Despite an increase in the rate of infection and moves by Stormont to tighten some restrictions, Education Minister Peter Weir and the entire NI Executive are pushing forward in a pigheaded and dangerous manner to reopen our schools. They are ignoring warnings from education unions that this could be the “next care home crisis”.
The Stormont politicians – like those at Westminster and in Dublin – are brazenly trying to scapegoat ordinary people for an increase in Covid infection which has been caused by their own pro-corporate policies. Socialists recognise the seriousness of this pandemic and support all necessary measures to protect public health, but the cost must not fall on the shoulders of workers.
Although not the underlying cause, Covid-19 has been the trigger for a global economic downturn. The UK economy has now officially entered the deepest recession on record. Northern Ireland’s economy has proven to be particularly vulnerable to this and young workers are disproportionately impacted. The current situation further underlines that capitalism cannot provide for ordinary people and is incapable of offering young people a decent future. The need for socialist policies and a socialist transformation of society are more urgent than ever.
On Thursday 30 July at 9.15pm new restrictions were imposed on over 4 million people living in Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire. The restrictions applied from midnight, ie within three hours.