News & Analysis

Capitalism and the pandemic: Why the system has failed

By Manus Lenihan Covid-19 has utterly changed the political landscape. Just one month ago, rent freezes were deemed “unconstitutional.” Today a rent freeze is in force, along with a ban on evictions. The healthcare system has been massively expanded. Private hospital beds and facilities have been (temporarily) taken into the public system. Billions have been dedicated to increasing unemployment benefits. ...

Read More »

Britain/North: Lockdown, Covid-19 Bill and defending democratic rights

By Kevin Henry “Herd immunity, protect the economy, and if that means some pensioners die, too bad” – that’s how attendees at a private event in February said Tory strategist Dominic Cummings summed up the government’s ‘strategy’ for dealing with Covid-19. In the face of a predicted public health catastrophe and widespread criticism, however, the government has now launched a ...

Read More »

COVID-19: Government intervention as “free market” fails

By Daniel Waldron “Now is not the time for ideology” – this has been the refrain from the Tory government, echoed by Arlene Foster, as the state has been forced to intervene into the economy in a way not seen since the Second World War due to the Covid-19 pandemic. What they mean is that their ideology of unregulated and ...

Read More »

Put lives before profit – For a workers’ shutdown of non-essential services

It’s very important that the advice about social distancing is adhered to. The more we do this, the more we limit the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. However, there is a fundamental contradiction between that and the fact that, North and South, a significant amount of non-essential production and services continue to function. This puts hundreds of thousands of ...

Read More »

The roots of COVID-19 & capitalist food production

By Keishia Taylor Despite massive advances in medicine, immunology, virology and technology, the new strain of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2, causing the COVID-19 illness) is causing human devastation around the globe. This virus originated in bats, but how did a bat-borne virus from rural China cause a deadly pandemic, and what has capitalism got to do with it? Although the COVID-19 outbreak ...

Read More »

Coronavirus crisis – Say no to attacks on democratic rights

By Mick Barry TD    The Health (Preservation and Protection and Other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Bill 2020 allows for the most drastic curtailments of civil liberties in the history of the State. The Bill gives the State powers to detain people who refuse to self-isolate, quarantine entire areas, ban house parties, ban public gatherings etc. The banning ...

Read More »

COVID-19: Global workers’ action to defend health & safety

By Conor Payne    In Ireland and around the world, workers are being hit by the Coronavirus crisis. Mass layoffs and the start of a new global economic crisis threaten wide-ranging attacks on jobs, pay and conditions. Even more urgently, many are now being forced to work through the epidemic in unsafe conditions. This is a system which puts profits ...

Read More »

North & Covid-19: Prioritise public health, not private profit

By Pat Lawlor, NIPSA (Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance) Vice-President (Personal Capacity)  By Pat Lawlor, NIPSA Belfast Health branch (personal capacity) and Socialist Party activist Health workers are on the front line in tackling the Covid-19 crisis and undoubtedly displaying huge dedication and self-sacrifice in doing so. However they are fighting this battle in the context of a health system ...

Read More »

North and COVID-19: Mass layoffs of hospitality workers

By Chris Stewart, Unite Hospitality (personal capacity) In the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, the announcement by employers in the hospitality sector of thousands of lay-offs has thrown the futures of these workers into uncertainty. Largely low-paid & on zero hour contracts, many hospitality workers now, without employment, are facing a struggle to pay rent and bills in the immediate ...

Read More »

COVID-19: Are we “all in this together”?

By Manus Lenihan Leo Varadkar said last night that “Viruses pay no attention to borders, race, nationality or gender.” He might have added that viruses don’t check your bank balance, don’t discriminate between billionaires and workers. In spite of this, the Covid-19 crisis does not iron out the class divide in society or the many other forms of oppression such ...

Read More »