Once again, we sleepwalk into disaster.

Nothing is under control. When the govt talks about “keeping the virus under control” they lie through their teeth; they and everyone else know nothing has ever been under control on this lot’s watch. The shameful self congratulations from a cabinet that hasn’t actually achieved something is almost impressive in its unadulterated shamelessness.

A state hollowed out by austerity and uninspired group think at the heart of government have conspired to bring us to this point of utter mediocrity and failure. We didn’t take advantage of our geographical composition and go for ZERO-COVID, we haven’t even began to sort out our Test Trace Isolate infrastructure (the only way to avoid continual shutdowns) and we’ve taken a middle road on everything that’s brought all the economic pain and none of the virus elimination.

The R rate is already around 1.2 nationally, and you can expect it to be far worse after a five day festive bonanza sanctioned at the top and encouraged by ministers until the last minute “have a merry little Christmas” U-turn and abrupt 180 by the govt in terms of its messaging. Another lockdown looks less like the “if” it was a few weeks ago, and more like a looming “when” as the second wave is surpassed by the third wave ALREADY, in terms of hospital admissions.

These next few months are going to be grim; Winter under a Tory government is NORMALLY grim for the NHS, but what we’re about to watch will shake our pride and joy to its core. The NHS is on its knees, after a decade of systemic underfunding, predicated by New Labour privatisation and marketisation, the fact it’s still functioning and its enduring popularity is a testament to the strength of one of the most successful instances of working socialism in the world, and a middle finger to the financial parasites of the world.

When Labour put forth their 2024 manifesto, it must commit unequivocally to making the NHS 100% public, stripping private contractors and profiteers from its operations

As I say, this Winter will be unlike any we can remember. Deaths from a third COVID wave, piled on top of seasonal flu and other death-inducing ailments we usually encounter over this period, mixed in with mass vaccination programmes, economic shutdowns, a govt asleep at the wheel, and an opposition rudderless. The way we get through it is rekindling those notions of solidarity and community, lest everything else falls away.

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Toby Lipatti-Mesme

Toby Lipatti-Mesme

Insightful and innovative UK journalism and commentary, from Toby Lipatti-Mesme.