Feature

Hyping up a vaccine

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The pharmaceutical industry is not only systematically hindering effective treatments for Covid-19, its drive for profits is distorting the whole process of drug treatment

Despite the intense hype throughout May, a Covid-19 vaccine is no silver bullet. Nor is it close at hand. At the very best, vaccines can play a part in integrated public health strategies to trace, contain and halt the spread of infectious diseases. However, in Britain, the US and most of the rest of the world the search for a vaccine has taken centre-stage to the exclusion of all other considerations.

How austerity undermined public health across Britain

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As COVID-19 continues to inflict terrible damage, it is the privatisation of social care, and the undermining of the NHS, that is the root of the crisis now facing healthcare

At the beginning of April, Queen Elizabeth II told a television audience: “Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it.” Her appearance was filmed by a single cameraman encased in body-covering protective clothing. No shortage of PPE here.

Compare this with a care home for older people in Liverpool run by Future Care Capital, a care provider increasingly reliant on venture capital.

Tories’ Betrayal of Windrush

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Brian Richardson pays tribute to the contribution BAME health workers made to the NHS, and the terrible price they are now paying.

Medical and support staff are making an extraordinary contribution to our survival and recovery at great risk to themselves. But a disproportionate number of those that have paid the ultimate price are from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. At the time of writing, the first 10 doctors and three of the first six nurses to die were from BAME. Since its inception in 1948, the NHS has been built and sustained by people from all around the world.

Coronavirus, the workplace and the trade unions

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Why workers need to take the lead on action

The sheer scale of the crisis facing workplace activists and the trade unions presented by the coronavirus pandemic are hard to understate.

An unprecedented public health emergency, which is almost certain to touch every working class family in some way is interlaced with a massive economic shock that may generate a recession on a greater scale than the global financial crisis of 2008-9 in the short term with mass layoffs.

How the Democrats sabotaged Bernie Sanders

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The chance of a radical socialist challenge to the US establishment seemed on the cards, but as Sanders seemed set on winning, the machine came into action..

Sadly it looks as if there will not be a red in the White House. But for a while it was a joy to see the Democrat establishment in the US on the run and the American media in panic mode. Bernie Sanders’ brand of democratic socialism for a while topped the polls and swept the early primary states’ elections.

The Democratic party elite spent six months scrambling around for a candidate to defeat Sanders, and eventually made the decision to unite around Joe Biden. And unite they did.

What do socialists say about free speech?

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What Socialists say about free expression

The question is not an abstract one—the question comes to the fore in debates about anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and the Labour Party, about “no platforming” on university campuses, and about trans rights. A one-size-fits-all answer has to be avoided—concrete circumstances demand concrete answers.

That is because the right to free speech is more complicated than might appear at first sight. For one thing, despite it supposedly being a universal right, the only people who can really exercise it are those who wield power —particularly, the media moguls.

Lenin’s revolutionary ideas are more vital than ever

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As we celebrate 150 years since the birth of the Russian revolutionary leader, Socialist Review outlines his core beliefs, and defends his legacy from the liberal critics and the right wing.

It is still usual in certain circles to treat Lenin as the father of Stalinism. This is as true of the libertarian left as of the liberal right. Yet those who met Lenin in the early years of revolutionary Russia paint a completely different picture of the Bolshevik leader.

One of them was them was the French syndicalist Alfred Rosmer. Contact with Lenin and Lenin’s ideas converted him to Bolshevik ideas, which he adhered to for the rest of his life, although he denounced Stalinism from 1924 onwards and came to believe that Russia was state capitalist.

Everything will change

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Socialist Review spoke to Giovanna Moretti, a Sicilian doctor, who has been living amid the coronavirus in Italy for a month.

Socialist Review: Tell us about this tragedy that has been shaking Italy for more than a month.

Giovanna Moretti: The time of the interview, there are about 35,000 positive people mainly in Northern Italy in Lombardy and the city of Bergamo is paying the highest price. But the virus has now spread to Liguria and Emilia Romagna.

In Bergamo, the most affected province in Italy, the coffins are transported by military trucks. It is heartbreaking. Patients die alone. Sometimes after a video call to family members.

Covid-19 is decimating poor, elderly and vulnerable

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Malnutrition and poor health combined with the toxic impact of welfare cuts, run down health services and years of austerity has left many people at the mercy of pandemics.

The struggle between an abstracted version of nature and science is not what determines the health of global populations and it never has been. The nature we have is the one which has developed in its relationship with global capitalism. The threats nature now poses result from the multi-faceted failure of that relationship —the metabolic rift—which the current pandemic illustrates by its global attack on our health.

Miss World 1970: Our aim was to stop the spectacle

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New film Misbehaviour, out this month, dramatises the protest at Miss World 1970. Jo Robinson, a participant, tells what happened on the night.

‘The lightning rod was that we all went to the first ever Women’s Liberation Conference in Oxford [in February 1970]. It was amazing. Sheila Rowbotham spoke, men ran a crèche. There were over 500 women – we couldn’t all fit in.
It was exciting because people were speaking about what it was like being a woman and the inequalities that we were feeling in life in general.

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