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Save my Profits: Let the Poor, Sick and Elderly Die

Save my Profits

You can feel the pain from the owners of capital. The Lockdown is affecting their investments. The pain comes out in the opinion columns of newspaper articles and on programmes like LBC, peopled by journalists from the DAILY MAIL and DAILY EXPRESS, and from Sky News (owner Rupert Murdoch). The government's response to the pandemic has been attacked from many quarters of the capitalist class and from its political representatives in the media and Parliament. They have highlighted the economic damage, the disruption to business and the strains on their companies in remaining profitable. And under capitalism, profit is the name of the game.

Then the Government introduced a second lockdown for a month in November 2020. Johnson's second lockdown has not gone down well with free market zealots in his Cabinet or on the back benches. They want capitalism open for business. They want profit to be made. The capitalists need profit like vampires need blood.

The obsession by the capitalist class for profit is not about greed. Making profit is imposed upon capitalists by the competitive pressures of the market. All the businesses in a particular sector of the economy, like construction, hospitality and retail, are in competition with each other to sell their commodities for a profit, to reinvest and make more profit. This competitive battle will be won by those capitalists who can sell their commodities cheaper than their rivals.

And because capitalism is a global system of class exploitation, competition is world-wide. With British capitalism largely shut down, the economy is at the mercy of its competitors abroad. The market place does not show mercy. Capitalists are out to destroy their competitors. Big capitalists eat little capitalists. Businesses of the verge of bankruptcy are taken over. Bankrupt stock is bought at a lower cost by the survivors. There is no compassion in capitalism.

President Trump understood this only too well. His presidency stood astride 250,000 dead. He knew capitalism had to be kept open at all costs to allow for profitability. Trump understood profit because he was a capitalist while Johnson only served capitalists. Johnson has never run a business. He does not feel the competitive pain of not making a profit. Keep American capitalism open and don't let the Chinese win out, was Trump's economic consideration. His rallies during the Pandemic resulted in 30,000 more Covid 19 cases which led to 700 more unnecessary deaths. So what? Profit is more important to Trump than human beings and their health. "Profit! Profit! Profit!" not "Covid! Covid! Covid!" was the only truth Trump understood (INDEPENDENT 2nd November 2020).

Let the Poor, Sick and Elderly Die

Nigel Farage, friend of Trump, and his free market business associates in UKIP understand the profit imperative. They have even set-up an anti-lockdown political Party called Reform Uk which will attract support from businesses usually funding the Tories. Farage was given open access to the capitalist media to put his point of view. He was also given space by the Barclay Brothers, once reserved for Boris Johnson, to write an article in the DAILY TELEGRAPH on why British capitalism should be allowed to remain open regardless the human cost.

The BBC (2 September 2020) also gave Farage free and uncritical publicity. His assertions about 'Herd Immunity' were not challenged. No qualified scientists were offered the opportunity by the BBC to appear on its network to refute Farage's baseless comments.

The Tories have historically had the support from the brewing and hospitality industry and from the landlords of the large City Offices like the Duke of Westminster who has office holdings in Mayfair. They are not very happy in losing money. They want paying customers back. They have shareholders and investors to placate. Barratt, the house builder has seen its profits almost halved by Covid 19. It is bad news for its shareholders:

"The company did not pay out any dividends to its shareholders last year and given the unprecedented impact of covid-19 and the importance of a resilient balance sheet, it will no longer propose the FY21 special dividend of £175m which would have been payable in November 2021." (BUILDING 2 September 2020).

If shareholders cannot get their dividends what are they going to live on? Fresh air?

And what of all those empty office spaces and the plans to build millions of more square feet of prime office space in London and in other cities. Future profits are at risk. Canary Wharf Group, joint-owned by Qatari Diar and Brookfield, is London's largest landowner, with 21.5m sq ft of property, while the City on London came second, with 17.4m sq ft of space. They do not want their offices to remain empty, they do not want the lease owners asking for reduced rent or not renewing their contracts.

The Tories also had the support from multinationals and billionaires who own the coffee shop chains and sandwich bars. That support too is threatened as the profits are reduced.

Billionaire Gerry Ford owns the Cafe Nero chain and is a donor to the Tories. Cafe Nero has not paid any corporation tax in the UK since 2007 on sales of £2 billion but is feeling the pinch and has called in KPMG to look at reducing rents and identifying store closures. Costa is owned by the Coco Cola Company. Greggs is also a listed company whose shareholders are upset at not getting the dividends they were expecting.

Here is the former owner of Pret a Manger Julian Metcalfe. Mr Metcalfe, who sold his remaining stake in the coffee chain last year but still owns the majority of high-street restaurant Itsu recently said: "society will not recover if we do it (lockdown) again to save a few thousand lives of very old or vulnerable people" (DAILY MAIL 29 October 2020).

Who cares about a few thousand lives of the very old and vulnerable? Not Mr Metcalfe. Save my Profits: Let the poor, sick and elderly die

The capitalists cry out: "Look what the government is doing to our investment portfolios". "Look at the empty offices in the City which should be bringing in rental streams each month", "What about my business?", "how are you going to protect my cash flow"? And look at the empty buses and trains in which I have sizeable investments". Listen to the rage from the likes of Tim Martin of Weatherspoon's who has just posted a £105m loss.

Minister for the Cabinet Office, Michael Gove's wife, Sarah Vine, has made a career at the DAILY MAI writing callous and spiteful articles. To an incredulous audience on Twitter she recently offered her own life for the good of capitalism's survival. She said: "we all have to die sooner or later" and that she doesn't expect "the entire nation to bankrupt itself to save her sorry ass". (THE LONDON ECONOMIC April 3 2020). She is happy with more risk, because she won't be the one taking it. Sarah Vine says she wants to die for capitalism. Let her. See if we care.

Attack the science and Open up the Economy for Profit-Making

What arguments can Farage put forward? He has the experience of Brexit to spread his lies. He will have the backing of free market institutes who are also versed in the dark arts of political propaganda when it comes to denying the human impact of global warming. And he also has the capitalist supporting journalists.

Step forward Ross Clark, one of Lord Rothermere's attack dogs at the DAILY MAIL. His target is the data from the scientists advising Boris Johnson to call a second lockdown. He claims he has called the scientists' bluff by 'exposing their shamelessly manipulated data' (DAILY MAIL 3 November 2020). He did no such thing. No proof was offered, just assertions. But it was enough for the DAILY MAIL readership to reproduce his propaganda to friends and relatives.

What are Ross's qualifications? He went to Trinity Hall, Cambridge but holds no expertise in the subject he is writing about. Clark regularly questions the scientific consensus on climate change in columns for the SPECTATOR, arguing that climatic observations and predictions should be taken with "a pinch of salt" because "the only near-certain thing is that they will all be wrong"
https://www.desmog.co.uk/ross-clark

Clark is no scientist. He does not like scientific experts. Unlike his journalism these use facts, statistics and reason. He could not find any scientist to put their name to support his article which, in various forms, uncritically does the rounds at THE DAILY TELEGRAPH and SPECTATOR. Predictably he is a supporter of the free market and profit-making. The models all point to the number of people in hospital and deaths exceeding those in the first wave without further action. What should not be forgotten is the provisional nature of many scientific modelling studies.

When it comes to scientists not acting in the interest of the capitalist class, they are treated with the same contempt as anyone else who dares criticize the profit system. Falsehoods, ridicule, disinformation, fake news, muddying of the waters, smoke and mirrors, are the tools of the trade of this vile anti-scientific propaganda. A drip-drip-drip feed of political poison. Sounds familiar? It is the same type of propaganda found in the climate denier's tool box.

Farage knows this. So he supports the 'Great Barrington Declaration' calling for lockdowns to be abandoned. (BBC NEWS 2 September 2020). What he did not say about the 'Great Barrington Declaration', that many of the signatories did not even exist. The petition was championed by THE SPECTATOR, proprietor, the Barclay Brothers. Sky News had to admit that many of the 'medical' signatories of the open letter were homeopaths, therapists or used obviously fake names such as 'Dr Johnny Banana' , 'Dr Person Fakename' and 'Dr Johnny Fartpants' (GUARDIAN 19 October 2020).

The eight-paragraphs of 'The Great Barrington Declaration' cites no scientific data and does not seriously attempt to argue its case. It is, rather, a series of assertions constructed retroactively from the demand by US corporations to abandon public health measures to contain the pandemic. It was embraced in Britain as an attempt "to open up the economy" and let the capitalist class make a profit again not just Jeff Bezos (net worth US$185.6 billion).

The Declaration was sponsored by the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), a "libertarian" free market think tank. In 2019 it received a $68,100 donation from the Charles Koch Foundation who underwrites several other free market think tanks.

The signatories to the Barrington Declaration were touted in the media as giving objective scientific advice; its representatives were given open door access to the usual media outlets where they were uncritically received. They were not asked about those who would spend the winter months effectively locked away from society while the rest of the working class went about making profits for their employers. These 9 million people were irrelevant.

The free marketeers desperately tried to find scientists to say "open up the economy" create "herd immunity". Both amounts to the same conclusion: "Save my profits: Let the weak, the poor and the elderly die".

A letter written in response, 'The John Snow Memorandum' (THE LANCET 14 October 2012), was signed by 4,800 scientists, researchers & healthcare professionals. You will not read this 'Memorandum', in the SPECTATOR or the DAILY MAIL.

The Memorandum said the concept entertained by the Great Barrington Declaration "is a dangerous fallacy unsupported by scientific evidence". WHO of the United Nations also dismissed the Barrington Declaration as having no scientific credibility (https://www.johnsnowmemo.com/).

Whereas capitalists need workers to make their profits; workers do not need the capitalist class. We do all the work in society and could quite easily maintain and extend production to produce what people need. Get rid of the capitalists and their system. This is what workers should be actively thinking about during the second lockdown. Production directly and solely for human need not profit.

"Save our profits". In the Pandemic of 2020, that is all the capitalists and their politicians care about. The cash nexus rules OK? Profit rules OK?

If it is not OK then you should seriously think about becoming a socialist. You should join with other like-minded socialists to politically and democratically replace the profit system with the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production and distribution by all of society.

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