As predicted last July, part time prime minister Boris Johnson has terrible leadership skills. This isn’t the first crisis he has backed away from responsibility but this time his response to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency may have major impact. Loose talk or policy, whatever, the term “Herd Immunity” has horrified scientists world wide when its been applied to COVID-19: such a policy could condemn as many as 1 million to death in the UK with no guarantee that any future immunity protection would occur. The UK stance of “no action” has been condemned by the World Health Organisation and regardless of whether it is right or wrong, science-based or just mumbo-jumbo, the UK government should be working with other neighbours, especially the EU, on a coordinated approach to the pandemic. Instead Johnson’s “your loved ones may die”, “take it on the chin” approach, seems to have been taken from the Donald Trump’s lead: while the UK policy has been bad, the USA is far worse! If you want to hear how bad that then listen to Mike Galsworthy broadcast on twitter!
Future Specific Policies
Anyway, assuming that many people are covering the Cornavirus in detail… then let’s discuss what policies are required to move forward out of this crisis…
Various commentators have suggested the following postive approaches at addressing the crisis:
- Testing of people suspected of COVID-19 at home – rather than bunging up hospitals and doctor’s offices and causing spread of the virus
- Test for people at airports / ports – all part of a wider track and trace system to contain and understand the epidemology of the virus.
- Providing people with proper sick leave (even for people just suspected of having the disease).
- Minimise contact and reduce public gatherings until test, contain and control policies are in place – this could be several months
- Build more ventilators for hospitals
- Fund NHS, find a cure, roll it out
- Release of non-violent prisoners from jail
But already we have run into problems: testing at home? testing at airports? proper sick pay? release prisoners? All these policies need a complete change in government direction! What about the problems to travel/transport/retail/catering/tourism/entertainment industries? Are these just going to go to the wall?
What we need is:
- Universal Basic Income
- Nationalised public transport
- Relief from mortgages and rents
- Free education for nurses. Actually for all students. End student debt!
- Free broadband for everyone
- End homelessness
A form of QE for the rest of us. This just a short list… for a full list see here
What we don’t need is “socialism-for-the-already-rich”:
Enabling a Change of Direction
There is no point, wishing for a Corbyn-led government. That boat has sailed. In the UK the chances of dislodging Boris Johnson lies in the courts, not parlaiment (but stranger things have happened). But this year, the best change of direction would be a Bernie Sanders president in the USA. A Sanders Presidency would be a siesmic shift towards a greener, health conscious, anti-war set of policies. Despite his huge appeal to US voters, the DNC is attempting to anoint “gaffe machine” Joe Biden by… voter suppression! This is on-top of the other fun and games in earlier rounds of state elections where there has been troubling mismatches between exit poll and final totals.
Collectively we know the right thing to do. Yet the billionaires are funding and fixing puppet leaders, gaslighting a proportion of the population (and most of the mainstream media), to ensure the rich get richer and the poor – not just get poorer but to completely die off! So yet again, no matter what we do, we come back to this concept of “democracy”… do we want this or not? It either needs to be fair or… what? Please add a comments below?