Today we have a guest blog from Simon Brignell where he discusses his views on the electoral system in the United Kingdom.
Leftists in the UK are in a historically unusual position, they have no real voice within Parliament bar a handful of backbench Labour MPs, mostly those of the Socialist Campaign Group. The problem is that the Labour party, since the time of Kinnock, has only made perfunctory gestures toward a meaningful transformation of democracy and the economy, and has only had one truly left-wing leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
It's not that we don't have enough left-wing parties in the UK, far from it, it's that those parties have no chance of acquiring even a snifter of power due in large part to our electoral system of first past the post.
This system is badly in need of reform for the following reasons:
Is This Really Our Most Pressing Issue?
Yes, I think electoral reform is our most pressing issue.
I know what many are thinking, and I do agree, wages, housing, inequality, the NHS, education, public services, poverty and so on are also pressing issues, particularly for those who are currently experiencing the worst of our contemporary crisis within those areas.
But we need electoral reform for one reason only - it simultaneously breaks the hold the Tories have on the UK and it breaks the parliamentary duopoly.
No more swinging back and forth between neoliberal Labour and Conservative parties, an end to adversarial politics and toward consensus and coalition building, and the rebuilding of the nation's faith in democracy and its institutions. Smaller parties will finally get a say and the electorate can feel truly represented in Parliament by those that they vote for. And because proportional representation, for example, naturally favours small parties, it could potentially mean an end to factionalism.
If we'd have had proportional representation in the 2019 general election, for example, the Tories would've been denied an absolute majority and only gained 288 seats equating to 45% of total seats, much closer to their 43% vote share. Additionally, they would've again been forced to work with other parties to obtain a consensus on contentious issues.
I think we on the left have become blighted by short-termism. We've settled for continuously voting for Labour simply because they're not the Tories, even though they've rarely been much better, and we've only done this because we know we'd be splitting our vote otherwise. Instead of this, what I'm proposing is that we should take a twofold, potentially long-term approach to achieve the goals necessary to start the restoration of our nation and the reformation of democracy
Without electoral reform, there is little chance of solving issues of poverty, inequality and housing, and all of the other pressing issues through party politics. It is, in fact, a matter of urgency that we press forward with electoral reform at the top of our agenda.
Strategy Is Key
I firmly believe that leftists need to get behind whichever party has a policy of electoral reform in their manifesto, but it cannot be Labour or the Conservatives.
Big-tent parties are big-tent parties because of our electoral system, not because it's an ideal form for a party to take, quite the contrary in fact. They are loaded and bloated by the careerists, lobbyists, entryists and self-servers, all opportunists, who see the party as nothing but a vessel for their own opportunism. This has caused these parties to split into factions, essentially parties within parties and regardless of the good intentions of any single faction, which will always be a minority force, they will always be outweighed by the greater power of other factions which stand in opposition to them.
The truth is that the electoral system has benefited many opportunists within the big-tent parties and allowed them to sit in parliament unchallenged in their safe-seats and by virtue of this, it has allowed them a political hegemony which electoral reform would potentially undo. It'd require many politicians of strong, selfless moral character to enable electoral reform and potentially sacrifice their seats, and such a thing is a rarity nowadays. It is because of this that I believe a big-tent party cannot serve the task we ask of it.
Who we rally and coalesce behind, instead, must be a party that exists outside of the duopoly, that has no real power, little to no factionalism within it and that would in reality benefit from reform. A party such as the Greens, Lib Dems or even a single-issue party. In the event that Labour, for example, becomes the only party to offer electoral reform, we must make clear our reasons for voting for them vociferously. We can draw support from the electorate at large, other party members, and the trade unions.
In the meantime, we must work within our communities to build solidarity with each other. We must build mutual-aid networks to support each other and run those networks democratically. We must help each other to build tenents unions to protect against undue evictions and crowdfund solutions to resist the most oppressive instances of capitalism. This is more than doable as the response to the Covid pandemic showed; hundreds of mutual-aid groups rose in its wake to assist the frail, the elderly and the self-shielding.
It is imperative that we agitate for and propagandise this issue as much as humanely possible, to get people on board with the idea of weaponising a broken electoral system to our end, one that benefits all of us.
The question remains of how best to achieve this goal and unify our voice; a single-issue party, a campaign group or piggy-backing onto another movement?
Whichever way we approach this, one thing is for certain - parliamentary democracy is dead without electoral reform.
Let me know your thoughts on this.
Last night MP's voted down free school meals for hungry children this winter.
Below is the full list of all 322 MPs who voted against feeding children during a pandemic. Check to see if your MP is among them.
Nigel Adams (Conservative – Selby & Ainsty)
Bim Afolami (Conservative – Hitchin & Harpenden)
Adam Afriyie (Conservative – Windsor)
Imran Ahmad Khan (Conservative – Wakefield)
Nickie Aiken (Conservative – Cities of London & Westminster)
Peter Aldous (Conservative – Waveney)
Lucy Allan (Conservative – Telford)
David Amess (Conservative – Southend West)
Lee Anderson (Conservative – Ashfield)
Stuart Anderson (Conservative – Wolverhampton South West)
Stuart Andrew (Conservative – Pudsey)
Edward Argar (Conservative – Charnwood)
Sarah Atherton (Conservative – Wrexham)
Victoria Atkins (Conservative – Louth & Horncastle)
Gareth Bacon (Conservative – Orpington)
Richard Bacon (Conservative – South Norfolk)
Kemi Badenoch (Conservative – Saffron Walden)
Shaun Bailey (Conservative – West Bromwich West)
Duncan Baker (Conservative – North Norfolk)
Steve Baker (Conservative – Wycombe)
Harriett Baldwin (Conservative – West Worcestershire)
Steve Barclay (Conservative – North East Cambridgeshire)
Simon Baynes (Conservative – Clwyd South)
Aaron Bell (Conservative – Newcastle-under-Lyme)
Scott Benton (Conservative – Blackpool South)
Paul Beresford (Conservative – Mole Valley)
Jake Berry (Conservative – Rossendale & Darwen)
Saqib Bhatti (Conservative – Meriden)
Bob Blackman (Conservative – Harrow East)
Crispin Blunt (Conservative – Reigate)
Peter Bone (Conservative – Wellingborough)
Peter Bottomley (Conservative – Worthing West)
Andrew Bowie (Conservative – West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine)
Ben Bradley (Conservative – Mansfield)
Karen Bradley (Conservative – Staffordshire Moorlands)
Graham Brady (Conservative – Altrincham & Sale West)
Suella Braverman (Conservative – Fareham)
Jack Brereton (Conservative – Stoke-on-Trent South)
Andrew Bridgen (Conservative – North West Leicestershire)
Steve Brine (Conservative – Winchester)
Paul Bristow (Conservative – Peterborough)
Sara Britcliffe (Conservative – Hyndburn)
James Brokenshire (Conservative – Old Bexley & Sidcup)
Anthony Browne (Conservative – South Cambridgeshire)
Fiona Bruce (Conservative – Congleton)
Felicity Buchan (Conservative – Kensington)
Robert Buckland (Conservative – South Swindon)
Alex Burghart (Conservative – Brentwood & Ongar)
Conor Burns (Conservative – Bournemouth West)
Rob Butler (Conservative – Aylesbury)
Alun Cairns (Conservative – Vale of Glamorgan)
Andy Carter (Conservative – Warrington South)
James Cartlidge (Conservative – South Suffolk)
William Cash (Conservative – Stone)
Miriam Cates (Conservative – Penistone & Stocksbridge)
Maria Caulfield (Conservative – Lewes)
Alex Chalk (Conservative – Cheltenham)
Rehman Chishti (Conservative – Gillingham & Rainham)
Jo Churchill (Conservative – Bury St Edmunds)
Greg Clark (Conservative – Tunbridge Wells)
Simon Clarke (Conservative – Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland)
Theo Clarke (Conservative – Stafford)
Brendan Clarke-Smith (Conservative – Bassetlaw)
Chris Clarkson (Conservative – Heywood & Middleton)
James Cleverly (Conservative – Braintree)
Thérèse Coffey (Conservative – Suffolk Coastal)
Damian Collins (Conservative – Folkestone & Hythe)
Alberto Costa (Conservative – South Leicestershire)
Robert Courts (Conservative – Witney)
Claire Coutinho (Conservative – East Surrey)
Geoffrey Cox (Conservative – Torridge & West Devon)
Virginia Crosbie (Conservative – Ynys Môn)
James Daly (Conservative – Bury North)
David T C Davies (Conservative – Monmouth)
James Davies (Conservative – Vale of Clwyd)
Gareth Davies (Conservative – Grantham and Stamford)
Mims Davies (Conservative – Mid Sussex)
Philip Davies (Conservative – Shipley)
David Davis (Conservative – Haltemprice and Howden)
Dehenna Davison (Conservative – Bishop Auckland)
Caroline Dinenage (Conservative – Gosport)
Sarah Dines (Conservative – Derbyshire Dales)
Jonathan Djanogly (Conservative – Huntingdon)
Michelle Donelan (Conservative – Chippenham)
Nadine Dorries (Conservative – Mid Bedfordshire)
Steve Double (Conservative – St Austell and Newquay)
Oliver Dowden (Conservative – Hertsmere)
Jackie Doyle-Price (Conservative – Thurrock)
Richard Drax (Conservative – South Dorset)
Flick Drummond (Conservative – Meon Valley)
David Duguid (Conservative – Banff and Buchan)
Iain Duncan Smith (Conservative – Chingford and Woodford Green)
Mark Eastwood (Conservative – Dewsbury)
Ruth Edwards (Conservative – Rushcliffe)
Michael Ellis (Conservative – Northampton North)
Tobias Ellwood (Conservative – Bournemouth East)
Natalie Elphicke (Conservative – Dover)
George Eustice (Conservative – Camborne and Redruth)
Luke Evans (Conservative – Bosworth)
David Evennett (Conservative – Bexleyheath and Crayford)
Ben Everitt (Conservative – Milton Keynes North)
Michael Fabricant (Conservative – Lichfield)
Laura Farris (Conservative – Newbury)
Simon Fell (Conservative – Barrow and Furness)
Katherine Fletcher (Conservative – South Ribble)
Mark Fletcher (Conservative – Bolsover)
Nick Fletcher (Conservative – Don Valley)
Vicky Ford (Conservative – Chelmsford)
Kevin Foster (Conservative – Torbay)
Mark Francois (Conservative – Rayleigh and Wickford)
Lucy Frazer (Conservative – South East Cambridgeshire)
George Freeman (Conservative – Mid Norfolk)
Mike Freer (Conservative – Finchley and Golders Green)
Richard Fuller (Conservative – North East Bedfordshire)
Marcus Fysh (Conservative – Yeovil)
Mark Garnier (Conservative – Wyre Forest)
Nusrat Ghani (Conservative – Wealden)
Nick Gibb (Conservative – Bognor Regis and Littlehampton)
Peter Gibson (Conservative – Darlington)
Jo Gideon (Conservative – Stoke-on-Trent Central)
Cheryl Gillan (Conservative – Chesham and Amersham)
John Glen (Conservative – Salisbury)
Robert Goodwill (Conservative – Scarborough and Whitby)
Michael Gove (Conservative – Surrey Heath)
Richard Graham (Conservative – Gloucester)
Helen Grant (Conservative – Maidstone and The Weald)
James Gray (Conservative – North Wiltshire)
Chris Grayling (Conservative – Epsom and Ewell)
Chris Green (Conservative – Bolton West)
Damian Green (Conservative – Ashford)
Andrew Griffith (Conservative – Arundel and South Downs)
Kate Griffiths (Conservative – Burton)
James Grundy (Conservative – Leigh)
Jonathan Gullis (Conservative – Stoke-on-Trent North)
Luke Hall (Conservative – Thornbury and Yate)
Stephen Hammond (Conservative – Wimbledon)
Matt Hancock (Conservative – West Suffolk)
Greg Hands (Conservative – Chelsea and Fulham)
Mark Harper (Conservative – Forest of Dean)
Rebecca Harris (Conservative – Castle Point)
Trudy Harrison (Conservative – Copeland)
Sally-Ann Hart (Conservative – Hastings and Rye)
Simon Hart (Conservative – Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire)
John Hayes (Conservative – South Holland and The Deepings)
Oliver Heald (Conservative – North East Hertfordshire)
Chris Heaton-Harris (Conservative – Daventry)
Gordon Henderson (Conservative – Sittingbourne and Sheppey)
Darren Henry (Conservative – Broxtowe)
Antony Higginbotham (Conservative – Burnley)
Damian Hinds (Conservative – East Hampshire)
Kevin Hollinrake (Conservative – Thirsk and Malton)
Philip Hollobone (Conservative – Kettering)
Adam Holloway (Conservative – Gravesham)
Paul Holmes (Conservative – Eastleigh)
John Howell (Conservative – Henley)
Paul Howell (Conservative – Sedgefield)
Nigel Huddleston (Conservative – Mid Worcestershire)
Eddie Hughes (Conservative – Walsall North)
Jane Hunt (Conservative – Loughborough)
Jeremy Hunt (Conservative – South West Surrey)
Tom Hunt (Conservative – Ipswich)
Alister Jack (Conservative – Dumfries and Galloway)
Sajid Javid (Conservative – Bromsgrove)
Ranil Jayawardena (Conservative – North East Hampshire)
Mark Jenkinson (Conservative – Workington)
Andrea Jenkyns (Conservative – Morley and Outwood)
Robert Jenrick (Conservative – Newark)
Boris Johnson (Conservative – Uxbridge and South Ruislip)
Caroline Johnson (Conservative – Sleaford and North Hykeham)
Gareth Johnson (Conservative – Dartford)
David Johnston (Conservative – Wantage)
Andrew Jones (Conservative – Harrogate and Knaresborough)
Fay Jones (Conservative – Brecon and Radnorshire)
David Jones (Conservative – Clwyd West)
Marcus Jones (Conservative – Nuneaton)
Simon Jupp (Conservative – East Devon)
Daniel Kawczynski (Conservative – Shrewsbury and Atcham)
Alicia Kearns (Conservative – Rutland and Melton)
Gillian Keegan (Conservative – Chichester)
Julian Knight (Conservative – Solihull)
Greg Knight (Conservative – East Yorkshire)
Danny Kruger (Conservative – Devizes)
Kwasi Kwarteng (Conservative – Spelthorne)
John Lamont (Conservative – Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk)
Robert Largan (Conservative – High Peak)
Andrea Leadsom (Conservative – South Northamptonshire)
Edward Leigh (Conservative – Gainsborough)
Ian Levy (Conservative – Blyth Valley)
Andrew Lewer (Conservative – Northampton South)
Brandon Lewis (Conservative – Great Yarmouth)
Julian Lewis (Independent – New Forest East)
Ian Liddell-Grainger (Conservative – Bridgwater and West Somerset)
Chris Loder (Conservative – West Dorset)
Mark Logan (Conservative – Bolton North East)
Marco Longhi (Conservative – Dudley North)
Julia Lopez (Conservative – Hornchurch and Upminster)
Jack Lopresti (Conservative – Filton and Bradley Stoke)
Jonathan Lord (Conservative – Woking)
Craig Mackinlay (Conservative – South Thanet)
Cherilyn Mackrory (Conservative – Truro and Falmouth)
Rachel Maclean (Conservative – Redditch)
Alan Mak (Conservative – Havant)
Kit Malthouse (Conservative – North West Hampshire)
Anthony Mangnall (Conservative – Totnes)
Scott Mann (Conservative – North Cornwall)
Julie Marson (Conservative – Hertford and Stortford)
Theresa May (Conservative – Maidenhead)
Jerome Mayhew (Conservative – Broadland)
Karl McCartney (Conservative – Lincoln)
Mark Menzies (Conservative – Fylde)
Johnny Mercer (Conservative – Plymouth, Moor View)
Huw Merriman (Conservative – Bexhill and Battle)
Stephen Metcalfe (Conservative – South Basildon and East Thurrock)
Robin Millar (Conservative – Aberconwy)
Maria Miller (Conservative – Basingstoke)
Amanda Milling (Conservative – Cannock Chase)
Nigel Mills (Conservative – Amber Valley)
Andrew Mitchell (Conservative – Sutton Coldfield)
Gagan Mohindra (Conservative – South West Hertfordshire)
Robbie Moore (Conservative – Keighley)
Penny Mordaunt (Conservative – Portsmouth North)
David Morris (Conservative – Morecambe and Lunesdale)
James Morris (Conservative – Halesowen and Rowley Regis)
Wendy Morton (Conservative – Aldridge-Brownhills)
Kieran Mullan (Conservative – Crewe and Nantwich)
David Mundell (Conservative – Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale)
Sheryll Murray (Conservative – South East Cornwall)
Andrew Murrison (Conservative – South West Wiltshire)
Robert Neill (Conservative – Bromley and Chislehurst)
Caroline Nokes (Conservative – Romsey and Southampton North)
Jesse Norman (Conservative – Hereford and South Herefordshire)
Neil O’Brien (Conservative – Harborough)
Guy Opperman (Conservative – Hexham)
Owen Paterson (Conservative – North Shropshire)
Mark Pawsey (Conservative – Rugby)
Mike Penning (Conservative – Hemel Hempstead)
John Penrose (Conservative – Weston-super-Mare)
Chris Philp (Conservative – Croydon South)
Christopher Pincher (Conservative – Tamworth)
Rebecca Pow (Conservative – Taunton Deane)
Victoria Prentis (Conservative – Banbury)
Mark Pritchard (Conservative – The Wrekin)
Jeremy Quin (Conservative – Horsham)
Will Quince (Conservative – Colchester)
Tom Randall (Conservative – Gedling)
John Redwood (Conservative – Wokingham)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative – North East Somerset)
Nicola Richards (Conservative – West Bromwich East)
Angela Richardson (Conservative – Guildford)
Rob Roberts (Conservative – Delyn)
Laurence Robertson (Conservative – Tewkesbury)
Mary Robinson (Conservative – Cheadle)
Andrew Rosindell (Conservative – Romford)
Lee Rowley (Conservative – North East Derbyshire)
Dean Russell (Conservative – Watford)
David Rutley (Conservative – Macclesfield)
Gary Sambrook (Conservative – Birmingham, Northfield)
Selaine Saxby (Conservative – North Devon)
Paul Scully (Conservative – Sutton and Cheam)
Bob Seely (Conservative – Isle of Wight)
Andrew Selous (Conservative – South West Bedfordshire)
Grant Shapps (Conservative – Welwyn Hatfield)
Alok Sharma (Conservative – Reading West)
Alec Shelbrooke (Conservative – Elmet and Rothwell)
David Simmonds (Conservative – Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner)
Chris Skidmore (Conservative – Kingswood)
Chloe Smith (Conservative – Norwich North)
Greg Smith (Conservative – Buckingham)
Henry Smith (Conservative – Crawley)
Julian Smith (Conservative – Skipton and Ripon)
Amanda Solloway (Conservative – Derby North)
Ben Spencer (Conservative – Runnymede and Weybridge)
Mark Spencer (Conservative – Sherwood)
Alexander Stafford (Conservative – Rother Valley)
Andrew Stephenson (Conservative – Pendle)
Jane Stevenson (Conservative – Wolverhampton North East)
John Stevenson (Conservative – Carlisle)
Bob Stewart (Conservative – Beckenham)
Iain Stewart (Conservative – Milton Keynes South)
Gary Streeter (Conservative – South West Devon)
Mel Stride (Conservative – Central Devon)
Rishi Sunak (Conservative – Richmond (Yorkshire))
James Sunderland (Conservative – Bracknell)
Desmond Swayne (Conservative – New Forest West)
Robert Syms (Conservative – Poole)
Derek Thomas (Conservative – St Ives)
Maggie Throup (Conservative – Erewash)
Edward Timpson (Conservative – Eddisbury)
Kelly Tolhurst (Conservative – Rochester and Strood)
Justin Tomlinson (Conservative – North Swindon)
Michael Tomlinson (Conservative – Mid Dorset and North Poole)
Craig Tracey (Conservative – North Warwickshire)
Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Conservative – Berwick-upon-Tweed)
Laura Trott (Conservative – Sevenoaks)
Tom Tugendhat (Conservative – Tonbridge and Malling)
Martin Vickers (Conservative – Cleethorpes)
Matt Vickers (Conservative – Stockton South)
Theresa Villiers (Conservative – Chipping Barnet)
Robin Walker (Conservative – Worcester)
Charles Walker (Conservative – Broxbourne)
Jamie Wallis (Conservative – Bridgend)
David Warburton (Conservative – Somerton and Frome)
Matt Warman (Conservative – Boston and Skegness)
Giles Watling (Conservative – Clacton)
Suzanne Webb (Conservative – Stourbridge)
Helen Whately (Conservative – Faversham and Mid Kent)
Heather Wheeler (Conservative – South Derbyshire)
Craig Whittaker (Conservative – Calder Valley)
John Whittingdale (Conservative – Maldon)
Bill Wiggin (Conservative – North Herefordshire)
James Wild (Conservative – North West Norfolk)
Craig Williams (Conservative – Montgomeryshire)
Gavin Williamson (Conservative – South Staffordshire)
Mike Wood (Conservative – Dudley South)
William Wragg (Conservative – Hazel Grove)
Jeremy Wright (Conservative – Kenilworth and Southam)
Jacob Young (Conservative – Redcar)
Nadhim Zahawi (Conservative – Stratford-on-Avon)
It's become abundantly clear that Starmer has turned his back against the left of the party, his distancing of Jeremy Corbyn's socialist vision and appeals to the "patriots" of Britain has been painful to watch. His whole record as Labour leader makes for very bleak reading. You can read it in detail by clicking here.
Only 4% of our members are content with Keir Starmer's first 6 months as Labour leader and nearly 50% of members feel "politically homeless".
Due to this The Left Wing Society is calling on all socialist Labour MP's to start making preparations for a leadership challenge in 2021. We are under no illusions of the difficulty of this task, but we have to try and do everything we can or face losing our party forever.
How much money earned per year would place you in the top 3% of earners in the United Kingdom? £50,000? £80,000? They’re reasonable guesses, however the correct answer is £80,000 per year.
If someone were too claim that they’re ‘worried their salary isn’t enough’, or that they had ‘extensive family responsibilities’, would you place them in the top 3% of earners in the UK? The simple answer is no. Nevertheless, the £150,000 Boris Johnson allegedly earns from his role as PM is clearly not enough for him. To put things into perspective, in the United Kingdom:
Yet, despite these facts, the £150,000 isn’t enough for our wonderful PM.
Over the last few weeks, Covid-19 is beginning to take its toll on the country again. There is a severe risk of people falling seriously ill and the NHS becoming overwhelmed. The lack of tests available could take the risk even further, with NHS staff being unable to go to work. NHS providers have stated that ‘staff are having to self-isolate because they cannot get tests for themselves or family members.’ This is a direct result of the lack of testing available, as anyone with symptoms must self-isolate. Having no test available will not give people the answer that they desire, and a direct result of this is having to stay off work.
In Wednesday’s PMQs, Boris Johnson admitted that the United Kingdom does not have enough tests, months after promising to increase the capacity. He then went on to blame the shortage on people seeking to book a test without ‘experiencing Coronavirus symptoms’. In these unprecedented times, blaming the public is not the answer, especially at a time where people were enjoying the Conservative governments ‘eat out to help out’ scheme (which would noticeably increase the transmission of the virus). It appears that yet again, the government are directing the blame elsewhere, rather than admitting an obvious error. The government website states that ‘Anyone with symptoms can get a coronavirus test, whatever their age’. With the symptoms list being rather long, this is not clear information. Therefore, blaming the public for choosing to get a test is ludicrous.
Overall, no one can give a true definitive answer on why there is a lack of tests available, however Boris Johnson has promised he would increase the testing capacity to 500,000 tests a day by the end of October. Whether he will keep that promise is the real question.
Socialism is a word that has been thrown around a great deal in previous years, especially at the time Jeremy Corbyn was the leader of the labour party. Often, it has been compared to communism which is an unfair comparison. Socialism involves a fair society, and everyone pulling together in times of need. In the last week, we have shown what that is all about.
Jeremy Corbyn is facing a legal battle from a reporter named John Ware. Considering this, Carole Morgan set up a fundraiser to aid Jeremy Corbyn in his legal battle. She stated: “It is reported that John Ware a reporter for Panorama is taking legal action for libel against former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. The relentless attacks on Mr Corbyn, a man of integrity, honesty and humility cannot be allowed to continue, and we have an opportunity here to offer him support in a practical way. It will also let him know that his supporters have not forgotten him, nor have they gone away.”.
At the time of writing, over £300,000 has been donated from 17,000 different people. We think this is a fantastic accomplishment, and it shows what can be achieved when we all pull together for a cause we all believe in. You can donate by clicking the link below.
As the economy is about to all but open in the coming days, with bars and restaurants yet again opening their doors to customers, we feel it is imperative to put across the point that this pandemic is far from over. Over the last week, we have seen 100s of deaths, and the government even having to put Leicester – with a population of over 500,000 back into lockdown. Yet, the conservative government still feel that this is the right time to open up the economy again, whilst simultaneously putting 1000s of lives at risk.
We understand the importance of getting the economy up and running again, however, we do not believe anything is more important than the lives of 1000s of people across the country. In conjunction with this, all children have been told they will be back in school in September. However, “attendance will be compulsory for pupils of all ages except where there are local lockdowns” and “parents in England who fail to send their children back to school in September will face fines”. This puts parents and carers in extremely tough positions, especially if they are part of the ‘vulnerable’ category where the virus could potentially be more deadly for them.
All things considered, people’s lives are more important than anything else, whether that be the economy or education. If there is a second wave of infections, the blame will soley lie with the Conservative government.
The manner is which the coronavirus pandemic has been handled in the United Kingdom is nothing sort of a farce. We are a country with one of the highest death tallies’ in the world, yet our government has been taking ‘the right steps at the right time’.
When observing other countries who have also had the awful task of handling this pandemic, it demonstrates how badly it has been handled here. For example, New Zealand has managed to keep the deaths below 22 and are almost at the point of eradicating the virus from their country. In contrast, in Boris Johnsons latest ‘PR Stunt’, he is seen doing ‘press-ups’ to show that he is “fit as a buthcher’s dog” after recovering from Coronavirus. This is at a time where hundreds of people are still dying every day in England under his very own government.
Overall, it’s extremely clear what is the number one priority under the Conservative government – keeping the economy going even if it’s at the expense of peoples lives,
Boris Johnson had hopes of downgrading the virus alert level last week to align with the easing of lockdown restrictions. He had plans to downgrade the alert level to level 3, which would mean that ‘the virus is in general circulation’ and social distancing can be ‘relaxed’. However, this downgrade was resisted by the chief medical officer – Chris Whitty, who has insisted that we stay at level 4. Level 4 means that there is a ‘high or rising level of transmission’. Despite this, lockdown restrictions are still being eased, with our children being sent back to school and being told we can now meet 6 people from outside our households.
The economy is now being opened back up, with high-street shops opening on the 15th June. This undoubtedly represents the views of ‘profits before people’. The manner in which the Conservative government has handled this crisis has only caused uncertainty and confusion. It is extremely contrasting when comparing the crisis in England with Spain, with the Spanish people having clear instructions about what they can and cannot do. On the 1st June, Spain reported 0 new deaths from Coronavirus. This is brilliant news and demonstrates what can be accomplished when you have clear details about what the lockdown entails. Their stringent approach to the crisis appears to be paying off, which is the opposite to what is happening in the United Kingdom.
When looking at the way in which the crisis has been handled in the United Kingdom, we are a failure. Even in today’s PMQs, Boris Johnson stated: “I take full responsibility for everything this government has been doing in tackling Coronavirus, and I’m very proud of our record”.
Over 60,000 people have died from this virus, and he is ‘proud’. Boris Johnson has failed.
Every day, the deaths in the United Kingdom are still being reported in the 100s. Yet, in Boris Johnson’s speech to the nation on Sunday evening, he encouraged people to go back to work if they are unable to work from home, with very little guidance. Many working-class people are unable to work from home, so this decision leaves them with little choice but to return to work in what is an unsafe environment. For weeks, the government has been saying they have ‘5 targets’ to hit in order to ease lockdown, and only 2 have been achieved so far. The rate of infection has not decreased to manageable levels ‘across the board’. Testing and PPE are not ‘in hand with supply’ to meet future demand and they are not ‘confident that any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak of infections that overwhelms the NHS’. From looking at their ‘5 steps’, we can conclude that lockdown has been adjusted far too early.
With the government encouraging people to go back to work, but not forcing people to return, they are dodging their responsibilities. If no serious repercussions come of the latest adjustments, they will most certainly get praised for kick-starting the economy. However, if the rate of infections comes back harder and stronger, they no doubt will blame the employers not being responsible and keeping their workers apart.
The latest parliament meetings are deserted and abandoned. I feel that until we see a close to full attendance at parliament, and the MPs are confident when returning to work, then we should be too. Until that happens, I feel the only reasonable source of advice to listen too would be Nicola Sturgeon who is remaining with the ‘stay at home message’.
The manner which this whole situation has been conducted by the government has been nothing more than a disgrace. From the very start, the government’s lack of action has cost many lives, despite the claims that they were ‘taking the right steps at the right time’. The lack of leadership, guidance and clarity could prove to have further detrimental effects on this country for years to come.
People should come before profits.