Britain: Boris Johnson Government is the most incompetent in dealing with COVID-19 in Europe



Act now – for demonstrations and strikes to remove this hated government that is a threat to our health


Article by Joseph Adams, RCIT Britain,




Boris Johnson, who has now just recovered from an attack of Coronavirus himself has stated that the epidemic is past its worst stage with over 20,000 dead. This is nearly the worst loss of life in numbers for the whole of Europe and he bleats that his government’s actions are a success. Nothing further could be from the truth. This reactionary, racist and chauvinist government has presented lies and evasions to cover up their total ineptitude during the epidemic. Many bourgeois commentators are extremely critical of Johnson, pointing out how dilatory and slow his government has been to respond to this crisis compared to other European countries like Germany which counts 6,000 dead so far.


It is hard to know what news the prime minister has been watching or listening to. Johnson’s language was opaque to the point of waffle. The British people are in the dark, more so than any in Europe. Though statistics are still desperately unreliable, all we do know is that Britain has not performed well during the coronavirus pandemic. It is now among the most dilatory nations in securing recovery. Britons must listen in agony as leaders in Berlin, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Brussels and Rome articulate their routes out of this mess. Johnson and his colleagues have articulated nothing” [1].


The Government has just continued to lie and evade their responsibility of telling people what the real situation is, also during Johnson’s stay in St. Thomas Hospital. The World Health Organization (WHO) had said that the virus must be faced early enough to stop an epidemic respectively the pandemic. Many Capitalist governments were aware of the contagious possibilities of the virus, but the Johnson Government did...nothing. There was no mass testing and in consequence no quarantine of affected people, instead so-called scientific advisers were quoted that the goal will be to form ‘Herd Immunity’. They argue that it will eventually kill a certain amount of people. Let that happen, it will reach a peak and then die off – that was the original idea. This criminal policy was advocated by an openly racist and chauvinist government whose only political direction was Brexit.


Faced with the pandemic and the pressure of other imperialist governments, they were forced to act and decided a sudden lockdown. So the government had first decided to let the people die without doing anything and then it took dramatic measures that let people die out of many more reasons than the virus alone.


In the meantime, many doctors and front line NHS staff are bearing the brunt and dying from the coronavirus pandemic. Incredible negligence with Ministers who showed their incompetence daily and are unable to answer people’s concerns. Their reaction was the general lockdown and enforced social distancing, which has not stopped people dying. In addition there are still no consistent mass testings. South Korea on the other hand tested massively, quarantined the known cases consequently and avoided general lockdown. Respiratory kits and basic personal protective equipment for doctors and nurses was organized in no time. The result of these combined measures is a COVID-19 death toll of 258 since January in South Korea.


Bourgeois commentators once again expose Johnson’s deputies like Dominic Raab, the Foreign secretary who clearly is not up to the job. “Mr. Johnson’s absence can be felt as drift and incoherence, expressed most potently in confusion over coronavirus testing and supplies of vital medical equipment. Meanwhile, the episode reinforces the impression of a government that was ill prepared for a crisis that demanded competence more than rhetorical bluster, and is failing now to get sufficient grip and undo damage done. Partly that is a symptom of over-centralization and reliance on the individual authority of the prime minister, whose focus is necessarily elsewhere. But capable ministers and a resilient administration would be compensating better for Mr. Johnson’s absence. That they are not, that the whole system seems obviously adrift, running on bluster and improvisation, testifies to flaws. Mr. Raab is obviously out of his depth. Sadly, it seems his painfully shrunken stature is an accurate measure of the government he currently leads” [2].


This further incompetence of the Johnson administration is costing people’s lives and the final nail in the coffin for Johnson and his government is mentioned by another commentator. “What makes Johnson supremely unsuited to this particular darkest hour is his natural antipathy towards the state. In a speech mainly on Brexit in Greenwich on 3 February, he attacked Wuhan-style lockdowns: “We are starting to hear some bizarre autarkic rhetoric, when barriers are going up, and when there is a risk that new diseases such as coronavirus will trigger a panic and a desire for market segregation.” He went on: “Humanity needs some government somewhere that is willing at least to make the case powerfully for freedom of exchange.” He was that government, along with Donald Trump. “Herd immunity” was Johnson’s policy until it became politically unsustainable. Thereafter, incompetence” But this we know: our government is singularly unsuited to the task and unfit for purpose. In his absence, Johnson’s lack of seriousness is reflected in his abysmal choice of cabinet, selected for all the wrong reasons. Dominic Raab, Priti Patel, Elizabeth Truss and the rest were chosen for Brexitry and hatred of the state” [3].


No fundamental Testing has been carried out


The maybe worst aspect of this government's attitude to the Covid-19 Pandemic is ignoring sound medical advice which is to test, to test and to test. Claims that up to 100,000 people are being tested has been discovered to be untrue. In daily press conferences Dominic Raab and Matt Hancock make excuses for their inability to reduce the number of deaths. To find a vaccine sounds hollow every day and epidemiologists, academics and doctors are seeing through this sham.


Indeed, as the fatal consequences of Britain's slow response become clear, combining with a decade of Conservative-imposed austerity all this has left the entire population, including NHS staff, exposed. According to the Doctors' Association UK (DAUK), nearly three-quarters of doctors say they cannot access a mask when they need one, and nearly half of clinicians attending to the highest-risk cases say they cannot access the correct gowns. In one hospital, shortages of gowns forced a team of nurses to wear bin bags instead: all of them contracted the virus. At the time of writing 80 NHS workers have died so far, most of them people of colour To bring up the 10 years of Conservative austerity - leaving a record shortage of nurses, a record shortage of beds and an exhausted, underpaid staff in its wake - is deemed unpatriotic, even blasphemous. In fact, at the same time as the Conservative government extols the virtues of the NHS, staff themselves are banned /threatened against sharing negative stories with the press or on social media”.[4]


The true extent of Britain's COVID-19 death toll was more than 40 percent higher than the government's daily figures indicated as of April 10, according to data that put the country on track to become among the worst-hit in Europe.


The Office for National Statistics said it recorded 13,121 deaths by April 10 in England and Wales, which account for the vast majority of Britain's population, compared with 9,288 in the government's daily toll for those who died in hospital. The ONS figures include deaths in care homes and hospices as well as in hospitals.


Britain, which scientists say is probably now experiencing the peak of the outbreak, has reported the world's fifth-highest national death toll from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.


The global death toll from COVID-19 now stands at around 170,000” [5]


Lack of Personal Protective Equipment for frontline NHS Staff


The Lockdown procedures which show the role of the Bonapartist state can not stop people from dying from the virus and other diseases. The major casualty however was unsurprisingly front line NHS staff like doctors and Nurses who did not have adequate equipment. After 10 years of Tory Austerity under Cameron, May and Johnson, the NHS has been completely shorn of any basic materials in the light of this pandemic. It has been established that the Coronavirus is mainly passed in hospitals, not by people visiting supermarkets or going for a run. As long as basic hygiene requirements are in place, the Coronavirus is unlikely to be passed on. Doctors and Nurses are the ones at high risk especially without adequate protection. The Johnson Government is an imperialist, capitalist government who have had years of stripping the NHS to the bone and starving it of basic provision and equipment.


Anger over lack of supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) for NHS workers is growing as a desperately needed consignment of 400,000 gowns was delayed.


The government has been under increasing pressure to ensure the safety of frontline health staff and one leading NHS figure revealed his “bitter experience” of the lack of basic items such as gowns in recent weeks”[6]


Programme for Workers and Oppressed


The health of the people is in deed at risk. While lockdown is enforced, people are rejected to see doctors in person or go to hospital if they have any other pain or illness. Without a real check-up however, many diseases and injuries are not treated properly which causes additional deaths which could have been prevented easily. Many women and children who face domestic violence a trapped during lockdown with the threatening partner respectively parent. Last but not least the neoliberal austerity programs of the past years have ripped the health system completely.


The RCIT has shown in a series of articles on the COVID-19 global pandemic crisis that major imperialist and capitalist governments have been spreading fear and confusion amongst the masses. One is that they assert that it is the health crisis which is responsible for the recession. This pandemic is being used as a cover for Bonapartist measurements in order to smash and prevent the masses right to assemble and demonstrate. The lockdown is a threat, not a cure.


The Bourgeoisie has been aided in these various lockdown procedures by the social-democracy, the trade unions and various pseudo-leftist organisations. We have made this clear in all our statements on COVID-19:


Why is it the case that there will be so few May Day demonstrations despite such a historic crisis of capitalism and despite such wide-scale attacks on the popular masses?


There exist basically two reasons which are connected with each other. First, we are in the midst of a global counterrevolutionary offensive where the ruling classes all over the world impose a reactionary lockdown regime against the workers and oppressed. Under the pretext of combating the COVID-19 pandemic, governments suppress the democratic rights to assembly and to demonstrate and force the people to stay home in isolation.


The second reason is that the bureaucratic leaderships of the trade unions, popular organizations and the so-called left, in their vast majority, support the global lockdown. These reformist, populist and centrist forces – all opportunists by profession – repeat the lies of the ruling class that the lockdown would be the most effective way to combat the pandemic. As a matter of truth the countries with the highest number of death per head of population are those with lockdown regimes (e.g. Italy, Spain, France, Belgium). Other countries which have not imposed a draconic lockdown have fared much better until now (e.g. South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, and Hong Kong)”. [7]


The RCIT in BRITAIN calls on all workers and the oppressed to support the following programme in our fight for Socialism and a Revolutionary Socialist answer to the crisis.


* Expansion of the Health system in Britain under the control of workers and the popular masses! PPE to all Nurses and Doctors in the Front line battle against the Pandemic!


* No to mass lockdowns! Defend the democratic right to assemble and demonstrate! Nobody should take away our right to fight and rally against injustice and oppression!


* No mass surveillance! Stop the police state!


* Open borders for refugees! Oppose any travel bans!


* Systematic and free health screening of people who might have contracted the virus! Free respiratory kits for all patients! Start Medical tests now!


* For an international team of medical experts to develop a cure and preventive vaccination as soon as possible! They must be under the control of workers, local branches of the trade unions and other organs of the masses!


* Nationalize the pharmaceutical companies under workers control to develop drugs against widespread illnesses like COVID-19, Influenza, HIV/Aids and many more!


* Support our brothers and sisters in the global south! Cancel all public and household debts!


* No sackings, no wage cuts. Nationalization under workers control of large enterprises, which sack workers respectively which shut down production!


* Fight for the building of a New Workers Party