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I AM looking forward to genuine freedom from the pandemic as much as anyone else.
We have all missed out on so much over the past 16 months, but I’ll be taking it slowly and carefully and hope that, for community health and wellbeing, others will too.
This is really not an individual matter. For the government, this is, to give its full title, Freedom From Accountability Day. Will all their MPs be returning to Parliament today (apart from those self-isolating because of some virus)? No, thought not.
They will be putting it on us in terms of responsibility, so this is the time when we have to step up our demands and campaigning (as safely as possible) and force them to listen to the scientists and community health campaigners.
Tens of thousands around the country involved in mutual aid have been trying to keep us safe and alive since early 2020 while the government abandoned us, condemned many to early, painful and undignified deaths and concentrated on enriching their mates.
The opposition has been slowly starting to do some opposing after spending most of the last 16 months feebly backing the government’s failed “strategies” and being enthusiastic — sometimes more so than the government — in pushing kids back into schools at key periods when it was known the virus was rapidly spreading, especially among 10 to 19-year-olds, and when it was also endangering school workers, their families and the kids’ families.
Remember Keir Starmer’s “no ifs, no buts” nonsense regarding schools last September and his urging school pupils and school workers to return again at the beginning of January just after the Christmas holidays, as infections were rising sharply.
Starmer only changed tack when it was clear that Boris Johnson was about to do a rapid U-turn on the very same day that he had sent kids back to be super-spreaders.
Both Tories and Labour have been negligent of the growing reality of long Covid cases among young people and the implications for their lives now and in the future.
And now whatever opposition is slowly emerging looks set to play second fiddle in the coming period to more internal faction fighting by Labour’s leaders against the left rather than against the Tories. Depressing.
So, do start gradually to enjoy, in a safe way for everyone, recovering the experiences that are life-sustaining and life-enriching for all of us — but recognise how far we still have to go and what actions are necessary to move us collectively to a better place.
And let’s keep an eye on the international picture regarding vaccine justice. We are one world and “freedom” is also “freedom from” as well as “freedom to.”
To quote a slogan first used I believe in anti-tsarist struggles in Poland in the early 1830s and used later in the Spanish civil war and among the fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto: “for your and our freedom.”
David Rosenberg blogs at rebellion602.wordpress.com.
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