Wednesday 23 June 2021



I copied the statement below from the site of Jeremy Corbyn's 'Peace and Justice' project. This movement - to which I subscribe -  is supporting the People's Assembly national demonstration this Saturday - 26 June 2021 - in London. 

JC is still around - and so too are his values - the socialist 'threat' hasn't gone away

The Peace and Justice project was launched six months ago.

The title of my book: 'The Road to Corbyn' (2016) has become a metaphor for our journey in search of peace and justice for a world in which the interests of the many are prioritized and the few are held to account.   

So why are we angry?

'The pandemic would always have been a crisis. But every Tory government decision has made it worse. We have faced:

It's worth dwelling on each point of outrage for a few seconds. In the great rush of contemporary life, the sheer magnitude of this neoliberal assault on the shape of our country may get overlooked. The enemy relies on such political fatigue. Naomi Klein highlighted the danger in her analysis of the ways in which capitalist forces exploit economic and social crises to their own advantage.

And so to the anger of Dr. Deepti Gurdasani. She has been a contributor to Channel 4 News on a number of occasions during recent months. Her voice as an epidemiologist at Queen Mary University of London has sounded a welcome note of criticism as she nails the misgovernment of this pandemic crisis. Channel 4 will pipe up later and claim correctly that we heard the truth on their show months ago - even as they continue to follow the orders of their bosses (who are being nudged by the Government) and conceal the full extent of this third wave that is lapping around us.

Dr. Deepti Gurdasani 

Here are some of Gurdasani's medical and academic observations (my acknowledgements to the Morning Star (19 June 2021) who published an interview with Deepti Gurdasani):

  • Postponing 21st June [the final easing of restrictions] isn't remotely sufficient to deal with the crisis.
  • What is happening now was entirely predictable and predicted by SAGE [the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies advising the Government] in their meeting on 13 May 2021.
  • I do think the May 17 reopening was a mistake but I think we would have likely seen a rise in cases even then because we know that cases of the Delta variant were actually doubling even prior to May 17.
  • The spread of the virus that has happened in schools actually predates the Delta variant but the government went ahead and removed masks, which was one of the few mitigations that we have in schools.
  • On January 21, SAGE warned that reactive, geographically targeted travel bans cannot be relied upon to stop importation of new variants once identified. This warning was ignored by the government which reopened international travel, governed by a new, leaky traffic light system, on May 17.
  • Where we are now is a completely predictable consequence of government repeatedly ignoring advice from its own advisers.
  • A zero-COVID strategy designed to eliminate the virus is not an alternative to a vaccine-based strategy. It is an adjunct. China succeeded in moving from being the epicentre of the outbreak in early 2020 to life pretty much returning to normal by January 2021. Elimination is not eradication. At this stage, we are not going to get rid of it for ever - but we can keep it out of the community by stopping community transmission.
  • The test, trace and isolate system must be completely overhauled. It needs to work closely with local authorities and take inspiration from South Korea and Japan where there is effective backward and forward contact tracing. There must be mandatory quarantine for anyone coming in from any country.
  • Vaccination takes time but a zero-COVID strategy can be achieved in a matter of four to six weeks, depending on the numbers of cases you are starting from.
  • Too many in the scientific community have adopted hopism - a sort of blind optimism around vaccines. We are still not thinking ahead to 'What about the next variant?' Are we back to square one? If you want to avoid that I think the only sure way to do it is zero-COVID.

                                                THE ANSWER IS ZERO-COVID

We could do with a touch of zero-COVID strategy here in Cornwall, not least in my home town of St Ives together with Falmouth and Newquay which have become epicentres for COVID infections in Britain. Why? How? Take a look at this graph - and check out the effect of the G7 conference in Carbis Bay just down a few roads from my home:

Acknowledgements and thanks to - and to Jayne Kirkham, the Labour Cornwall Councillor for Falmouth, who published this image in a Facebook post.

We are governed by dangerous buffoons, guilty of administrative malfeasance. Or worse. Social murder has become a description that is gaining wider currency. The Labour MP, Claudia Webbe, used the term in an article in the Morning Star (Tuesday 1 June 2021) and referenced its origin. Friedrich Engels used the term 'social murder' to describe conditions in Manchester in 1845. Masses of workers had been left in 'such a position that they inevitably meet a too early and unnatural death'. The parallel is clear enough - and needs calling out.

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