Corbyn, Covid and school reopening: A record of silence and political betrayal

British parent Lisa Diaz is the driving force behind the Friday school strikes, encouraging parents to, where possible, keep their children away from school in protest against schools made unsafe by the pandemic.

On October 30, she tweeted asking, “Has Jeremy Corbyn spoken about the tragedy unfolding in schools and I missed it?” I love Corbyn. He’s a good man. To ask this sincerely… ”

She later added: “I love Corbyn. We would have been in a much better place if he had been PM and not Johnson. I campaigned for Corbyn in 2019. But now I have no political affiliation. . And I’m not falling for anything. He was garbage on schools. Like the others. You have to be honest “.

Jeremy Corbyn in parliament when he was Labor leader [Credit: Stefan Rousseau Pool Photo via AP, File]

Diaz, despite his delusions in Corbyn, wasn’t the only one wondering why he was silent in the face of the deaths of more than a hundred children from COVID and continued massive infections, with somewhere between 2% and 14 % likely to suffer from Long COVID. Therefore. April May replied: “I thought about it earlier and I’m really confused considering the damage done by her brother …”

Corbyn’s brother Piers, whom he has never criticized, is at the forefront of protests against vaccination and herd immunity led by far-right forces, many of whom have close ties to the government conservative and the Trump wing of the Republican Party.

Diaz’s post was to be expected to call for attempts to defend Corbyn from those who learned nothing from his five years as head of the Labor Party, years that saw him betray the political aspirations of his millions. supporters for a fight against the Blairites. right and the Tories, and for socialism.

The defense involved hanging on to a few straws and apologies for his miserable cowardice.

The links were sent to a September 19, 2020 Skwawkbox article, hailing a tweet from the former Labor leader under the headline “Corbyn enters fray over back to school implicitly berating Starmer’s failure”.

Corbyn speaking “publicly on the disaster of the coronavirus outbreaks in schools” consisted of a single sentence: “With a growing number of infections in a growing number of schools and nothing is being done to protect members, these death will be the responsibility of this negligent government ”—a quote from an article by Unison Assistant Secretary General Roger McKenzie.

Rather than going into “the scrum” (Corbyn would not recognize a scrum if he ran into it), Corbyn endorsed Unison’s opposition pose represented by McKenzie’s pledge to support “any member who refuses to return to work in a dangerous workplace “while the unions organized the reopening of schools.

To call this an “implicit rebuke of Corbyn’s successor as Labor leader” was pure fallacy. Corbyn has never berated Sir Keir Starmer on anything, including his support for reopening the school after last year’s first lockdown, “No ifs, no buts” and sending by Starmer of what Skwawkbox called, “a secret letter pledging to support a PM’s back-to-school plans [prime minister] whose actions have cost tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths without even an expression of regret ”.

The reopening of the schools was done with the complicity of the education unions, leading them to become the key vector of the virus and its spiraling out of control, with more deaths caused from September to December 2020 than throughout the beginning of the pandemic. .

Schools were only closed at the start of the year due to growing opposition from educators and parents to rising death rates, including by then at least 570 workers from the education, forcing the National Education Union (NEU) to ask its members to refuse to return to work in January. citing section 44 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The NEU and other education unions refused to organize strikes or walkouts. But when the government attempted to reopen primary schools on Jan.4, teachers stayed on the sidelines, forcing conservatives to announce the third nationwide lockdown on the same day.

This was the backdrop to Corbyn’s second tweet on the schools issue, Jan. 7, submitted to the thread by one of his staunch supporters.

The second tweet was a further attempt to energize unions, pointing to an ad calling for mitigation measures in schools across the country. Daily Mirror who had been rejected by the right Daily mail, according to NEU Deputy Secretary General Kevin Courtney.

The announcement was based on a NEU campaign proposing to work with Johnson to make it possible to reopen the schools. On January 28, the NEU released its education recovery plan in January 2021, based on reopening schools during the pandemic the government had slated for March 8. The NEU participated in the return of its members to schools during a “phased” reopening.

That’s it, when it comes to Corbyn and the reopening of schools, leaving his supporters to struggle to justify his behavior:

1. That he is at least “better” than his supposed opponents, including the extraordinary claim that he was too busy to notice the impact of COVID on schools – “To be honest, I think he has so much on his plate that he neglected it, so much to do, unlike Starmer who takes time, give JC a shout / call back ”.

2. That he is subject to widespread censorship so that “What is the bet that he spoke but it was not reported?” And “He’s pretty much gagged so who knows.”

These weak excuses belong to the school of political apologetics of “poor Jeremy”, describing him as a victim of forces too powerful to fight.

This is false and politically disorienting. This reinforces the claims of a despised conservative government and the ruling elite that it serves that there is no alternative to their rule, under conditions where the working class, the most powerful of social forces, can and must be mobilized against them.

If Corbyn wanted to make his views known and even, God forbid, fight for them, he was and still is, although to a lesser extent admittedly, as he has been widely discredited by his past betrayals – in a position favorable to do so.

As the former leader of the Labor Party, elected by hundreds of thousands, Corbyn’s Twitter account still has 2.4 million followers. If he had wanted to oppose the reopening of the schools, many of these followers would not only have read his statements, but would have also retweeted them and acted in support. Corbyn has more Twitter followers than Labor and Starmer combined, involving more potential readers than Rupert Murdoch’s combined daily draw. Sun, and the nominal liberal Guardian .

No one censors Corbyn except Corbyn himself. And the reason he’s doing it is rooted in his own rotten politics. His few public statements about schools, and the pandemic in general, confirm that Corbyn’s loyalty, first, last and forever, is to the Labor and union bureaucracy. His entire time as the Labor leader was in a concerted effort to oppose popular demands to oust the Blairite right from the party and thwart party members’ aspiration for a socialist turn.

Corbyn’s only standing ‘principle’ was to preserve Labor Party unity at all costs, allowing the Right to wage trench warfare against Labor Party members as Corbyn retreated on all major issues, including Trident nuclear weapons, NATO membership and council cuts.

“Nice” Mr Corbyn not only presided over the witch hunts of some of his closest allies in the party as “anti-Semites”, but even bragged about speeding up the process of their expulsion. In doing so, he created the conditions for his own defeat in the 2019 general election, the election of Boris Johnson and his own withdrawal from the Parliamentary Labor Party weeks after obediently handing over leadership to Starmer.

Corbyn’s record of the pandemic is in line with his opposition not only to any working class action against the Blairites, but also against the Tories.

During the March 25, 2020 parliamentary debate on the pandemic, his last as party leader, Corbyn said of the Labor approach: “Our immediate task as the opposition is to help stop the spread of coronavirus, to support the government’s public health efforts while being constructive criticism where we believe there is a need to improve the official response.

Support for the Johnson government combined with “constructive criticism” became official Starmer policy, but it was handed over to him fully formed by Corbyn.

Its bitter fruit was revealed by Corbyn himself in an August 2020 Tribune podcast, “A World to Win”. Describing events at an unspecified time at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but clearly before his impeachment as party leader on April 4, Corbyn admitted: “We have been in meetings with the government throughout. Spring of this year and Jon Ashworth and I distinctly remember going to a meeting at the Cabinet Office, where we had a conference on collective immunity. “

He commented: “It was absurd that in fact [you] would strengthen collective immunity by allowing people to die. And so, while the government was going into eugenic formulas and discussing all of this, it was not preparing itself adequately. “

Corbyn has not told anyone that the Tories were explicitly following a murderous collective immunity policy that he called “eugenic”, a policy the WSWS described as a “fascist policy for the deliberate elimination of a allegedly undesirable part of the population for the supposed improvement of the species, in this case a large part of the working class, especially the elderly, infirm and otherwise vulnerable. “

When this policy of “collective immunity” was publicly proclaimed by Johnson and his chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, at a press conference on March 12, it sparked widespread popular anger which ultimately forced the government to impose the first public lockdown on March 23.

This delay has cost tens of thousands of lives. Corbyn shares the responsibility of all.

Despite now sitting in the backbench, as an Independent, Corbyn’s continued silence on all fundamental issues is guaranteed as he pleads with Starmer to return to the rotten carcass of the Labor Party. He and the band of declining “lefts” he leads are the last line of defense of a party and trade union apparatus which faithfully serves the interests of big banks and corporations, even if it costs health and lives. workers and their children.

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