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The commander gives us a wake-up call

The desperate need to challenge the Covid lie

Professor Richard Murphy (University of Sheffield)

| Twitter @RichardJMurphy

ELY, CAMBRIDGESHIRE, UK - It’s hard to believe that three years ago few people had heard of Covid.

Fewer still thought it would disrupt life as we knew it for the following 18 months. And that millions would die, many in the UK.

Now we are in denial again, which is just as dangerous.

If people in the UK were to believe our government, Covid has been and gone.

Three years ago those few who knew of the threat it posed prayed for a vaccine.

Now, work on vaccine development has ended. No one under 50 can even buy one, although they can for flu.

The argument is that Covid has gone away. It’s said not to be an issue any more.

A government that locked the country down now essentially denies Covid even exists any more.

Both actions were incredible. The difference is that one was justified. The other is recklessly irresponsible.

Covid has not gone away. We have just been through another wave of it.

Many of the problems the National Health Service (NHS) is facing are down to Covid.

Millions of people have it some days in the UK.

Our excess deaths are highly likely down to it.

And the government is in denial.

It is as if, having broken every one of their libertarian beliefs to lock the country down, the Tories are saying now that we must live a public health free-for-all where, if youngish people die (the greatest proportion of excess deaths is in 25-44 year olds), well so be it.

Ayn Rand must rule. The market must have its way.

The power of collective action must be denied, even when we know that clean air is vital for the long term management of Covid.

And simple precautionary measures, such as masks on trains or in schools, must not happen.

It is our job now, apparently, to bear the risk for the government’s libertarian folly, and to not complain about it.

But why shouldn’t we? 

Children in the UK are denied vaccines when almost no others are.

And people are actually barred from vaccines that they might need and benefit from.

Whilst there is collective government denial.

Statistics are no longer collected. Long-Covid care is closed

This is the world of politics that the Tories have created.

It is dystopian. It is mad. It is reckless. It is irresponsible. It denies the truth. It exists to confirm what Thatcher said: there is no such thing as society. And now they mean it.

And whatever they, and apologists for right wing thinking in other political parties, say, the reality is that Covid is still here.

It is still a threat. It is still killing, and making millions more very sick. It is changing lives. And we cannot go forward unless we accept that

But far from accepting we still have a massive ongoing public and personal health concern to face the government demands we must behave ‘as normal’ when life is not normal because real people are suffering as a result of their failure.

Government by diktat to hide lies that blatantly contradict the lived reality of our existence is the legacy of Covid.

I wonder when will we recover the capacity to challenge the collective lie that will result in some (maybe many) of us dying unnecessarily early?

Soon, I hope.

* Richard Murphy is Professor of Accounting Practice in the Management School at Sheffield University in the UK. He is also a chartered accountant, political economist and economic justice campaigner. His Twitter thread has been lightly edited for clarity - KJ


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