The resignation of ‘cock-up’ Matt has finally happened. It is interesting to note what caused the suggestion to resign by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the actual decision to do so by his Health Secretary. It was not because of the appalling level of deaths in the care sector under his watch, nor the failure of the test and trace initiative which has contributed to the huge Covid 19 death rate in general. Nor was the failure to sort out the financial barriers to self-isolation for the self employed. The failure to ensure that the UK national borders would prevent the virus in its numerous variants from sweeping through Britain, was also not enough. However, being caught clutching a consenting (?) female assistant’s buttocks, whilst kissing her was apparently sufficient to ‘prick’ his and Boris’s conscience and trigger a further ‘incompetus interruptus’ of health service leadership.
The whole pandemic episode epitomises (and Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson personify) the continuing bankruptcy of the capitalist mode of production. Among the elite of, ‘me, me’ capitalism, the system can only produce human beings who are either incompetent or grasping opportunists. Even during a world altering pandemic, in politics, entertainment, sport, media, travel and science, the elite are exclusively fixated on their own entitlement to continue to take advantage of every lucrative opportunity that comes their way or demand public money to compensate any shortfall. As the climate and ecological crisis mounts up and working class human communities around the world face floods, famine, fires, drought, air and sea pollution, collapsing infrastructure, unsafe buildings and depleted food resources, the elite exert every pressure they can in order to re-open business to start the very activities which created the above noted problems in the first place.
Even the environmentally aware middle-class are only prepared to advocate more environmentally friendly travel and recycling, not question the whole basis of the present system of production, consumption and energy sapping conduits of supply. The medical profession have completely bought into the pro-capitalist mantra of ‘vaccinate the world’ because they and the political elite have no intention to stop the profit based economics system which continues to unearth the viruses and spread them along its supply chains. The medical profession have not even woke up to the fact that the ‘vaccinate the world’ is an absolute fantasy and is no different than the previous failed ‘feed the world’ fantasy promoted decades ago. The capitalist mode of production is not willing or able to deliver food or vaccines to the world, because it’s method of production is based upon a greedy elite being provided with wealth and profit, not ordinary people being provided with what they need. [‘Where have all the vaccines gone – long time passing’. Apologies to BD]
Its time to wake up to the fact that for some time the capitalist system has been steadily collapsing from its own internal contradictions. The Covid19 virus has not caused the capitalist system to collapse, as some superficial observers have concluded. The virus itself is a symptom of a progressive deterioration of the planet and it’s ability to sustain human life. Every natural barrier the system has overcome on the planet since the 19th century; time, distance, temperature, physical and environmental barriers, has come at the cost of depleting the very animal, vegetable and mineral foundation upon which all life – including humanity – depends and upon which it all rests. Sadly, the entitlement ideology of advanced industrial capitalism has infected the lower middle and working classes to such an extent that those who can still afford to travel abroad are eager or even desperate to do so.
The risk of introducing more virus variants to their communities on return; the inevitability of increasing the pollution and ecological damage of distant people’s; plus the exploitation of nearby cheap labour on holiday, cruise ship or business trip; these bi-products of ‘holidays’ and ‘entertainment’ are not considered their problem or concern. The phrase ‘enjoy yourself; it’s later than you think’ has never been more apt both at person level and at a species level. Environmentally, it really is later than you think. Saving the planet from pollution and ecological devastation and humanity from lethal viruses is going to be a herculean task. It will not be achieved by the current elite ignoring their own rules, the rest of us relying on the Hancock’s of this world. And it will not be achieved on the basis of the economic system they uphold and defend.
More people need to get serious about understanding the fundamentals of the system which governs all our lives and stop relying on the Johnson’s, Hancock’’s, Macron’s and Biden’s of this system to sort things out. They have already demonstrated their class interests and incompetence. For people who are seriously concerned, there is a price to pay. Like any serious endeavor it requires hard work in study and activism – nothing less is required.
Roy Ratcliffe (June 2021)