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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Tiers for Fears

THE SECOND national lockdown has ended with the news of a dramatic fall in the COVID-19 infection rate throughout the country and the start of a vaccination programme that will, hopefully, turn the tide in the battle against the coronavirus plague.

But hundreds of people are still dying every day and lockdowns supported by the Government’s third-rate track and trace service will remain the only way to combat the plague until the vaccine gets out to the vast majority of the population.

The Health Minister, Matt Hancock, somewhat optimistically says Britain will be through COVID-19 “by spring” after the first people are given vaccines from Monday, whilst Boris Johnson, with uncharacteristic caution, warns us not to get our hopes up for getting the new coronavirus vaccine soon.

The roll-out will start with the vulnerable care home staff and residents, and then cover the rest of the population in stages starting with the over 80s. There’s talk within the corridors of power of a return to normality by next spring. That clearly depends on the efficacy of the vaccine.

Whatever happens, the ‘normality’ of the post-coronavirus environment will largely depend on the strength of the labour movement. The unions have shown their willingness to work with the Government to protect health and jobs during the emergency. Whether this will continue clearly depends on the Johnson government’s willingness to continue the consultation process with organised labour.