George Davey Smith, who is Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at Bristol University, talked with Martin Thomas from Solidarity about the pandemic.
So far, and short of a vaccine, we seem to have only ancient measures to control the spread of the pandemic: physical distancing on different levels, and hygiene. Have we learned anything about variants of those measures which may be both effective and sustainable long-term?
Brazil is one of the epicentres of the pandemic, surpassing 1.4 million cases and 60 thousand deaths. The pandemic has not plateaued in Brazil, yet the worst affected areas, in terms of numbers of cases, Rio and São Paulo, have started reopening commerce, bars and restaurants.
The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, maintains his position against social distancing measures (which are left to be done by local governments on a much smaller budget), and has recently vetoed policy passed in congress making the use of face-coverings compulsory in shops, schools and churches.
Police violence in the USA is only a shore of a whole continent of racial oppression and marginalisation, so Michelle Alexander argues in her 2010 book, now a “classic”, The New Jim Crow.
Alexander is a civil rights lawyer by trade. Chunks of the book are lawyerly, dissecting a string of Supreme Court rulings. She says herself that she wouldn’t have got to a “fancy law school” without affirmative action rules.
Who are we? What are Workers' Liberty and Solidarity? We are a political strand in the flux of the broadly-Corbynite left, a flux which may be reshaping the left for a long period to come.
We are the socialist, class-struggle, consistently-democratic, internationalist strand in the left. That is why we meet such hostility from the NGO-politics, Stalinistic or semi-Stalinist, bureaucratic, nationalistic, and "kitsch anti-imperialist" bloc. That small but vocal bloc represents the deadweight inflicted on the left in the Blair-Brown-Cameron decades, but with feet.
Janet Burstall argues the case from an Australian perspective. The same basic ideas are applicable in Britain and elsewhere.
The most optimistic assessment by the Reserve Bank is that it will take a “few years” to reverse “much” (i.e. not all) of the increase in unemployment from the Covid-19 lockdown. The wages vs jobs trade-off debate is back with a vengeance.
The broadcast media in the United States are bound by no rules of impartiality and in many respects reflect the views of one or the other of the two dominant capitalist parties.
The notorious Fox News promotes the right-wing Trump agenda, spiced up with far-right conspiracy theories. On the other side, CNN and MSNBC do actual serious reporting, but are not immune from ideological myths.
The socialist left in Britain, including us, were so invested in the Corbyn project and are still so disoriented from the December 2019 election defeat that we fail to notice what's before our faces. That, for the first time since the Poll Tax revolt, our class is on the offensive.