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Neoliberal governments letting coronavirus 'run amok,' charges Diane Abbott at Labour fringe

Sunday evening’s meeting, titled Fighting the Tories – Transforming the Economy, was hosted by Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner

NEOLIBERAL governments in Britain, the US, and Brazil have let the coronavirus run amok, Labour MP Diane Abbott said during an online party-conference fringe event.

Sunday evening’s meeting, titled Fighting the Tories – Transforming the Economy, was hosted by Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner.

Ms Abbott pointed out that the three countries have some of the worst Covid-19 death rates per capita.

She said: “It is a myth that they were trading off lives for the economy. New Zealand put people first and are projected to have one of the mildest recessions.

“We should work to eliminate [the virus], and we demand that jobs and people’s lives are the priority.”

Labour MP Richard Burgon said that it is time for the labour movement to promote policies in Labour’s 2017 and 2019 manifestos and a zero-Covid strategy similar to those of China and Vietnam, where the virus is almost eliminated.

He said: “It’s a precondition to getting the economy started.”

Economist and author Grace Blakeley said that the pandemic has shown that Britain is “run in the interests of a tiny cabal that has a stronghold on every single aspect of our lives.”

The way forward is democratising the economy by giving workers more control over institutions, she said.

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