Close The Schools Now

statement issued by John Urquhart, Harmony Party general secretary

Schools have been open a little over two months, and, as was widely predicted on the Left and by us, this has almost certainly resulted in a massive increase in coronavirus cases. The virus is now widespread across the UK, and significant restrictions on social contact are in place across the vast majority of the nation – with England about to go into something closer to the March lockdown than the localised “tier” system already in place.

It is now abundantly clear that this party was absolutely correct to call for physical closures & a shift to distance/blended learning in schools, colleges, and universities, as we have been doing for months.

The Conservative Government only refuses to take this action because it represents a significant, difficult effort for them – one which if they get wrong will shine a light on their incompetence even more than their catastrophic failure to implement a test, trace, and isolation system in the wake of the first national lockdown.

They fear personal public failure more than they fear the deaths of our loved ones. They fear personal public failure more than they fear the threat of harm of impairment and disability associated with “long COVID” for teachers, for students, for parents.

They fear being the Government “that cancelled Christmas” more than they care for you, and yours, or our communities.

We must all be clear: schools must close. The State must meet its obligations, as the most powerful institution in our society, to protect those most in need of protecting. It must move to provide all the resources necessary to provide distance or blended learning to schools nationwide, leveraging all the power of Government to do so.

Anything less is, simply put, yet another shocking dereliction of duty by the Conservatives – who for the past decade have repeatedly shown that their personal and party interests tower above the social interest… or even the national interest.