The Central Committee of the Young Communist League has issued the following statement in response to the record increases in COVID infections and the government’s total incompetence battling the pandemic.

The fact that after almost two years of pandemic working people in Britain face the very real prospect of yet another lockdown is a damning indictment of the failure of the Tory government and the devolved administrations to combat COVID.

The number of new daily cases of infection reached over 100,000 in a single day for the first time this week. Well over 150,000 people have now died from COVID. The vast majority of these deaths were completely preventable.

From the offset Britain’s ruling class has been happy to gamble with the lives of working people to protect private profits and the value of shares in the City of London.

They resisted calls for an early lockdown in 2020, all in order to keep the economy functioning ‘normally’ for as long as possible. Valuable lessons could and should have been learned and applied in the months that have followed.

The Tories and the SNP will tell you the latest wave is simply due to the freak occurrence of a new variant. However, the reality is that this eventuality, in a pandemic scenario, knowing what we know about this virus already, was entirely predictable.

We’ve seen that a number of other countries have been effective at containing and suppressing the spread of the new variant. They’ve done this by taking effective precautionary measures, before infections numbers have started to mushroom – not once the horse has already bolted. This was the clearest lesson from the first waves the country endured and yet it hasn’t been learned.

Who pays for this failure of the Britain’s ruling class and their politicians? As ever its working people and the youth.

Working people getting infected, dying, losing livelihoods, having our education, lives and plans endlessly disrupted.
All the while corrupt profiteering continues to be the main priority of the ruling class and their politicians. The list is endless, from selling unusable PPE at inflated prices, awarding contracts worth billions to Tory donors to paying billions for a test and trace system that didn’t work.

While working people have been dying, battling the pandemic and having our lives endlessly disrupted – the ruling class have had their snout in the trough.

At the same time, Boris Johnson and his Party have been shamelessly flouting the very rules they implemented and laughing about it. While working people were dying alone, unable to say goodbye to their loved ones, Tory bureaucrats were joking about being caught in mock press conferences in Downing Street.

This latest wave hasn’t been a case of bad luck or inevitability. The socialist countries such as Cuba, China and Vietnam 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 still need a real strategy to beat and contain the virus.

We need to fight for 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 the politicians, privateers and corrupt donors

The duty once again falls to the left, the labour movement and the youth to lead the fight for the necessary measures to save lives and beat the pandemic. But we also have the opportunity to broaden the battle lines, to unite working people and win a post-pandemic recovery that works for working people.
2022 will be a crucial year and we can’t squander this chance.

In comradeship
Central Committee
Young Communist League

24 December 2021
London, Britain