Covid

It’s now or never for action on the climate

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While the Covid lockdown raised hopes that we could rein in global warming and cut pollution, it wasn’t enough, warns Martin Empson

This year ought to have been very different for the environmental movement. 2019 had seen an explosion of environmental activism. Global climate strikes had brought hundreds of thousands of young people onto the streets, inspiring a new generation to radical action over the environment. In the UK, Extinction Rebellion involved tens of thousands in protest occupations around its three demands and created a broad and extensive network of activists around the country.

The cruel exploitation of elderly people

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During the pandemic care workers were thrown into the frontline with little support or PPE, caring for the elderly that had been abandoned to the privatised care industry, writes Jenny Dalgleish

If COVID doesn’t kill them loneliness will.” Time and again I heard this from care workers as those we care for, already so isolated, spent months in near solitary confinement, in their own homes or in residential care. The cafés, church lunch groups and day services were closed and families were banished. Particularly for older people living alone, often in pain or in grief, lockdown has been devastating. The government initially wanted to allow the virus to rip through the population, only implementing lockdown, too late, to prevent the NHS being completely overwhelmed.

The fight for our health

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Social inequality is reflected most harshly in our chances to lead a healthy life, argues Esme Choonara. But the fight for better healthcare rests in the fundamental way our society is organised

The Covid-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on the devastating health inequalities faced by working class people and in particular those from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds. It has also revealed how decades of underfunding, understaffing and privatisation have undermined our NHS. So although our health, or lack of it, may sometimes feel very personal, it is clearly shaped by social and economic factors including housing, income, working conditions, discrimination and pollution levels.

Building the fightback

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This September marked six months since the UK entered national lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The terror of the lockdown, when thousands of people lost their lives as a result of Covid-19, gave way to an eerily carefree summer with the Tories desperately attempting a return to normality, encouraging people out with the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme, opening schools and universities and pushing for a return to work even when some people could work from home. The economic picture is grim.

Covid-19 unleashes the economics of chaos

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The Covid crisis has led to lockdown measures which have produced big declines in economic activity across the world. Britain has suffered the worst declines of any major economy. In the second quarter of this year, April to June, the British economy shrank by 20.4 percent, the worst slump by far since records began in 1955 and twice the decline in the US economy. There are two reasons why the British economy has suffered much more than others, both of them due to deliberate policies of Conservative governments.

Corruption, cronyism and abject failure

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Is there anyone left in Britain, apart from that tiny, tiny minority of individuals with a vested financial interest, who thinks that entrusting to private health capital Britain’s response to the pandemic was ever a good idea? The British Medical Association certainly don’t. Their report published mid-September, The Role of Private Outsourcing in the Covid 19 Response, is an expose and utter condemnation of how contracting out virtually every aspect of pandemic-related services has been an utter and complete disaster.

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