We’re doomed to stay half-in, half-out of lockdown in a freedom tug o’ war

 A WEEK is a long time in political journalism. Last Monday I confidently predicted we were on the unstoppable path to Covid liberation.

Matt Hancock yesterday dashed hopes for Freedom Day on June 21 and suggested lockdown will continue if infections rise. “We are absolutely open to that,” chirped the Health supremo.

🔵 Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest updates

It's a freedom tug o' war to June 21
It's a freedom tug o' war to June 21

At least nobody can accuse Mr Hancock of lying.

He made it clear face masks and anti-social distancing are also here to stay.

Tens of millions of double-jabbed, effectively immune and holiday-starved Brits now know lockdown will remain in place. We are all being kept in, like naughty school children.

UK plc is serving a totalitarian sentence of lockdowns, tier restrictions and house arrest at HM government’s pleasure.

With July 5 the earliest likely date for conditional discharge, depression is settling over pubs, restaurants and the pulverised travel industry.

Yet even the NHS itself has challenged the quality of advice already received from so-called pandemic experts.

Top executive Chris Hopson last night said scientific modelling was “crude and unreliable”, exaggerated infection rates from re-opening schools and overstated the risk to hospitals from the Indian mutant. “NHS trust leaders are sceptical of the value of predictive statistical models, given their performance of the last 15 months,” he said.

A battle is raging in Downing Street between a super-cautious Cabinet minority urging delay — and a majority who want to press ahead before irreversible social and economic damage is inflicted.

Hancock and Cabinet heavyweight Michael Gove favour delay, supported by shroud-waving Sage lefties. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg and, it seems, Boris himself believe we are good to go. 

The PM, who is riding an astonishing wave of public approval, could easily overrule the naysayers. Even the French rate him more than their own President Emmanuel Macron.

Boris will be the star at this week’s G7 summit alongside Germany’s doomed Angela Merkel and EU President Ursula Von der Leyen, while new US President Joe Biden is already showing his age. But BoJo is notoriously risk averse — until pressed. And a seriously hardcore majority of voters are unwilling to take chances.

 Would a politician who famously loves to be loved risk becoming unpopular by challenging “the science”. 

As former PM Tony Blair learned to his cost, you can be cock of the walk one day and a feather duster the next.

Boris Johnson gives a thumbs up after receiving his second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine
Boris Johnson gives a thumbs up after receiving his second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccineCredit: Reuters


So it was a rare pleasure yesterday to see the one-time Labour hero riding to the rescue of his successor and Save Our Summer.

“I would not recommend, out of government, what I would not do in government,” he said. 

The solution he did recommend was vaccine passports for everyone who’d had both doses. All we need to do is download the NHS app and present it at the airport, turnstile or nightclub.

By June 21, everyone over 50 and all nine high-risk groups would qualify.

If Brussels proceeded with similar plans, we could roam freely across the Continent, throw away masks and hug fully-jabbed strangers.

This would understandably infuriate all those under 50 still waiting for a second jab. But as the Russians like to say, you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.

It was refreshing to see Labour’s un-woke triple election winner take on charges of “discrimination” when asked about refuseniks from ethnic minority communities.

“It makes no sense at all to treat those who have had a vaccination the same as those who haven’t,” said Mr Blair. “I am not sympathetic to people who are able to have the vaccine but simply don’t.”

A double jabs passport would also encourage anti-vaxxers to try an armful.

After all, most in hospital with the Indian version of Covid are vaccine sceptics. Tony Blair’s idea was brilliant, simple — and, sadly, a dead duck.

Hancock admitted the plan is already being considered by Government officials but has no chance of surviving. 

We’re all in the same boat, he said. And we are going to stay there until we can all disembark together. Nobody must be left behind.

That leaves us with no alternative. We are doomed to remain half-in, half-out until Sage experts like “Professor Lockdown” Neil Ferguson and Communist behavioural scientist Dr Susan Michie decide otherwise.

Shoppers wearing face masks pack London's Regent Street in the warm June weather
Shoppers wearing face masks pack London's Regent Street in the warm June weatherCredit: Rex

Ferry bad

FRANCE has no interest in stopping criminal gangs shipping thousands of illegal immigrants to the UK.

But it comes to something when our own Border Patrol vessels connive to ferry a boatload from French waters to sanctuary in Kent. Immigration raids are at a five-year low despite Priti Patel’s promised get-tough measures.

Arrests have fallen, fewer are being deported and criminal gangs are making a fortune out of human misery at our expense. We can blame the Home Secretary – and her stubbornly uncooperative senior officials – but the buck for this increasing scandal stops at the steps of No10 and Boris Johnson himself.

Secret plan to delay lockdown lift by TWO WEEKS but Boris Johnson is battling to save June 21 freedom day

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.