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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 May 2021

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Capitalism's Covid inequality

Poorer nations in Africa and Asia will face a struggle to obtain vaccines

Poorer nations in Africa and Asia will face a struggle to obtain vaccines   (Click to enlarge)

The 15 May issue of The Economist featured a briefing article trying to estimate the death toll from Covid over the last year. Its conclusion was that death tolls in almost every country were much higher than has been reported. Based on analysing excess death data, and statistical modelling, they give a global death toll of around ten million, roughly three times the official rate.

But these unrecorded Covid deaths are much more prominent in poorer countries around the world. In richer OECD countries it estimates the death toll to be 1.17 times the official rate, whereas in Egypt it reckons it was 13 times that rate!

But, incredibly, The Economist goes on to claim in an editorial in the same issue: "The most important insight from our work is that Covid-19 has been harder on the poor than anyone knew"! Perhaps The Economist didn't realise this, but in the Socialist we've read reports from members in the Committee for a Workers' International from all around the world about the devastating impact of the pandemic on workers and the poor.

In reality, this reflects the capitalists and their journals waking up to just how deeply the pandemic has revealed the glaring inequality around the world, which is also reflected in their support for Keynesian-type policies to shore up their system. For socialists though, such information is further confirmation that this rotten system, which continually fails the working class, needs to be replaced with a socialist society based on meeting the needs of workers and the poor.

Iain Dalton, Leeds

School uniform protest wins

"Pupils at our local high school organised a protest outside the gates after learning about a classmate being refused permission to wear a baseball cap and hoodie to maintain her dignity in school, due to hair loss from illness, as it was against policy!

"This was instigated by other 13-year-old classmates, resulting in around 50 people, some with placards, assembling outside the gates to fight for her. They were planning to repeat this every day until the policy changed. As a result of the pressure, the decision was reversed."

Socialist Party member Alan Alberry, from Clowne in north east Derbyshire, quoting from a school student after their success.

Posh Labour

Sir Starmer actively supports the 'fencing-off and night closure' of Primrose Hill, a park in north London, to stop local rich residents being disturbed by noisy peasants.

Posh Labour or what?

Wally Kennedy, west London

Marching for democratic rights

As a freeborn man, on 1 May I joined the small peaceful group of responsible citizens that demonstrated in Southend High Street against the proposed law that will take away my freedom to demonstrate.

After months of confinement it was good to be out in the crowds of shoppers, feel the sun on my face, breathe the air, and shout my truths at the top of my voice. It was good to meet up with old friends and to stand in solidarity with comrades that see things the same way as I do.

As a low-level political activist for many years taking an interest in the world and the country that I live in, I recall when Thatcherism set about smashing union power and how ready, willing and vicious the law was to destroy the unions' democratic rights. This has contributed to the low-wage injustice that we have today.

If these proposals become law, children growing up today will be living with a more dangerous and hostile authoritarian establishment than we already have.

Bob Chapman, Essex

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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 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.
  • 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 26 May 2021:

What we think

Palestinians need a new socialist intifada


Our lives, our jobs, our future - Not safe in Tory hands

Fight for the right to protest

Great British Railways shake-up offers no end to profiteering

Organise to oppose Tory academisation plans

Lancaster Greens do deal with Tories

News in brief


Organise for 3 July NHS pay protests

Scottish Independence

Where now for the Scottish independence movement?


Metroline London bus workers win huge victory

Goodlord sacks strikers - fight the penny-pinching, bullying bosses!

Thurrock refuse workers beat council and bin pay cut

RMT: Support Alan Pottage for assistant general secretary

NUJ leadership pushes through subs increase but left lands blows at conference

CWU elections: Vote for a fighting, campaigning, socialist EC member

'Fire and rehire' attempts spread - coordinated fightback needed

Cadent Gas plans 200 job losses


Mexico City subway train collapse - negligence, corruption and capitalism

US right to abortion under threat: Mass campaign to support the right to choose must be built


Stop Israeli state terror against Palestinians

Leicester protest against arms supplies to Israel

Palestine protesters donate to fund socialist material

Cladding anger builds - protest on 5 June

Readers' Opinion

Get up, stand up - don't give up the fight!

Film review: Nomadland

TV review: Three Families is excellent. But protest movement is missing

The Socialist Inbox


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Related links:

The Socialist:

triangleChile's working class delivers vote against ultra-right

triangleFighting Fund - 162% of target, 162,000 raised

triangleSelling the Socialist - Waltham Cross and Boscombe


triangleNews in brief

triangleEmployers use vaccine excuse to attack sick pay


triangleCovid, stress and cutbacks fuel school staff shortages


triangleMurder of Ashling Murphy sends shocks waves across Ireland and beyond

Democratic rights:

triangleChartism: The world's first working-class movement

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