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‘They don’t think rules apply to them’—fury after Downing Street party

Workers express their anger after another Tory lockdown party
Issue 2787
Teacher Julie with her mother. Downing Street

London teacher Julie and her mother Sumitra.

Ordinary people followed the rules and suffered—the Tories broke them and partied. That’s what the news of the latest Downing Street party, exposed on Monday, reveals.
 
Working class people stayed at home—even cutting themselves off from vulnerable loved ones—during the first lockdown of 2020 to stop coronavirus spreading.
 
Meanwhile Boris Johnson and his Tory staff held a “bring your own booze” party in Number 10.
 
Lockdown in 2020 meant London teacher Julie Mukherjee couldn’t see her mum before she died in her care home in April.
 
She is furious with Boris Johnson and those at the Downing Street party. “My mum died on 21 April and the restrictions meant I couldn’t see her before she passed,” she told Socialist Worker.
 
“And that fucker Boris Johnson invited 100 plus people to a party at Downing Street, almost at the same time as my mum’s funeral.
 
“We had seven people at my mum’s funeral. Raging doesn’t cover it.”
 
She added, “The national lockdown from 20 March was exactly the right thing to do.
 
“I know that lots of people suffered as a result—me, my mum and my family included—but we had to protect people.
 
“So it was the right policy. The trouble is that the Tories didn’t think the rules applied to them.”
 
Julie’s not the only one now furious at the blatant injustice of it all. Poet, broadcaster and author Michael Rosen tweeted how he was in a coma with Covid-19 while Johnson partied.
 
Hundreds of people replied with their own, similar stories.
 
Michael told Socialist Worker, “Family couldn’t come in and see me. I could have died at any point. 
 
“This was happening all over the country.
 
“This government shows the indifference and arrogance of their class to this social trauma.”
 
The party is also an insult to the health workers who put themselves at risk as the first wave of the virus let rip.
 
Sheffield nurse and union rep Joan Pons Laplana told Socialist Worker, “Every day during the lockdown last year, I risked my life by going to work in an intensive care unit. 
 
“We couldn’t even get adequate personal protective equipment as it was being rationed during the lockdown.
 
“Meanwhile relatives of the dying in my unit could only talk to their loved ones on FaceTime.”
 
He added, “My mental health deteriorated, and I started suffering from post-traumatic stress. 
 
“So to hear that the Tories were partying in the lockdown breaks my heart and makes me so angry.
 
“Boris Johnson and Michael Gove laughed off questions about the party this week. As far as I’m concerned, they should be in prison. 
 
“But it seems that the laws don’t apply to them.
 
“For the last ten years these people have been destroying working class life. We cannot take this any longer. We have to hit back. 
 
“We have to strike or something.”

Emergency protest, Johnson Must GO: Tories Out! Saturday 15 January, 2pm, Downing Street, London. Details here  

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