As of this week, UK shoppers will be required to cover their face. Meanwhile, people are being told to return to work, so that the bosses can continue their profit-making. The Tories have no concern for our lives.
Last week, the government announced that – from 24 July – people will be required to wear face masks in shops. This comes over a month after the decision to require face masks on public transport.
Health secretary Matt Hancock stated this new measure will give people confidence to “go out and shop”. If caught shopping without a face mask, people face a fine of up to £100.
The belated move comes on top of contradictory claims from the Tories about the science behind the use of face coverings. Previously, ministers had suggested that evidence of any positive effect was “weak”, and that masks “don’t provide protection”. Now they are compulsory – but only in certain situations.
This dithering and confusion over face masks is similar to the government’s delayed decision to introduce a lockdown at the start of the outbreak; or to the constant stream of mixed messages that emanate from the Prime Minister’s mouth about the latest lockdown rules and recommendations.
In all these cases, the hesitation and ambiguity reflects a deeper split within the Tories: between those who want to open up the economy in the interests of big business; and those who fear the political damage that will come with the inevitable second wave.
As ever, the Tories are dragging their feet when it comes to implementing important public health measures. This is because their real concern is not for our lives, but for the bosses’ profits.
Frenzied and frothing
The government’s announcement on face masks has also revealed the degeneracy of the Tory Party. Once the reliable representative of British capitalism, the Conservatives are increasingly a party stuffed with ‘swivel-eyed loons’.
Some Tory MPs, for example, have argued that the face mask requirement is a “monstrous imposition”, infringing on Britain’s reputation as a “land of liberty”.
Here’s Conservative MP Desmond Swayne railing against a “monstrous imposition against myself and a number of outraged and reluctant constituents” as masks made mandatory in shops.
Matt Hancock says government aware of the “ancient liberties of a gentleman to go shopping”. pic.twitter.com/KPXwk22LBm
— Matt Honeycombe-Foster (@matt_hfoster) July 14, 2020
These MPs, in turn, are reflecting a wider hysteria amongst Conservative Party activists. There are reports of some Tory supporters even ripping up their membership cards in protest against the introduction of this ‘authoritarian’ policy.
Similarly, a fringe protest by the ‘Keep Britain Free’ campaign last weekend demanded the “return of our rights and liberties”.
What these reactionary libertarians really oppose, of course, is any “imposition” that infringes on the capitalists’ profits. The right for people to be protected from the virus – the right to life – is of no concern for these frenzied and frothing petty bourgeois types.
Motivated by profit
The real motivation behind the compulsory use of face masks, however, is not for the public’s health and safety. If this were the main concern, the government would demand that all non-essential shops and services be closed.
Instead, Johnson and the Tories are imploring people to go to work; go to the pub; go to shop; take public transport – but just cover your face a bit, occasionally!
Similarly, whilst the Tories are now happy to make the wearing of face masks a requirement in shops and on transport, they have done nothing to ensure the provision of these. And so the public is left to provide protection for themselves.
In other words, the aim of the latest face mask announcement is not to protect the public. Rather, it is largely an attempt to encourage people to go shopping and spend money. Once again, the drive for profit is the main reason for the Tory government’s decision.
Tories and bosses to blame
The use of face masks are, in fact, a plaster over a much deeper wound. It is a message from the Tory government that the virus is not going away anytime soon; that we must go back to work and back to shopping, so that business – and profit-making – can return to normal.
The result is that a second wave is inevitably on its way. And with this, the Tories will attempt – as always – to shift the blame onto individuals for failing to protect themselves.
Once again, the aim of Johnson and these gangsters is to distract from their own criminal and murderous role, which has led to over 65,000 excess deaths due to Tory incompetence and arrogance.
Out-of-touch government ministers will try to say that the country’s public health crisis is because people are ‘not doing their bit’ – just as they insist that we must all ‘tighten our belts’ when capitalism goes into crisis.
But the only people we should be pointing the blame at are the Tories and the bosses. It is they who are reopening shops and workplaces, without ensuring that it is actually safe to do so; without providing face masks and PPE, or implementing the necessary social distancing measures.
All of this reveals the degeneracy of the Tory Party and the rotten capitalist system that they represent. They are unfit to run society; unable to provide even the most basic protections against the pandemic. They must be overthrown and thrown into the dustbin of history, where they belong.