school staff acting together can defy the Tories.

Wider support action in other workplaces can help build the resistance we need.

As lockdown is lifted there will be major tests for the union leaders.

Far too many go with the idea that what’s good for business is good for the rest of us. 

Instead there needs to be a clear argument that our safety comes before the bosses’ profits.

We need a fight not just to see the end of Cummings, but to stop the dangerous drive to reopen the economy at any costs.


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