Socialist Worker

Get angry at profiteers, not ordinary people

Issue No. 2737

Police are fining people for exercising too far from their homes - but not Boris Johnson

Police are fining people for exercising 'too far' from their homes - but not Boris Johnson (Pic: kaysgeog/Flickr)


‘Stick to the coronavirus rules, we’re all in this together, breaking the rules is selfish,” is the message from the government.

Yet every action from the Tories rams home that the class divide runs through the whole approach to the virus.

Under their rule the rich profit while the rest of us are left to job cuts, poverty and mass deaths.

The Tories were forced last year into a partial retreat over their failure to provide free school meals for hungry children.

But among those handed contracts to provide the food was the company Chartwells, part of the giant Compass group.

Chartwells has now been exposed for supplying parcels with food that you could buy in a supermarket for about £5. It will collect £30 from the government for this. It’s a sweet profit as children are condemned to hunger.

Parents or carers should be handed cash or at least shopping vouchers to buy their children’s food. But that would cut out the profiteers. Chartwells has a track record of growing fat from state funds while underfeeding children. It charged a school in Bristol £11 a week per pupil for bread, a handful of fruit, snack bars and crisps to last a week.

It is no surprise that the chairman of Compass Group is Paul Walsh—a Conservative Party donor. He was part of former prime minister David Cameron’s business advisory group and signed a “captains of industry” letter urging people to vote Tory.

Just like the inaction over Dominic Cummings’ trip to Durham, it’s one rule for the people at the top, another for the rest

Compass grabbed profits of £563 million last year following £1.85 billion the year before.

Like other companies that have failed to provide during the pandemic, Chartwells was handed the school meals contract without any rigorous process. There was no competition for this big money-maker.

And the insults go on.

The police are handing out hundreds of fines for alleged breaches of coronavirus rules.

Government guidance permits exercise, but to reduce the spread of coronavirus advises not to travel outside your local area.

Last week two women were fined £200 by police for driving five miles to meet for a walk.

But there is no action after Boris Johnson was spotted on Sunday on a bike ride seven miles away from Downing Street.

Just like the inaction over Dominic Cummings’ trip to Durham, it’s one rule for the people at the top, another for the rest.

They say there’s a lockdown while herding people to work in construction, manufacturing and many other non-essential industries.

There isn’t a “national interest”—there’s a society where the corporations and the politicians who back them grow ever wealthier while life gets harder for the majority.

Don’t blame ordinary people for the problems in society. It’s the scum like Paul Walsh and Boris Johnson who are guilty.


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