Boris Johnson wants to return to an ineffective tier system to save profits for shops instead of people’s lives, writes Caitlin Southern
The government has officially announced that the current lockdown will end as planned on 2 December. Unfortunately, it has not yet achieved the desired effect of bringing case numbers down by any significant degree, in no small part due to the decision to keep educational settings open and the failure to address the myriad issues plaguing the privatised test and trace system.
Positioning themselves as the ‘saviours of Christmas’, Boris Johnson and his corrupt cabinet are insisting on a return to a ‘tougher’ version of the deliberately ambiguous tier system. The decision to announce that this partial and far too porous lockdown will end but waiting several days before declaring which areas will enter which tier on exiting it seems designed to cause more worry and confusion as people try to make arrangements that may not be viable.
Rather than putting in the hard work necessary to save lives and allow a proper exit from the pandemic, this government is still relying on empty soundbites and hollow promises that will only cause more deaths and a worse economic recovery. A properly enforced hard lockdown would ultimately cost far less than half-hearted repeated ones, demonstrating that not only are the Tories cruel and corrupt but that they are also economically illiterate, something which should not come as a surprise after the decade of ruinous austerity we have endured.
It seems that the decision to end this lockdown is largely to allow people to shop for Christmas presents as non-essential shops will reopen, and appears to be a precursor to allowing households to mix over the festive season. This would be a positive step if the virus was under control, but quite simply, it isn’t. The current lockdown came too late and has been too weak to have the necessary effect, something that the government seems determined to ignore as they pursue a premature return to the ‘normal’ state of affairs that was already becoming less and less viable prior to the pandemic.
Allowing people to see friends and family that they have been separated from for most of the year might provide a temporary morale boost but the likelihood of a ‘make up’ lockdown afterwards should temper any enthusiasm and will not resurrect those who will die as a result of socialising over the festive period.
That we have spent the greater portion of the year fighting the government over every aspect of their response to the pandemic, rather than pouring all of our energy into fighting the pandemic itself is another crystal clear demonstration that they are not on the side of the population but of their donors and cronies.
We must not allow them to browbeat us into submission in these awful and emotionally draining times but continue to demand that they fulfil the basic principle of government that is protecting the population they claim to represent. The utter failure of Kier Starmer and the Labour Party to offer any alternative to the Tory narrative has left millions of people with no voice in Parliament and no coherent ‘official’ place to turn to for support. All that their response has shown, very clearly, is that neither the government nor the alleged opposition has any regard for the needs of the population.
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