The Tories are driving ordinary people to risk their lives so bosses can keep chasing profits. Boris Johnson has unveiled the new tier system set to be in place when England exits national lockdown next week.
Perhaps the biggest change is that non-essential businesses, such as shops, hairdressers, pubs, restaurants and gyms, will be encouraged to open their doors for the festive rush.
The relaxation of the restrictions comes despite astronomically high transmission rates in some parts of England.
In the week before Socialist Worker went to press, the infection rate in Staffordshire was 385 per 100,000 people and 442 per 100,000 in Oldham.
The Tory government uses the guise of delivering a so-called “normal Christmas” in order to tempt people to spend money and keep the bosses happy.
This is despite top scientists warning that relaxing the rules for the festive period will mean soaring death rates.
Dr Gabriel Scally, a member of the Independent Sage group, said, “There is no point in having a very merry Christmas and then burying friends and relations in January and February.
“We need to think very seriously about Christmas and how we’re going to spend it.”
The detail of the Tory plans show how thinly veiled their fakery is.
In the highest tier, it’s likely it will be easier to see family and friends inside businesses than in your own home.
And some evidence shows that people are prepared to endure lockdown through December in order to keep people safe.
A poll by the Observer newspaper showed that the public wanted a locked-down Christmas over new January restrictions by a margin of 54 percent to 33 percent. It’s completely understandable that people want to be freed from the restrictions on their lives.
These should come as a result of listening to the science, rather than because businesses don’t want their cash flow interrupted.
And restrictions should come with economic support from the government.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said his insufficient furlough scheme will last until the end of March.
But what of the people struggling with Universal Credit or workers on zero hours contracts? What about parents struggling to find childcare under the new rules?
What about those who can’t afford the 20 percent pay cuts under furlough?
There are millions of people who are slipping through the cracks of state support during the pandemic.
As has become the norm during the pandemic, Tory plans put people last and profit first—this time with a festive colouration.