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Welcome to Lockdown – Boris style

March 23rd, 2020

The question is how does this end?

By any standards the live TV broadcast by Boris Johnson tonight was with without precedent in peacetime given how it takes away a huge amount of the freedom and discretion enjoyed by the individuals with the aim of impeding the impact of the coronavirus.

Looking back we were being prepared for this over the past few days and in many ways it is less rigid than perhaps some of us had feared. I like to cycle for an hour or so everyday just to keep fit and my fear was that I would be unable to get on my bike. That’s going to be allowed but I have to do it alone.

The measure about gatherings restricted to just two people appears also sensible given the nature of the the threat that the world is facing which is killing dozens of people everyday. The big question is how will this come to an end. What circumstances will the government deem it right that these restrictions can be lifted.

One of the things that really is helping the government at the moment is that there is no real opposition. Corbyn. the lame-duck Labour leader, has only a week and a half left in the job and he has been nothing like the political force he was since his second general election failure on December 12th.

This should be a good moment to Keir Starmer to take over the Labour leadership for Johnson’s government needs to be properly accountable and that requires someone like Starmer. His prime objective will be to ensure that the government is continuously held to account for everything that it is doing.

Mike Smithson