Lock-down: Third time lucky?
On Monday evening 4th January 2021, Boris Johnson, like a modern day ‘Grand Old Duke of York’, ordered his bemused and exhausted British citizens to march up the steep hill of lock-down for a third time. Was he perhaps following nursery level advice that; ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again’? If so, he was ignoring the wise addition of ‘remember to learn from your mistakes’? However, the latest level of ‘spin’ he tried to put on the reason for this third lock down, like the virus itself was certainly ‘novel’. He claimed it was because a new Covid 19 variant was undermining the previously created 3 tier system.
That excuse amounts to a blatant dissemination of ‘fake news’ because everyone not in a state of self-serving denial knows all the previous tiers (ie ”when we were neither up nor down”) where not sufficiently slowing virus transmission. Otherwise there would have been no need for the alternating ‘off then on’ measures passed prior to the new variant discovery. From mid to late 2020, a mixture of necessity, confusion, exasperation and bloody mindedness had resulted in far too many people ignoring distancing, hand-washing, masking and shielding in general, let alone at (vouchers for meals out) relaxation periods, holidays, Xmas and New Year.
The substantial lack of social responsibility, often condoned and even triggered by the elite themselves, was exactly what the existing Covid 19 virus (and any new variant) needed to continue their reproductive cycle and rapidly infect more people. That was an outcome, which had been predicted by many non establishment, commentators. All of whom were ignored in favour of those supporting the government view and shared by it’s middle-class supporters. Listening to only what they want to hear is the governments default position.
And that wilful ignorance includes the mainstream media, who thoughout 2020, failed to seriously and systematically criticise the governments mishandling of the entire pandemic. It was a failure compounded by a systematic failure to criticise their own role in passing on the stupid analogies of a virus ‘actively seeking out people’ when it has no independent means to move itself around. In fact the opposite is actually the case. Under the capitalist system, people are ‘having to, or are desiring to, contact paying punters day after day – many of whom just happen to have the virus’. The capitalist system is the modus operandi for global virus transmission.
We should not forget the following sequence. The capitalist mode of production’’s human agricultural agents unleashed the virus from its source in the first place, its human commercial agents then transported it around the world from January 2020 on, and it’s human political agents in keeping the capitalist system alive on financial ventilators, will ensure that people, vaccinated or not, are required to keep passing it (or the next virus) on. Furthermore, all these ‘agents’ of capitalism, just like Boris and his ilk, will do so again and again and again – if not physically stopped.
Furthermore, a media hyped vaccine, successful or otherwise, will not solve the virus problem. Already the British elite are doubling down on their gamble with vaccines to save their unfair and unjust system. It is proposed that at least one vaccine tested and approved for two-dose effectiveness is being reduced to a one dose process. This decision has been reached on the unproven hypothesis that administering a lower quantity of vaccine to more people will provide a better result overall than the original amount tested administered to fewer. This panic measure ignores the research evaluation on which the vaccine is based, which in the opinion of many, has already been rushed to (profitable) markets far too quickly. This will likely result in even more reluctance to queue up for the recommended jab.
So in 2021, there could well be some people who get the vaccine as intended and others who get a reduced amount. There will be others who although willing to be vaccinated will have to wait until the manufacturing and administration system has enough resources on hand to deal with them. Then there will be considerable numbers who will just wait and see – in case anything goes wrong – yet again! Others will undoubtedly refuse to be treated as guinea pigs in a rushed social experiment in which they have had no say and from past experience have no reason to trust those in charge of it.
All this means the virus will continue to circulate in 2021 and infect those not carefully isolating and since testing and tracing has all but failed completely, no one will know who is still transmitting it and who isn’t. Meanwhile the more the virus spreads, the more it will mutate, until the immunisation effect of any vaccine will likely diminish or cease altogether. So despite Boris Johnsons 4th January reassurance that this third lock down means we have entered “the last phase of the struggle” against the pandemic, I remain unconvinced. Three ineffective lock downs under this capitalist based system, will not be enough to remove the virus or its cause. I seriously doubt the third time will be lucky.
I also remain totally unconvinced by Boris Johnson’s earnest demeanour and his utterance when he leaned toward the TV camera last Monday and in relation to the new lock down, falsely declared; “I know how tough it is.” No he doesn’t! He has no idea of how tough it is for a single isolating pensioner, or a struggling single parent on zero hours, or a struggling housebound carer, or a homeless individual or couple living on the street. He has no idea of how tough it is for families to queue at a Food Bank to feed their children. He has no idea how tough it is for low paid doctors, nurses, teachers and other essential workers to risk infection on a daily basis in order to care for others.
He shares the same deep down me, me, me, outlook as almost the entire middle-class elites. This includes its intellectuals in art, science, education, medicine, economics, finance, politics and media. He (and they) are infatuated with the capitalist system as it is – as it was – or how they imagine it should be. Just listen to them pontificate daily on TV and Radio! All of them are eagerly hoping and waiting for the previous system to re-boot. The same system which created global poverty, the virus and ecological destruction is what they still crave. They can hardly wait for low paid essential workers here and around the globe to get back to creating the wealth they disproportionately siphon off and start soaking it up yet again.
Roy Ratcliffe (January 2021)