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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/14/20

Opposing Lockdown is NOT "Profits Before People"

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The. Lockdown. Is. Killing. People.Unemployment. Debt. Stress. Bankruptcy.

These are not just "economic considerations", they are life or death. The lockdown is bringing largescale poverty with it. Poverty kills people. Millions of them every year.

The lockdown has been "eased". Apparently. Some people should go back to work, schools might be opening a bit. You can see one person at a time. You'd be forgiven for not noticing any tangible difference. You'd be more forgiven for thinking it's a contrived mess designed to confuse and distract people.

Essentially: We are very much still under lockdown, and likely to be so for the foreseeable future. And it is still, very much, a destructive policy which will ruin many more lives than the virus.

Nevertheless, the usual "liberal" media suspects are up in arms about Boris "putting profits before people". And, as per usual these days, even alt-media types (who should know better) are buying that line. So is Jeremy Corbyn.

In what is perhaps the greatest example of gaslighting in human history, we have "champions of the working class" arguing for mass unemployment, the shutting down of small businesses and the self-employed, and draconian police powers.

The same people who clamour for more and tighter lockdowns are attacking anybody who opposes the measures. Labelling them "psychopaths" or "far-right" or "extreme libertarians".

Last week Owen Jones used this phrase to dismiss anyone protesting the lockdown:

the political right who resent a lockdown that values human life over economic considerations.

It's a lazy ad hominem we're not unfamiliar with at OffGuardian. Over the last few weeks, many people have accused us of putting money before lives because we have expressed concerns over the decision to deliberately tank the economy, destroy small businesses and send unemployment through the roof.

In his most recent article today, Owen rails against the (so-called) easing of the lockdown, claiming it is protecting business but not people. As usual, he is wrong.

The idea that destroying the economy will only harm the rich, while somehow contriving to liberate the masses, is perhaps the most ridiculous lie of all the lies used to prop up the covid19 rollout.

You don't need to be a supporter of capitalism to recognise that a collapsed economy always hurts the workers more than the owners. Where are all the students of Marx? Does the atrophied Left now really think "the economy" is some abstract concept which only concerns people who own stocks and read the Financial Times?

Reality check here for Owen and his champagne socialist chums. While they are enjoying their furlough swigging Chablis on the lawn, small businesses are currently going bust. The self-employed are seeing years of work destroyed in weeks. Unemployment is soaring.

Over TWO MILLION people have applied for benefits since the start of the lockdown. And this is just applications, not even close to the total number of jobs lost.

That's around 5% of the entire working-age population.

That's at least 2 million lives potentially ruined, and it's a conservative estimate. If just 2% of those people die from stress-related illness, suicide, substance abuse or malnutrition, then the lockdown will have killed more people than the coronavirus simply through economics.

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[Republished from Off-Guardian] 

Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

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