Capital or Labour


Marx believed societies developed through class conflict. The bourgeoisie controlled the means of production for money and the proletariat sold their labour into that production in return for money wages.

Which is the overriding consideration when tackling a pandemic emergency?

Today, 26 January 2021, the UK passed 100,000 deaths, a grim statistic. Did it have to be this bad? How have others countries done?

Of course, any pandemic will also cause peripheral damage, cancer or heart operations missed – possibly causing deaths– businesses wrecked, mental health damaged, etc. Any eventual report will include so many factors in the argument as to whether the UK has done significantly better or worse than similar nations. Its complex conclusions will be heralded as success by the government and a failure by the opposition

Osborne and Cameron’s response to the banking catastrophe, which can be traced to 15 September 2008 when the investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed, sending shock waves through the global financial system and beyond, was to cut costs and freeze public sector pay to balance the budget or at least minimize the increase in the deficit. The pain fell on the low paid. Crudely, you could say that capital (the bourgoise) won, labour (the proletariat) lost.

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Touch

Touch michaelangelo

The April news has been wall to wall Covid and coronavirus. It’s been the same story worldwide: deaths, lock-downs, social distancing and personal tragedies thousands of times repeated from China to Chile.  A high temperature and persistent cough lead to isolation and intensive care in hospitals described as the front line in the uneven struggle against the microscopic enemy. Old age and a list of unfavourable medical conditions, or co-morbidities in the new lexicon of words, such as asthma, obesity, and diabetes reduce the chances of survival even when the skills of doctors and the care of nurses wearing suits that would not look out of place on the moon are used to tame the virus. Even so, the virus wins most battles in the dark days of April 2020. Continue reading “Touch”