Socialist Worker

Letters—The lack of Covid-19 testing is yet another Tory disaster

Issue No. 2722

There are not enough tests available

There are not enough tests available (Pic: Pixaby)


Cambridge university recently announced that it will be providing free weekly Covid-19 tests to all students living in college accommodation.

This has been welcomed by staff and students.

University students are in an age bracket that is potentially asymptomatic even if they are infected by the disease.

This kind of large scale screening could help prevent another spike and protect vulnerable people. It is also likely that this testing is only happening because of pressure by staff and students.

However, it also reveals the rotten way that Britain works.

Tory health secretary Matt Hancock blamed the shortage of available tests on ordinary people for getting them when asymptomatic. In the same week one Britain’s richest universities can afford to provide tests weekly free of charge to thousands of students and staff.

New coronavirus rules punish ordinary people for the Tories’ failures
New coronavirus rules punish ordinary people for the Tories’ failures
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Schools reopened full time recently and cases are already spiking. Some schools have even had to close.

A state primary school in Cambridge has reported a Covid-19 case. Why is regular testing not in place for its children?

A second peak would risk thousands more lives. And with no track and trace or mass testing of groups likely to be asymptomatic, this looks increasingly likely.

The Tories claim there aren’t enough tests available or that we can’t afford them.

But the example of Cambridge exposes this for the lies they are.

While the masses are forced back to schools and workplaces to risk their lives, the rich can afford private testing.

Does Cambridge university know of a secret stash of tests that the government does not? Or are the Tories making political decisions about whose lives are more important?

Oisin Challen-Flynn

Cambridge


BBC to cut left wing comics

The new BBC director general Tim Davie is bowing down to the Etonians in the Tory government by planning to tackle the “left wing bias” in BBC comedy.

He says there needs to be more “balance”, as opposed to jokes that take aim at the Tories.

As a left wing comic myself who constantly makes jokes about the Tories, I say the BBC needs more comics who are critical of the Tories and the far right.

The BBC does enough sucking up to the Tories as it is.

And in my experience, a right wing comic is usually more likely to be racist, sexist, homophobic or transphobic, which is not at all funny.

It’s because of movements like Black Lives Matter that this type of humour is unpopular.

Tim Davie wants to undermine those movements and drag the BBC even further back in time.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts arguing that we should boost daytime TV schedules and bring back battles to the death overseen by the queen.

Encouraging right wing comics will only boost the racists who support Trump and Johnson.

We need more comics who are willing to speak out against those at the top of society during this period of pandemic, increasing racism and climate change.

Jasmine Fischer

Liverpool


Stop blaming young people for the virus

Tory health secretary Matt Hancock blaming young people for the rise in Covid-19 cases is blatant scapegoating.

He wants to shift the blame away from the government.

How can he say we’re not following the guidelines properly, when they are unclear in the first place?

Tories—not young people—risk our lives
Tories—not young people—risk our lives
  Read More

Now we’re not allowed to meet in groups of more than six. But we are allowed to go out and spend money.

It’s a pathetic attempt by the government to get the broken economy running again.

If ministers really cared about the rise in cases, they would stop children from returning to unsafe schools.

But that would stop parents from going back to work, which would stop big businesses from making money.

Many young people see right through these excuses. It is time to hold the government accountable.

Darla Timewell

Manchester


One year on from school climate strikes

Seven million people took to the streets to demand climate justice across the world this week last year.

The global climate strike last September came at a time of climate chaos. Fires tore through the Amazon and California, smoke and fog choked India, and there was a rapid loss of ice in the cold regions.

It was inspiring to see students and young workers everywhere deciding to fight back.

Now, once again, the world seems to be burning. Every month it becomes clearer that we need to fight capitalism, the root of climate change.

This is the only way to ensure the survival of life on Earth.

The planet had a respite from capitalism during lockdown. For the first time in our generation we saw a sky that was not littered with planes and roads not crammed with cars.

But the climate crisis still rages on. And we are starting to organise the fightback again.

Contact your local youth strike group to find out what actions they are holding this month and how you can support them.

Patrick Wakefield

Sheffield


Universal credit broken

The whole benefits system is a sham. It does not work for the people it is meant to.

It is a disgrace that Trish from North Lanarkshire hasn’t received any information about why her payments have been slashed (Socialist Worker, 9 September).

Meanwhile the Tories are bailing out big tax dodging businesses and MPs have been given pay rises.

It shows that this system is made to benefit the rich and has not been designed with ordinary people in mind.

Molly Docherty

Manchester


Get these Tories out

It makes me angry that home secretary Priti Patel has accused Extinction Rebellion of being criminals.

Her and the rest of her Tory mates are the real criminals.

They are ignoring the climate emergency, letting refugees die and putting profit before people.

Beth Clark

St Albans


Open the borders

If the Dyson vacuum cleaner firm can move their factory to get cheap labour, why can’t labour move freely around the world?

You do not see borders from space when you look at Earth, because they are not natural.

Graham Hussey

Via Facebook


Airport must change policy

Heathrow Airport should be closed for as long as it takes for bosses to reverse the decision to fire staff or rehire them on worse contracts.

Jason Pike

Via Facebook


Pay all the NHS workers

The NHS heroes continue to show bravery.

The Tories should be ashamed for refusing nurses a pay rise.

Get the Tories out.

Den Fabrizi

Via Twitter


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