More deaths in a war trumps defeating a pandemic

More on covid pandemic 2020-2?

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Ukraine – what you’re not told

More deaths in a war trumps defeating a pandemic

In Britain the figures for covid infections keep on rising and falling. There’s little talk of hospitals being overwhelmed and no mention at all of deaths. Just over two years ago you were a minor celebrity if you caught covid now no one notices.

Although not strictly a disease of the winter the expectation (at least it is hoped there are some with the responsibility to deal with infections to have such expectations) the figures will again climb due to the sort of social mixing that takes place indoors when it gets cold. Whether it will be as catastrophic as in previous years remains to be seen. If it is not that will be more down to luck than any planning by the Government. Two and a half years since the disease was identified there is still no strategy (and if there is they are keeping it very quiet).

Not surprisingly the Buffoon is more concerned about his own miserable political future than managing the worst pandemic the world has had to face in a hundred years. (That’s, of course, if you ignore the disease of capitalism that has been killing people in their millions every year of its existence.)

As if the deaths from the pandemic were not bad enough he is more concerned with perpetuating the war in the Ukraine and increasing spending on ‘defence’, both of which necessarily lead to more and more death and destruction of populations and economies.

The situation when it comes to vaccines is not really any better now (worldwide) than it was 18 months ago.

The richer countries are now up to four vaccines for the most ‘vulnerable’ and will soon be vaccinating embryos in the womb yet in the vast majority of the ‘Global South’ hundreds of millions haven’t even seen a vaccine let alone gotten ‘full’ protection.

And that situation is fully down to the policies followed by the capitalists in the ‘west’.

They take a cavalier approach to the valuable vaccines and there are constant stories of a million doses here, a million does there having to be destroyed as they have gone out of date. (Whether such a short shelf life is actually necessary I have my doubts. Not being a scientist I don’t know the actual science behind such periods but it does seem like another way to pump more billions into the pockets of ‘Big Pharma’.)

Promises made with great acclaim at international meetings about these rich countries ‘donating’ vaccines to the poorer parts of the world’s population come to nought and once the limelight has been switched down those promises are rarely fulfilled.

But worst of all is the opposition of all the leaders of the capitalist countries to the (just temporary and only in this particular situation) relaxing of the patent laws that would allow for more countries to be able to produce, and thus satisfy, their own vaccine needs.

If reason is needed to demonstrate that the World Trade Organisation – to which all these patent laws relate – was a cartel of the rich to make them richer and to keep the poor in even deeper levels of destitution then what is being played out at this time should dispel all doubts.

Vaccine programme worldwide

What happened to the AstraZeneca vaccine? Now rare in rich countries, it’s still saving lives around the world.

Covid nasal sprays could offer advantages over traditional vaccines – a virologist explains how they work.

Future covid-19 booster shots will likely need fresh formulations as new coronavirus variants of concern continue to emerge.

Covid vaccines for children under five: what parents need to know.

Covid vaccines for children: uptake in the UK is slow – here’s why parents might be hesitant.

Over 82 Million U.S. covid vaccine doses have been discarded as pandemic funding stalls. (Article published 6 June 2022.)

This has been happening everywhere in the ‘west’. And has been going on since the vaccine was first stated to be distributed.

More than a million corona shots in the trash: The surpluses are large everywhere. [This from the Netherlands.]

Growing revolt among medical practitioners against vaccinating toddlers for covid. [From the US.]

Repeat covid

Covid reinfections could be more severe for some – but overall evidence doesn’t give us cause for concern.

The effects of covid

Girls’ mental health has been affected more than boys’ during the pandemic.

Covid variants

Fast and furious Omicron new variants defy explanation – and don’t bode well for the future either.

Covid trials

The inside story of Recovery: how the world’s largest COVID-19 trial transformed treatment – and what it could do for other diseases.

Long covid

Long covid: vaccination could reduce symptoms.

Care for 2 million Britons with long Covid ‘woefully inadequate’.

Long covid: female sex, older age and existing health problems increase risk.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and waste

£4 billion of unusable PPE bought in first year of pandemic will be burnt ‘to generate power’.

Those who benefited from the pandemic

‘Profiting from Pain’: Covid created a billionaire every 30 hours.

Poverty in Britain

From pandemic to cost of living crisis: low-income families in challenging times – Joseph Rowntree Trust – findings, full report. Uploaded to media

To ‘level up’, the UK needs a real jubilee: a mass write-off of debts.

How are people adapting post (first wave?) covid pandemic

Long social distancing: how young adults’ habits have changed since covid.

More on covid pandemic 2020-2?

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Ukraine – what you’re not told

The Communist Internationals

Second World Congress of the Comintern - 1920

Second World Congress of the Comintern – 1920

More on the USSR

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The Communist Internationals

If the principles of socialism have not international application and if the socialist movement is not an international movement then its whole philosophy is false and the movement has no reason for existence.

The International Working Men’s Association (The First International)

In the history of the world emancipation movement of the working class a special place is held by the International Working Men’s Association – the First International. Founded on September 28, 1864, at an international meeting held in St. Martin’s Hall, London, this first international proletarian mass organisation paved the way for the world communist movement of today. In the ranks of the International Working Men’s Association the advanced workers of Europe and America got a schooling in proletarian internationalism, imbibed the ideas of Marxism, and finally discarded petty-bourgeois sectarianism for the proletarian party principle. ‘For ten years the International dominated one side of European history – the side on which the future lies.’ Engels wrote in 1874.

Documents of the First International, Volume 1, 1864-1866, Minutes, The London Conference 1865, FLPH, Moscow, 1964, 483 pages.

Documents of the First International, Volume 2, 1866-1868, Minutes, Progress, Moscow, 1964, 444 pages.

Documents of the First International, Volume 3, 1868-1870, Minutes, Progress, Moscow, 1964, 534 pages.

Documents of the First International, Volume 4, 1870-1871, Minutes, Progress, Moscow, 1964, 617 pages,

Documents of the First International, Volume 5, 1871-1872, Minutes, Progress, Moscow, 1964, 626 pages.

Documents of the First International, Volume 6, The Hague Congress, September 2-7 1872, Minutes and Documents, Progress, Moscow, 1976, 758 pages.

Documents of the First International, Volume 7, The Hague Congress, September 2-7 1872, Reports and Letters, Progress, Moscow, 1978, 701 pages.

The International Working Men’s association and the Working Class Movement in Manchester 1865-85, Edmond and Ruth Frow, Manchester, 1979, 18 pages.

The Second International

‘By social-chauvinism we mean acceptance of the idea of the defence of the fatherland in the present imperialist war, justification of an alliance between socialists and the bourgeoisie and the governments of their ‘own’ countries in this war, a refusal to propagate and support proletarian revolutionary action against one’s ‘own’ bourgeoisie, etc.’ VI Lenin, The Collapse of the Second International in Lenin Collected Works, Volume 21, pp 205-259.

The War and the Second International, VI Lenin, (London, Martin Lawrence, 1931), Little Lenin Library, Volume Two, 63 pages. Two documents written in 1914, ‘The Collapse of the Second International’ and ‘The War and Russian Social-Democracy’.

The rise and fall of the Second International, J Lenz, International Publishers, New York, 1932, 285 pages.

A History of Socialist Thought, Volume 3, Part 1, 2nd International 1889-1914, GDH Cole, Macmillan, London, 1963, 519 pages.

A History of Socialist Thought, Volume 3, Part 2, 2nd International 1889-1914, GDH Cole, Macmillan, London, 1963, 1043 pages.

Resolution of the International Socialist Congress at Stuttgart, August 18-24 1907 and the Manifesto of the Extraordinary International Socialist Congress, Basel, November 24-25 1912.

The Second International, 1889-1914, Igor Krivoguz, Progress, Moscow, 1989, 393 pages.

The Communist International (The Third International – Comintern)

‘The Third International has gathered the fruits of the work of the Second International, discarded its opportunist, social-chauvinist, bourgeois and petty-bourgeois dross, and has begun to implement the dictatorship of the proletariat.’ VI Lenin, The Third International and its place in history, in Lenin Collected Works, Volume 29, pp 305-313.

The Manifesto of the Moscow International, Educational Press Association, Montreal, 1919, 12 pages.

Manifesto of the Communist International, adopted at the Congress of the Communist International at Moscow, march 2-6 1919, and signed by Comrades C Rakovsky, N Lenin, M Zinoviev, L Trotzky, and Fritz Platten, Arbeiter Zeitung, Chicago, n.d., 14 pages.

The Third (Communist) International, its aims and methods, James Clunie, Socialist Labour Press, Glasgow, 1921, 74 pages.

Resolutions and Theses of the 4th Congress of the Communist International, held in Moscow November 7 to December 3 1922, CPGB, London, 1923, 130 pages.

The Communist International between the 5th and 6th World Congresses, 1924-28, a report on the position of all sections of the World Communist Party, CPGB, London, 1928, 508 pages.

On the Road to Bolshevization, Workers Library Publishers, New York, 1929, 42 pages.

For Unity of the Wold Communist Movement, a letter to the Independent Labor Party of Great Britain from the Communist Party USA (Opposition), Communist Party USA, New York, 1934, 32 pages.

Program of the Communist International, together with its Constitution, adopted at the 46th Session of the Sixth World Congress of the Communist International, September 1 1928, Workers Library, New York, 1936, 94 pages.

VII Congress of the Communist International, abridged stenographic report of proceedings, FLPH, Moscow, 1939, 604 pages.

Workers of the world, Unite!, declaration on the dissolution of the Communist International, adopted May 27 1943, Labour News Co., New York, 1943, 28 pages.

The Third International and its place in history, VI Lenin, (Moscow, Progress, 1971) 51 pages.

Principles of Party Organization, JV Stalin, (Calcutta, Mass Publications, 1975), 47 pages. Thesis on the Organization and Structure of Communist Parties, adopted at the Third Congress of the Communist International in 1921. It was on this basis of this thesis that JV Stalin based his lectures reproduced in ‘The Foundations of Leninism’.

Communist International Documents, 1919-1943, Volume 3, 1929-1943, Jane Degras, Routledge, London, 2007, 494 pages.

Toward the united front, Proceedings of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International, 1922, edited by John Riddell, Brill, Leiden, 2012, 1323 pages.

To the Masses, Proceedings of the Third Congress of the Communist International, 1921, edited by John Riddell, Brill, Leiden, 2015, 1309 pages.

The Communist Movement at a Crossroads, Plenums of the Communist International’s Executive Committee, 1922-1923, edited by Michael Taber, Brill, Leiden, 2018, 808 pages.

History and analysis

The Communist Movement, from Comintern to Cominform, Part 1, the crisis of the Communist International, Fernando Claudin, Monthly Review, New York, 1975, 410 pages. From Marx to Mao digital reprint, 2017.

The Communist Movement, from Comintern to Cominform, Part 2, the zenith of Stalinism, Fernando Claudin, Monthly Review, New York, 1975, 450 pages. From Marx to Mao digital reprint, 2017.

The World Communist Movement, outline of strategy and tactics, edited by VV Zagladin, Progress, Moscow, 1973, 480 pages.

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Covid – a thing of the past, or just biding its time?

More on covid pandemic 2020-2?

View of the world

Ukraine – what you’re not told

Covid – a thing of the past, or just biding its time?

Considering the pandemic dominated all and every aspect of life worldwide for the best part of two years you wouldn’t know that in Britain towards the end of May 2022. All restrictions have been abolished in all parts of the sceptred isle and the ‘new normal’ is very much like the old normal, i.e., how it was before March 2020.

So as far as the majority of the population – as well as the politicians who have so ineffectively managed the pandemic from the very start – the pandemic is a thing of the past, or so they hope.

Whether that is the case remains to be seen. Although covid doesn’t seem to really fit in with viruses the likes of influenza – that seem to like the winter months – it is still around in the spring/summer months even though infection and related numbers are down.

Even if the summer is a time of respite (not guaranteed) what are the prospects for the future?

Have lessons been learnt from the past two years? Almost certainly not. The quick arrival of an effective (although not foolproof) vaccine pulled most governments out of the mire into which they had dug themselves. But after two years there was never even the hint of a strategy that could be followed in the event of this, or another virus, coming back to cause havoc.

Even the lesson that it was the poorest in society who would be more adversely effected by any pandemic (surprise, surprise) and which could end up being the epicentre of a future outbreak have not been given any assistance which could prevent such a circumstance arising. The fact that the links provided in these posts – from the very beginning more than two years ago – make reference to poverty in Britain, and continue to do so, only goes to show that that particular lesson has not been learnt, or even worse, just ignored.

If there was to be a further outbreak in the winter then all indications are that the poorest people in society would be even less likely to stay at home if they were to catch the virus. They were in the past two years and will be (in the future) left with a choice of being ‘responsible’ or suffering real economic hardships.

The situation in the rest of the world is, in many respects, even more dire. Increases in food prices were causing problems even before the war in the Ukraine. That war didn’t cause the problem – that’s at the feet of capitalism – but it hasn’t made matters any better and the longer it goes on the worse its consequences will be. The number of countries that have been forced, through capitalist and imperialist policies over decades, to move away from any sort of food self-sufficiency means that hundreds of millions of people are reliant on food from other parts of the world, many of those countries also producing less – not least due to the consequences of the climate emergency.

Added to that the most powerful countries in the world (the US, the UK and the other European ‘powers’) have categorically refused to make any moves to relax patent rights so that various countries in what is now commonly known as the ‘global south’ can produce their own vaccines – and run out local programmes that are vital if the pandemic is to be brought under control. The short-sited thirst for even more profits by ‘Big Pharma’ is more important than the health of the world, even though by doing so this policy is placing those in the so-called ‘metropolitan’ countries in danger as well.

So, as they say, the world is facing a ‘perfect storm’ towards the end of this year. For their own imperialist interests the richer countries are spending billions on trying to humble Russia – whatever the consequences for their own populations (who have more constructive uses for such huge amounts of money) or the long-suffering of the ‘global south’.

But the erstwhile most powerful imperialists in the ‘west’ might have bitten off more than they can chew.

Already we are seeing signs of a realignment of forces worldwide. The hegemony of the US in particular, and the past influence of the other European countries (plus Japan and Australia), is being challenged. The vast majority of the world is starting to turn their backs (long overdue) on Europe/USA centrism. They are starting to see that their interest don’t rest with the old ‘colonial masters’. They have always betrayed their ex-colonies and seem incapable of doing any different. (Thoughts about this are explored in many of the links related to what we are not being told about the war in the Ukraine.)

On the assumption that the world is to survive this particular pandemic the outlook for the future could be very different from what it was considered to be at the end of 2019. Who would have though that such a small thing as a virus would have such an devastating effect on the supposed ‘sophisticated’ world in which we live?

But then, as has been said in these posts since March of 2020, the world – or at least those who are presently in control of it – haven’t really learnt anything more than was general knowledge at the time of the Black Death that spread through Asia and Europe almost seven hundred years ago.

Vaccination programme in Britain

My five-year-old is now eligible for a covid vaccine – should I get them immunised?

Covid vaccines: why second boosters are being offered to vulnerable people in the UK – but not young and healthy people yet.

The Valneva covid vaccine has been approved for use in the UK.

Investors lose vote to share covid vaccine know-how.

Testing for covid

Rising infections, no more free tests: how ‘living with covid’ could affect case numbers in England.

Immunity?

Herd immunity now seems impossible. Welcome to the age of Covid reinfection.

Haven’t had covid yet? It could be more than just luck.

Long term effects of the virus

Severe covid is equivalent to 20 years of ageing.

The pandemic in the world

Covid in Afghanistan: low vaccine coverage and a crumbling health system could trigger a humanitarian crisis.

Why the current surge in cases is a problem for some countries but not others.

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is beholden to corporations and lost our trust. We need to start our own – the People’s CDC. The view form the USA.

We created the ‘Pandemicene’.

Covid-19 fourth wave: Delhi sees 40% jump in infections.

World death toll

World’s true pandemic death toll nearly 15 million.

Why India’s real covid death toll may never be known.

Covid variants

Omicron XE is spreading in the UK – a virologist explains what we know about this hybrid variant.

Poverty in Britain

Public not as concerned and sympathetic towards homelessness as 12 months ago.

Rishi Sunak accused of not doing enough for poorest households.

600,000 will be pulled into poverty as a result of Chancellor’s inaction – of which around a quarter are children.

Poverty in Northern Ireland 2022, is a study recently published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Full report.

Pushed to the Edge: Poverty, Food Banks and Mental Health, the full report.

‘You have to take it back to the bricks’: Reforming emergency support to reduce demand for food banks. Child Poverty Action Group report and executive summary.

The truth about the impact of UC cuts, Centrepoint report.

Nearly half of Scots have struggled with housing costs.

Cost of living crisis: Value of UK unemployment benefits see biggest fall in 50 years.

Food banks provide almost 200,000 parcels to people across Scotland in past year.

Growing gap in healthy life expectancy between poorest and richest in England.

Main out-of-work benefit sees its biggest drop in value in fifty years.

More than 2 million adults in UK cannot afford to eat every day.

Watchdog urged to step in as UK’s poorest turn off energy supply.

Universal credit deductions of up to 25% pushing people into poverty.

Further 250,000 UK households face destitution in 2023.

Poverty worldwide

A food crisis was brewing even before the Ukraine war – but taking these three steps could help the most vulnerable.

800 million, not 8.2 million; Africa’s covid toll 97 times higher than reported.

Collateral damage – worldwide

Covid closures still affecting 400 million pupils.

Measles: global increase in cases likely driven by covid pandemic.

Returning to ‘normal’

Disabled people are being left out of covid recovery.

Discharging hospital patients to care homes ‘unlawful’.

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Ukraine – what you’re not told