A backbench Labour MP has made a video about the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Its narrative and analysis have shamed Keir Starmer’s response to the crisis. Because it highlights in under two minutes the ‘tale of two Covids’. It’s the story of how rich people have made a killing while the rest of us suffered.
A Tale of Two Covids: us…
Jon Trickett has been the Labour MP for Hemsworth since 1996. On Thursday 11 March, he put out a short video. It was called A Tale of Two Covids. In it, Trickett showed how the pandemic has affected people differently. And the video clearly highlights how for many of us, coronavirus has been a disaster.
Trickett highlighted how the NHS has:
- “Lost” 22,000 beds.
- “A record 4.5 million people still waiting for treatment”.
- Been ‘insulted’ by the Tories with a 1% pay rise.
Then, he moved on to workers. Trickett noted that there are:
- 10 million people “precariously employed”.
- 5.5 million people “paid below the living wage”.
- 4.7 million people on furlough.
He also detailed the effect of the pandemic on communities:
- 4.2 million children live in poverty.
- 10 million adults do too.
- “Deprived areas have the highest Covid death rates”.
Trickett then turned his attention to who had benefitted from the pandemic.
… and them
He noted that:
- “1,000 billionaires’ wealth soared by £2.76 trillion globally”.
- ‘The London Stock Exchange increased by £639bn during the pandemic’.
- “Big business” has cash reserves of £909bn; equal to 35% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Of course, all this is the tip of the iceberg. For example, six out of ten Covid deaths have been disabled people. The number of destitute households has more than doubled. Meanwhile, the number of so-called “dollar millionaires” in London (those worth the equivalent of $1m) has exploded. The Guardian wrote that:
one in 10 people living in London are dollar millionaires, with the data highlighting the yawning inequality gap in the capital. More than 2.5 million (or 28%) of those living in London are classed as “living in poverty”
So, Trickett outlined in the video what policies he think would help. His ideas included a wealth tax:
Brace yourself. pic.twitter.com/ZGJcKZFx8B
— Jon Trickett MP (@jon_trickett) March 11, 2021
But ultimately what Trickett has done is shown up the Labour leadership.
Showing up Starmer
People have been critical of Starmer for effectively aping the Tories. He has repeatedly backed Boris Johnson. But despite Labour’s polling seeing a bounce after Starmer became leader, its numbers have since gone into reverse.
Trickett’s video also appears to be a dig at Starmer’s leadership. Because it ends by saying that these ideas represent:
a radical socialist agenda. Join us.
This is put on screen with no link to joining the Labour Party. As SKWAWKBOX wrote:
was Trickett talking to the dreary party leader when he posted just two words with the video? “Brace yourself.”
His video is at odds with the Labour leadership. And it’s clear it was intentionally so. Where Trickett is going with this remains to be seen. And as one Twitter user said:
Some one needs to tell Keir… this is how you do it.
Whether Starmer would listen or not is another matter entirely.
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