‘Boris Johnson’s government has caved in to business interests and put profits before public health’, Robert Griffiths told the Communist Party’s political committee at its online meeting on Wednesday evening (June 24).
‘With more than 900 new cases of COVID-19 still being reported in Britain every day, this week was not the time to announce a major relaxation of the lockdown measures in England’, he argued.
The CP general secretary urged the Welsh and Scottish governments not to be ‘stampeded into following suit’. He pointed to the recent upsurge in coronavirus infections in parts of Germany and Australia where anti-virus measures had been relaxed prematurely and urged workers and trade unions to be vigilant against a rushed return to work.
“It is essential for everyone’s safety that COVID-19 risk assessments are carried out with workers’ involvement in every workplace before work recommences’, Mr Griffiths insisted.
He added that the government should be challenged to lift the exemption from publishing such assessments online enjoyed by employers with fewer than 50 employees.
The CP political committee also warned that the Tory government might soon present workers and their families with a bill of up to £470bn to pay for its package of business support measures.
‘For the second time in a generation, we will be asked to pay for a massive bail-out of British capitalism in tax rises, wage freezes and swingeing cuts in social benefits and public services’, Robert Griffiths declared.
Britain’s Communists called upon the labour movement and campaigning bodies such as the People’s Assembly, CND and the National Assembly of Women to prepare for a mass campaign against a new bout of austerity.
‘We should demand instead that government borrowing is funded from policies for economic growth, increased corporation tax, a wealth tax on the super-rich and abandoning the Trident nuclear weapons system which is useless when it comes to protecting people’s lives’, Mr Griffiths proposed.
The CP political committee welcomed the upsurge in Black Lives Matter campaigning, advised compliance with social distancing rules and demanded that statues of supporters and beneficiaries of slavery and the slave trade be removed from places of honour across Britain.
‘They should be relocated to where they can be used to help educate people about the real foundations of British capitalism and imperialism’, CP anti-racism organiser Tony Conway suggested.