What’s the link between the war in Ukraine and the “partygate” scandal that saw some fixed penalty fines handed out—at last—on Monday? The connection is the politics and attitude of the man in 10 Downing Street.
The same contempt for the lives of ordinary people lies behind the reckless drive to escalate Nato action in Ukraine and the handling of the pandemic. It wasn’t just that Johnson’s chums partied while people died, and the rest of us were prosecuted if we broke the Tories’ rules. It was a continuation of when he said, “No more fucking lockdowns—let the bodies pile high in their thousands.” That vile declaration was a deliberate, conscious decision to send more people to their deaths and to put profits before ordinary people’s health.
The same disregard for life is happening in Ukraine. Johnson is not interested in the lives of ordinary Ukrainians. Along with US president Joe Biden and the other Nato leaders, his aim is to entrench and extend Western power across the world. His motto could be, “No more fucking retreats, let Ukrainian and Russian bodies pile high in their thousands”. And then there are countless more corpses he risks by pushing measures that could unleash nuclear war.
Johnson hopes that the war will enable him to escape from the scandals that nearly finished him off just months ago. And it was unclear as we went to press whether he will receive a richly-deserved fine.
He ought to be driven out. Even the Met police, which tried to protect the Tories, has been forced to conclude that Johnson’s Downing Street operation is guilty of breaking the law. They broke their own Covid rules at the heart of government.
But of course Tory backbenchers, and Labour’s Keir Starmer, won’t really push for him to go at a time when they are peddling “national unity”. Johnson lied about what happened at the parties, and he has lied about Ukraine. The same man who is strangling workers’ pay and benefits to protect bosses’ profits is the same one who backs a wider war.
Pandemics, war and climate change aren’t anomalies in an otherwise well-rounded society. They are the products of a toxic system that works for those at the top and leaves the rest of us to pick up the pieces.
That’s why we need more resistance to the war and all the attacks on the working class,The brutal P&O sackings ought to be a turning point, a moment when workers and the trade union movement should unite in militant revolt. As prices and taxes surge, there needs to be many more protests, strikes and occupations.
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