As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, we are told: “the virus does not discriminate – rich and poor alike, we are all in this together”. However, the reality is that the privileged elite, who enjoy relative safety, expect the workers to risk infection to keep profits rolling in. This virus is exposing the rotten and heartless nature of the capitalist system, where profits rather than human lives are the priority.

Comrade Bill Landles died this Saturday evening after a short illness, at the age of 95. Many of our older comrades will have fond memories of Bill. It somehow seemed that he’d always be there, with his sense of humour and his commitment to the ideas of Marxism. Bill was the last living link with the wartime pioneering work of the Workers' International League from where we trace the origins of Socialist Appeal and the International Marxist Tendency. 

Back in 2007, the activist author Naomi Klein wrote a book called The Shock Doctrine. In it, she described ‘disaster capitalism’: a political approach to natural and man-made disasters that seeks to maximise private profit in their aftermath. As the scale of the COVID-19 crisis becomes clear, Klein and others are sounding the alarm that the shock doctrine is about to strike again.

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