The Young Communist League has issued an updated statement on the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic in response to the massive increase in deaths and new infections and the government’s total failure to battle the crisis.

It has been a year since COVID-19 arrived on the shores of our island. The story since then has been one of ruling class incompetence, overseen by Boris Johnson’s Tory Party and Sturgeon’s SNP. The victims at every stage have been working people, the youth and the most vulnerable in our society.

It shouldn’t be forgotten that the Tories vigorously resisted calls for a early lockdown in 2020 and the SNP covered up a superspreading event in Edinburgh. This was all in order to keep the economy functioning ‘normally’ for as long as possible.

It was nothing short of gambling with the lives of working people to protect private profits and the value of shares in the City of London.

Instead of using what little respite we had in the summer months, hard won by the sacrifice and bravery of frontline workers and the first lockdown, the Tories squandered it with confusing rules and irresponsible and misguided attempts to reopen parts of the economy.

For corrupt private sector firms and especially Tory donors it has been time to cash in, supplying dodgy PPE at inflated prices, a test and trace system that doesn’t work and starvation rations to school children have just been a few of the better known examples. The culprits? A friend of Dominic Cummings, Serco and the Compass Group. What do they all have in common? They’re all Tory Party donors.

The new tiered system which was introduced by the Tory, SNP and Welsh governments over the winter was characterised by the same ludicrous confusion and incompetence. Despite being long promised the opportunity to celebrate the festive period with a temporary relaxation of restrictions, this was reversed with less than a week’s notice, resulting in chaos for working people.

Since then, COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed up and down the country. Working people now face a more dangerous situation than in the Spring of 2020. Based on the government’s own dubious figures, which mask the scale of the problem, well over 90,000 people have now died in Britain, the 5th highest globally. 1,000 have died from COVID-19 almost every day since the 6th of January 2021.  

The roll out of the vaccine should have been a lifeline to working people across Britain. Instead, it has been hampered by the same incompetence, delay and mismanagement that has affected the government’s response to the pandemic at every stage.

This hasn’t been a case of bad luck or inevitability. The socialist countries China, Vietnam and Cuba have effectively battled and contained the virus because they put human life before profit. The vast majority of the deaths in Britain were unnecessary and completely avoidable. Tory and SNP governments have to be held to account.

We need a real strategy now to beat and contain the virus.

We need to guarantee a post-COVID recovery that prioritises jobs, housing, health and education.

Britain’s communists are calling for:

A genuine zero COVID strategy

Support for the youth and working people

A real strategy for schools

An end to the scandal facing university and college students

A reckoning for privateers and corrupt Tory donors

We won’t have a return to a ‘normal’ any time soon if the Tories and devolved administrations are not forced to tackle the crisis. But their ‘normal’ wasn’t working for working people. We can’t allow them to continue to use the crisis to attack worker’s rights and living standards and to transfer hundreds of billions of our money to privateers.

The fight against this government goes hand in hand with the fight against COVID-19.

We need a concerted struggle by working people and the youth to beat the pandemic and to win a recovery that works for working people.

Executive Committee
Young Communist League

18 January 2021
London, Britain