The shameless display of double standards in the wake of the scandal surrounding Dominic Cummings has provoked reactions all over the country. It has never been clearer that the rich and the politicians – or the press, for that matter – simply don’t have to follow the same rules we do.
The reaction in Manchester has been one any mancunian would be proud of. You’d be hard pressed to find someone not disgusted by the contempt the rich show for working class people. This has been particularly visible in Salford on the 27th of May, where a banner and effigies were erected on a bridge. The banner read “Make The Rich Pay for Covid 19”, a slogan that had been in widespread use on banners and in graffiti since the lockdown began.
The effigies were hung by the neck from the bridge the banner was on. They were suited, with the signs “Cummings” and “Branson” around their necks.
The response to this has been largely the same as it has been to similar banners. The vast majority have found it funny, and many have found the sentiment behind it very appropriate. There has been negative reception, and this has been from exactly where you’d expect. The national press and the tories have heaped condescension and threats on whichever working class people have had the nerve to speak up for their communities.
Disgracefully, sections of the labour movement have also joined the right wing in condemning the banner. Ranging from liberal pacifists to Blairite opportunists, the failure of Corbynism has clearly galvanized the scummy underbelly of the Labour Party. Sympathy for the tories and the rich is nothing short of class treachery, and these people are exposing themselves for the fifth column they are. Even worse, they are using the banner to attempt to score factional points against other labour party members and organisations. This shallow and opportunist reaction is a clear result of the Labour Party’s retreat to it’s pre-Corbyn status quo. It is no surprise at all that the cowards and the traitors have returned to flinching and sneering, literally.
Some people have been seen comparing the banner to the murder of Jo Cox in 2016, which is an absolute disgrace. Jo Cox was murdered in cold blood by a lone fascist, to even entertain the idea that this is in anyway similar is liberalism in it’s purest form. The idea that violence of any description makes the left as bad as the right is dangerous rhetoric and should be quashed immediately.
As we have done with previous banners of this nature, 0161 would like to send unconditional support to the comrades that carried out this action. We support the sentiment behind the banner and we unilaterally reject any condemnation of it. Our communities will survive this virus, and we will make the rich pay.