Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
During this week's Prime Ministers Questions, Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer slammed Boris' 19 July plans for releasing all restrictions, on lockdown. As if you didn't know, Boris Johnson plans to lift all restrictions on 19 July, despite forecasts by the new Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, of 50,000 - 100,000 COVID cases a day. So, is Boris ignoring his own Health Secretary? Nevertheless, it would appear at the moment, Boris is going to plow on with his final stage 4, of lifting the lockdown.
Sir Keir Starmer made a humdinger of a joke, at Boris' expense. Sir Keir, at this week's PMQs, said it was Boris's fault that we were seeing such spikes in infection. By allowing the variants of the Delta and Delta + into our country, (in the first place). Thus these variants, of COVID, have become the dominant form and they are, responsible for the spike, we are now seeing.
When pushed by Sir Keir, as to how many will need to isolate, after 19 July Boris would not commit. Sir Keir frustrated, by Boris' response, said the Prime Minister's plans will create a summer of "chaos and confusion". Sir Keir's response to Boris' intransigence, was no doubt also influenced by Sajid Javid's declaration of 50,000 - 100,000 cases a day. Sir Keir, said that these huge figures of infection could lead to millions of people, isolating. The Leader of the Opposition said all this would create problems, for the economy. Boris explained, that the government's policy is to get away from self-isolating. And instead, move to more testing of the population.
Boris though is not getting away with this, easily. The Prime Minister will be facing a huge backlash, from the opposition parties, including his own. Some in the media will regard Boris' stage 4 policy as "reckless", (to quote the Labour leader). Many in the public have said, they will continue to keep wearing masks, social distance, and sanitize. Of course, others will not and that is their choice, but are they being reckless too? The government has said though, despite, (at the moment), masks being a choice for people to wear, (rather than being mandatory), mask-wearing will still continue on public transport, (allegedly).
Sir Keir, also, observed that some will be deleting their NHS COVID app. Deleting it, because they will see what is coming down the track, (where the app will not be as sensitive, in not pinging so many). Also, they may be thinking of the economic impact, that thousands of workers self-isolating, will have on it. Boris replied that science has proved that the link, between the virus and death, has been broken by the vaccine. Boris counter-questioned Sir Keir, by asking, what he would do differently? Sir Keir, said he was all for opening the economy, but he would proceed more carefully, by not taking off all restrictions, straight away. The government should provide better payments for those isolating, ventilation in the workplace, etc. Boris noted that only a 30th of the people were dying, compared to previous waves.
It would seem, that all those clamoring for all restrictions to end and for the full opening up of the economy have, succeeded. If July 19 goes ahead, (and it most undoubtedly, will), and a horror story does indeed happen, then I hope, they will be happy.
Finally, the 1980s song by Genesis, "Land of Confusion", though written about the politics of the time, is just as relevant today.