Socialist Worker

No to the coronavirus act

Issue No. 2771

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson (Pic: Number 10/Flickr)


Boris Johnson has recklessly abandoned all the Covid-19 regulations such as mask wearing and social distancing. He has herded children and workers into unsafe schools.

But he wants to renew the 2020 Coronavirus Act.

It means vastly extended state powers, allowing police to detain and fine anyone they think has Covid-19.

Most of those convicted under the act have since seen their cases overturned. But the state still want to keep the act. Johnson’s plans to renew the legislation aren’t about protecting public health.

That requires encouraging safety measures It means keeping non-essential workers out of unsafe workplaces.

And it means transforming the sick pay regime so people can afford to stay at home if they are unwell.

Repressive

Renewing the act is about bolstering repressive powers. Governments often pass “emergency” measures that just happen to be still in existence 20 years or more later.

Some “libertarian” Tory MPs say they will oppose the act when it is voted on soon.

But they won’t oppose the protest-smashing police bill gong through parliament, or the attacks on refugee rights through the nationality and borders bill, or the restrictions on voting rights.

We say yes to action to beat back Covid-19, no to the state powers that are smuggled though using the excuse of the pandemic.


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