by Ken Ferguson
· You couldn’t make it up when commenting on the current Johnson gang but then, amidst U-turns, blunders and clearly unplanned policies you don’t have to.
In just the last few days, we had the debacle of not isolating at 8am then isolating at 10am after the PM and Chancellor were pinged over Covid and a Health Secretary who had to grovel after he described those of isolating as “cowering” from the virus.
However that was as nothing set against the “pingdemic” sparked by the spike in Delta virus cases, causing thousands to be warned to isolate.
It never occurred to the cabinet super-brains that rising case numbers would trigger warning on a mass scale, leading to vital workers staying home, and key vital services endangered.
The breathtaking answer? The UK system which has so far cost an almost unimaginable £37billion—yes billion—and taken months to work should be now be modified so that it doesn’t annoy folks by doing its job and warning them of Covid contacts.
Johnson’s ratings plummet
All this explains why recent polls indicate the first signs that the shine is coming of the populist appeal of Johnson as his ratings head into negative territory.
A recent speech in the West Midlands hyped as setting out his “vision” was slammed as big on rhetoric with such gems as “strong leadership is the yeast which lifts the whole mattress of dough, the magic sauce, the ketchup of catch up.”
No wonder it is wearing thin—ably assisted by the ongoing war of attrition exposing his blunders from embittered former right hand man Dominic Cummings revelations.
Amidst the carnage, sleaze, chicanery and confusion that passes for government the creaking, fairyland world of the Mother of Parliaments was moved into action not to chastise Boris or his ministers for serial failure but to suspend a Labour MP for telling the truth about Johnson.
Dawn Butler, Labour MP for Brent Central, was ejected from the Commons after she simply told the truth about the arrogant Old Etonian that he had “Lied to the house and the country over and over again,” thus breaking the rules of the crusty gentleman’s club.
It brought to mind the centuries-old anti-enclosure rhyme:
“The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
But leaves the greater villain loose
Who steals the common from the goose.”
Yet despite the vortex of confusion engulfing the Tories the ‘loyal opposition’ Labour makes no headway but focuses its efforts on expelling hundreds of its own left wing members treading the well worn path of “moderation.” All this would be serious enough in normal times but these are far from normal times.
On Covid, we are in the middle of a dangerous experiment—extreme in England—of lifting restrictions with, as we go the press, as yet unforeseen results and the very real danger of further spikes and deaths.
Alongside this we are surrounded with evidence—floods in China, Europe and India, fires in the US and Canada alongside drought and disaster—of the rapidly growing climate emergency.
Movement for change
The Voice takes the view both crises are linked and that both require not cosmetic PR puffs linked to market driven greed and faith in ‘wise’ businessmen such as Musk or Branson but a massive peoples’ movement for change.
We already see the reality of the pious hopes for a “new normal” so recently voiced with the bosses, true to form, launching a new offensive of fire and rehire, pay cuts and further closures and centralisation as at McVitie’s. And further confirmation of their determination to shape climate policy in the interests of the capitalists was provided by International Trade Secretary Liz Truss when she spoke in Glasgow recently and opposed “green protectionism” and called for the Tories beloved “free market” to solve the climate crisis.
Local green industrial base
It drew withering criticism from the STUC’s Roz Foyer who pointed the environmental costs of shipping equipment across the planet saying:
“We also need to recognise the carbon cost of global supply chains. We currently import steel jackets from Indonesia, blades from Denmark and kit from Spain for offshore wind farms in Scotland.
“This makes no sense from a climate perspective and risks workers and communities here losing all faith in the concept of a Just Transition to a low-carbon economy.
“Rather than trumpet the free market, the UK Government needs to get serious about public investment and regulation to create the green jobs we need in Scotland and across the UK.
“Without a domestic industrial base for the green economy, not only will workers in Scotland miss out, but there are serious implications in terms of tax, transparency, economic democracy and meeting climate targets.”
Socialist green recovery
It is for that reason that the Voice supports a socialist green recovery programme with a major extension of public ownership, workers rights and planning not to swell profits but move to production for use with key needs like housing and free public transport collectively provided and run collectively.
There is no doubt that winning such change will entail sharp confrontation with the bosses and corporations who created the climate crisis and now seek to profit from it.
Don’t delay indy fight
The struggle for such change must happen without delay, utilising all the powers to hand and while in our view it would be greatly enhanced by independence, the change we seek provides a real reason for fighting for both, not delaying until Yes wins.
The interests of Scotland’s working class majority lie at the heart both the struggle for change and the democratic demand for independence. They are interlinked and vital if change is to be won.