Covid19

[The following resolution was adopted at the April 5 meeting of the Socialist Alliance national council along with an Action Plan for confronting the crisis.]

Socialist Alliance supports rapid action to suppress the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus in order to save as many lives as possible.

Morrison has long made clear that he has no intention of trying to eliminate COVID-19 entirely. He justifies this by saying the economic cost — that is, the cost to corporate profits — is too high.

It is clear that the Australian government has badly mishandled the COVID-19 pandemic with doctors now warning that Australia is on track to be in a "worse position than Italy is currently in".

The Victorian lockdown of public housing estates was scapegoating and victimisation of migrants and poor working-class people. It revealed the government’s racist and patronising assumption that these people are incapable of understanding, or complying with, public health messages voluntarily.

The COVID-19 crisis has revealed (once again) how the profits-first capitalist system fails to look after the needs of ordinary people. Here are five lessons of the crisis.

Eliminating Covid-19 is a long-term project that requires public support meaning that any lockdowns or restrictions of movement cannot be based on a punitive, a paternalistic or discriminatory approach.

The battle remains for working and unemployed people to push for a response that puts public health first, without making them pay for the crisis.

Several days before Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg waxed lyrical about the good old days of early neoliberalism under Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, the Australian Council of Trade Unions launched its under-reported National Economic Reconstruction plan.

How can lives be saved? How can people’s livelihoods be protected? Here is what has to be done so that we can protect our health and livelihoods in the face of this immense challenge.

Victim blaming helps deflect from a focus on the need for systemic changes. It is intentional on the part of the corporate media and governments that are looking for cover.