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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 September 2020

Under the microscope

Covid-19, photo NIH/CC

Covid-19, photo NIH/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Bosses' pandemic profit bonanza

32 of the world's biggest corporations are in line to make an extra $109 billion profit under 2020's pandemic conditions, says Oxfam. The 'S&P 500' US stock market index hit an all-time high of 3,581 points on 2 September, while recession and unemployment punish millions of workers.

The 25 most profitable global firms could pay over $378 billion in dividends this year - equivalent to 124% of profits. Chemicals giant BASF took 1 billion in emergency loans from the British government - and plans to pay shareholders over 3 billion!

Meanwhile, Oxfam reports the pandemic fallout could push half a billion people into poverty. 400 million jobs have gone already, and the ILO reckons 430 million small enterprises are under threat. One 63-year-old manager made redundant by his restaurant even resorted to handing out CVs at Leeds railway station.

Privatised testing and treatment fiasco

The government is looking to hand 10 billion to private hospitals to fill in for overwhelmed NHS services over the next four years. Why not cut out the middleman and just fund the NHS? And how will Tory plans to axe Public Health England help the problem?

Aside from the wasteful drain of profit extraction, how can we even trust the private sector? Healthcare regulators in England and Scotland declined to publish care home death tolls because this would "likely prejudice the commercial interests of care providers"!

Johnson's welcome (but belated and secret) mass testing proposal, 'Operation Moonshot', would cost 100 billion. No doubt the Tories will try to hand this to private bosses too.

Meanwhile, swab tests can miss 30 to 50% of infections, finds Cambridge University. And even the paltry number of tests administered so far was subject to "an adjustment" last month - the government had overstated the figures by, oh, 1,308,071.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 16 September 2020:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Our lives and livelihoods at stake

Sketch: The rule of six - some guidance from your government

Johnson's brinkmanship over EU deal deepens capitalist splits

Blame politicians, not workers and young people

Capitalist profit and the race to develop a vaccine

'Covid marshalls' must be accountable to communities

Under the microscope


NHS

Angry health workers demand 15% now!

NHS workers: "We deserve a fair wage" - 15% now!


Workplace news and analysis

National Shop Stewards Network lobbying for a lead from the TUC

PCS members in DWP reject unsafe extension of hours

Ireland: Debenham's occupier speaks out

London bus drivers begin strike ballot over remote sign-on dispute

Tate workers on indefinite strike hold march and rally

Reinstate Tony Smith

Reinstate Richie Venton


Schools

Dispatches from the front: schools need Covid tests!


Public services

Covid and the third sector: for public planning, not charity stopgaps


Labour Party

Non-fiction: Left Out - the inside story of Labour under Corbyn


International socialist news and analysis

Egypt: Support for al-Sisi dwindles as his regime increases repression

Nigerian police repress peaceful anti-government protest


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Two weeks to donate: we need your help

Coventry: scrap 'profit before people' hospital parking charges

Covid generation says 'fund our future'

Why I joined the Socialist Party: Tories and Blairites only care about corporate greed

Selling the Socialist


 

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