2020s >> 2021 >> no-1405-september-2021

Parasites

Will we ever see the end of these airborne parasites?

There can be little doubt about the impact this dreadful virus has had on predominantly the world’s working class.

Nowhere has escaped this awful pandemic. With some parts of the world faring worse than others, and so much loss of life and suffering – much of it down to the gross incompetence of world governments and their inept ministers trying to grapple within the financial considerations and constraints of life under capitalism. Nearly everything boils down to costs and affordability.

But could and would things have been handled any better within socialism?

It would be crass to suggest that viral outbreaks such as coronavirus could never happen within socialism. However, it’s also fair to say that in a society where all due care and attention will be given to the living conditions and welfare of farmed animals, and the preparation and storage of agricultural foodstuffs for human consumption stored in careful conditions, this should reduce the chances of any such occurrences considerably. Moreover, in the event of an outbreak, humankind will have developed a much quicker and more effective way of dealing with the issue. Without being burdened by considerations of costs and the search for profits, response time in closing down the spread of the virus in the shortest possible time would take priority, without the dither and delays that have impacted on the efficacy of dealing with pandemics under capitalism.

Coming out of lockdown

The past 18 months of living through lockdowns and restrictions has been difficult for most people. Each of us have had different experiences, with some finding the quiet routine of lockdown and staying at home actually bringing some comfort and respite from, amongst other things, the daily commute. Meanwhile others have been craving the social contact and routines of life before COVID-19. With most restrictions now lifted in the UK, it’s understandable for some to feel nervous about the new challenges we’re facing, such as the anxiety of returning to the office or finding it difficult to socialise in groups again.

Although some people may seem excited about the lifting of restrictions, rest assured that for many the uncertainty and potential insecurity of employment and a regular income is a source of great anxiety. Socially it might be about when we should or shouldn’t wear a mask, how close to get to people or where to go and what to do in any given social situation.

And let’s not forget the ongoing impact on our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world where coronavirus is every bit as severe now as it ever was. Countries such as India, where the government saw fit to export 66 million doses of vaccines overseas. Enough to have inoculated the major cities of Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata. While the virus was still raging and people were still dying in very high numbers. All in the name of profit before people.

Life has changed unimaginably since the beginning of the pandemic. The idea of ‘going back to how things were’ may feel completely impossible. Our mental health has been affected by the financial pressures of being furloughed and the reduction of income, and your life may have changed so much that it can be hard to see a positive way ahead.

As socialists we understand the pressures that workers around the world are facing, not only because of the impact of the pandemic, but because of the social system that underpins it. As a party we kept in regular contact with each other through online communication platforms such as Discord and Zoom. These modern sources of digital technology have enabled many of us to share, learn and laugh together in a way that only a generation ago would not have been possible.

What lies ahead?

Although still very much with us, COVID-19 is gradually becoming less of a threat. More and more people are surviving this dreadful disease, thanks to the ingenuity of science and scientists, through widespread vaccination. This naturally gives us hope as a political party that we can once again resume our programme of various activities and reconnect with our fellow workers in the physical environment, including for example the forthcoming COP26 conference in Glasgow later this year. Something we have been preparing for with much anticipation. And should you wish to participate in that particular event in any way, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Your input would be most welcome. We have a world to win and nothing to lose but our chains.


Will we ever see the end of these heir-born parasites?

As one of the oldest extant monarchies in the world, the British royal family seem to have survived the test of time – so far. Whilst its immediate existence is reasonably secure despite Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle’s recent claims of racism, the cultural rifts exposed by the row could signal trouble ahead. The revelations certainly do raise questions about whether the monarchy can or should survive at all.

Queen Elizabeth, on the throne since 1952 (no quips about constipation please) is now 94 and still remains reasonably popular with the general public, with a 79 percent approval rating that many a politician could only dream of. A recent Ipsos Mori poll also indicated that only 17 percent of people believed the country would be better off without a monarchy. This despite a year in which Harry and Meghan quit the royal family and questions swirled about Prince Andrew and his involvement with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. A closer look at the poll also reveals a much less favourable opinion of the queen’s oldest son and heir Charles, particularly amongst younger generations, making him a potentially greater risk to the future of the monarchy. The reason for this must in part have been the characterisation of his uncaring attitude, as disclosed by his son and one-time piss artist and party animal formerly known as Prince Harry, during his recent infamous interview with Oprah Winfrey. This generational attitude also bodes ill for the royal image overseas, with the under-40s in the USA far more supportive of Harry and Meghan’s version of events, than that of the other royals who tried to play down the allegations.

Meanwhile further charges of racism against an ‘unnamed senior royal’ particularly resonated with Britain’s younger generation, who have grown up in an increasingly diverse country. Only 29 percent of the 18–34-year-olds polled said Britain would be worse off if the monarchy was abolished, while 45 percent said it would make no real difference– a view we largely share, and 19 percent saying that it would make the country better.

So while the British monarchy’s immediate survival is relatively secure despite Harry and Meghan’s claims of racism, the cultural rifts exposed by the row could signal trouble ahead. The revelations do raise questions over whether the monarchy can or should survive at all, with Charles next in line to the throne and not scoring well for general popularity.

While we as socialists might sense an opportunity as the current monarch’s reign draws to a close, we still face the prospect of persuading many of our fellow workers that these blue-blooded spongers, malingerers and work-shy freeloaders have outstayed their welcome. One only has to observe the absurd out-pouring of grief from so many misguided flag-waving subjects whenever a member of the royal family dies and the BBC’s royal correspondents begin their sanctimonious arse-kissing rituals, crocodile tears and fake platitudes, to realise what a challenge we have ahead of us.

And while as a party of the working class we may not have been around for anything like as long as the monarchy, we should all rise to the challenge to stop this outdated institution from reigning over us, and look forward instead to the day that their position of privilege will come to an end. When the castles and palaces they inhabit become little more than museums, we might look back in wonder and incredulity at a period in our history when we lived under that kind of rule and all the other insane rules and regulations of capitalism.

PAUL EDWARDS

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