Mary has signed a letter calling for more accountability of the Government on its handling of the pandemic. This followed the news that Britain has seen one of the highest relative death tolls in the world.
The Conservative Government has overseen one of the worst Covid death rates in the entire world. This was note inevitable but was the result of government negligence and wrong political decisions.
When it should have acted swiftly to suppress the virus, it delayed and so allowed the virus to rip through communities. When it should have been trying to eliminate the virus as many other countries have done, it sought to “live with the virus” and even pursued ‘herd immunity’. When it should have put lives first, it sought to keep the economy open – failing disastrously on both fronts. When it should have kept schools and workplaces shut, it pushed to reopen them…
Members of the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs warned that this approach would cost huge numbers of lives. In our September 2020 and January 2021 statements we demanded a radically different strategy – a Zero Covid strategy. These calls were ignored and a deadly second wave killed even more people than the first. The overwhelming majority of lives would have been saved had the government followed the Zero Covid strategy adopted by New Zealand, Vietnam and countries across East Asia and the Pacific.
There is a long-held concept of social murder, increasingly used in the modern context, when the ruling elite acts in a way that forces people into conditions that inevitably leads to their avoidable and premature death. We believe the government’s mishandling and deliberate decisions throughout the Covid pandemic amounts to social murder.
Every community has been hit by this crisis but this is a disease that has especially impacted the poor, vulnerable and oppressed with those in lower-paid work and who can’t work from home, Black communities and disabled, and those in poorer housing among those hit hardest by this crisis.
We demand justice for the bereaved families of all the victims – the public inquiry must begin immediately with a swift interim review as the bereaved families themselves are demanding. It must not be yet another establishment cover up and must lead to those responsible being met with the full force of the law.
But we have no confidence in this government delivering justice or learning the lessons of the crisis. Those that have overseen this crisis should resign.
This government will only change direction under huge pressure. As we previously stated in January, the role of Labour in this crisis should never have been to primarily support the government – but to support the lives and livelihoods of the population. That now means the Labour Party must build a mass movement to truly hold this negligent government to account.
Mary continues to hold the government to account and stand up for all the people of City of Durham. Follow updates here on the website and on Mary’s Twitter.