Phil Shannon

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Why the Left Should Oppose Lockdown

by Phil Shannon The Durham Miners' Gala Preamble The contemporary left’s support for an economically devastating, authoritarian lockdown, which doesn’t even achieve its limited public health aims, is one of the more remarkable developments in current politics. With its support for extreme ‘social distancing’, the left has reached a new nadir in the ‘political distancing’ between it and its traditional working class constituency, a relationship that has been fraying badly since the democratic, national, working class populist upsurge of recent years as symbolised by the Brexit referendum, the thumping Get-Brexit-Done electoral victory of Boris Johnson, and the surprising Trump miracle. The left’s lockdown betrayal of the working class further accelerates its decline into political irrelevance. This is not a cause for celebration, especially for someone like myself, a four-decade Australian veteran of working class socialism including as a trade union activist, and member of the Communist Party of Australia and more Trotskyist grouplets than you could shake a Program of the Fourth International at, who still cooks on the left burner (see author's page here). What follows is an attempt to understand how and why the left has got into such a pickle over lockdown and how it can begin to resurrect its political integrity. Why the left (and not just the left) should oppose lockdown Science The virus is...

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July 2024
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