Covid-19

Videos: Socialist commentary on the Covid-19 crisis

Watch videos giving socialist commentary on the Covid-19 crisis below. Many are subtitled. Click in the top right of the video, for the contents of the playlist, and to watch other ones. See Workers' Liberty's channel for other playlists and videos.

New Zealand readjusts on Covid

New Zealand's prime minister, Jacinda Ardern On 4 October, New Zealand, the poster child of the “Zero Covid” idea, announced that it would shift to a new approach. NZ had a Covid case count of literally zero briefly in June 2020, and then kept the count low by rigid border-closure and repeated short lockdowns. Since mid-August, however, lockdowns have not quelled a new rise in the Covid count, with the Delta variant. The government’s strategy now is to keep looser restrictions, vaccinate fast, and look to reopening the country and accepting the virus as “endemic” (always there, at least in the...

Women's Fightback: Anti-vaxxers harm pregnant people

One in six critically ill Covid-19 patients in England are unvaccinated pregnant women, NHS England has announced. Of the 118 Covid-19 patients in England who received extra corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) between July and September, 20 of them were pregnant. ECMO is usually given to critically ill people who have not responded to going on a ventilator. Of the 20 pregnant women who received ECMO, just one had been vaccinated — though she had only received one dose. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has been advising that pregnant people should be offered Covid-19...

Covid: jab speed-up needed worldwide

Covid vaccines are working. Large parts of the world urgently need more of them: labour movements must press for requisitioning of Big Pharma and vaccine know-how to enable a rapid drive to expand manufacturing, distribution, and donations of vaccines to poorer countries. Africa is still on only about 0.1 jabs per 100 per day (a quick jab drive is about 1/100/day). Maybe the fact that much of Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere, where the seasonal factors are favourable in the coming months, will give more leeway (case and death counts have been decreasing in Africa); but Africa still has...

Covid: the bother with boosters

The British government is acting as if it has opted for extra jabs as its first line against the probable new Covid surge in winter. Those, rather than social improvements (ventilation, workers’ control of workplace safety, full isolation pay for all, boosting the NHS and reversing privatisation, improved housing, improved social care) or mild restrictions (mandatory mask-wearing and work-from-home, limits on indoor crowding). While the government has spent billions on extra vaccines, and test-trace contracts of dubious efficacy, it still stonewalls on proper isolation pay for workers in...

Royal Parks out from 1 October (John Moloney's column)

We’re preparing for a month-long strike by outsourced cleaners and attendants in Royal Parks, which will begin on 1 October. That’s a significant escalation, so we’re also launching a new drive to fundraise for the strike fund. We’ll need active solidarity from our own branches, especially in London, and from the wider movement to help the strike win. Strategic discussions are ongoing within our branch at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) complex in Swansea. There’s a strong resolve to launch a new ballot, but detailed discussions are taking place about exactly how that ballot...

Momentum Internationalists Labour conference briefing

Thanks to Momentum Internationalists for this briefing on Labour Party conference (25-29 September, in Brighton) Who are Momentum Internationalists? Momentum Internationalists was formed by activists from the left anti-Brexit campaign Labour for a Socialist Europe, L4SE, in early 2020 to continue the fight for left-wing and internationalist politics after the Tories finally forced through Brexit. We ran candidates in the Momentum NCG elections of 2020 and promoted motions in the Momentum policy priorities ballot of 2021. We are not just a caucus within Momentum. We have been active on the...

Morrisons cuts sick pay

Morrisons, the UK’s fourth largest supermarket, with over 120,000 workers, is cutting sick pay for those who need to self-isolate if they have not been vaccinated. Despite Morrisons saying they will make exceptions, the announcement has sparked outrage — particularly because the chain’s chief executive has been open about their cost-cutting motivation. Justifying the cut, chief executive David Potts cited the “biblical costs of managing Covid” and other increased costs facing the company. Morrisons’ profits have fallen, but they were still £105 million in the six months to 1 August. It is due...

Workers' Liberty conference moved to April 2022

We have decided to put our Workers’ Liberty conference planned for 27-28 November back to April 2022. We had our last conference, on 24-25 April, online. We managed well, considering, but decided to schedule a next conference in-person sooner than we otherwise would, in November 2021. The success of the vaccine drive made that seem workable. The Delta variant has upset our calculations. It can spread even with high vaccination, though that vaccination keeps death tolls much lower than before. The two weeks since schools restarted have seen, contrary to predictions, a slight fall in cases...

The Covid winter and the Tories' bias

So far the USA has donated 77 million vaccines doses to Covax, the WHO-backed Covid-jabs scheme for poorer countries. Britain has donated five million, France four million, other countries few. China has donated over 20 million jabs, mostly direct country-to-country as part of gaining influence. The figures look large. They are tokens on the scale of the six billion jabs given so far, the 30 million being given each day, and the billions needed in the next few months to stem the deaths (nearly 10,000 counted each day, officially 4.5 million counted so far, probably in fact 15 million). The...

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