Coronavirus: Johnson is floundering toward lifting the lockdown too soon because he wants happy headlines

Boris Johnson: this is an old image but it perfectly sums up the character he displayed in Prime Minister’s Questions.

Let’s give Boris Johnson a new nickname. After his performance in Prime Minister’s Questions – and a recent viewing of a favourite comedy movie – This Writer believes he should be called Flounder.

I’m not saying that because he resembles the stupid-but-saveable character in the movie (the Parliamentary version of which would no doubt be entitled Animal House of Commons) – but because it’s how he spent his first session answer questions from Keir Starmer, the new Labour leader.

Starmer’s no silver-tongued sweet-talker; he’s a plodder. But he plodded rings round Flounder as the prime minister desperately sought an upside to the catalogue of catastrophes we know as his record of handling the coronavirus crisis.

Faced with the government’s failure to hit its target of 100,000 coronavirus tests per day – and the obvious fact that the claim to have done so on April 30 was a lie, Flounder set a new target of 200,000 by the end of this month (while health secretary Matt Hancock blanched visibly behind him):

For clarity:

Latest figures show 69,463 COVID-19 tests were conducted in the 24 hours to 9am on Wednesday, well short of the 100,000 benchmark.

The total was 84,806 up to 9am on Tuesday, 85,186 up to 9am on Monday and 76,496 up to 9am on Sunday.

Perhaps realising he had dug another ditch for himself to die in, Flounder latched on to the only other big question – when he is likely to lift the lockdown.

So he took a gamble and hinted that something might happen on Monday:

There’s only one problem with that: the figures suggest that it is far too early to even think of lifting the lockdown.

The UK is still experiencing more than 6,000 new coronavirus infections per day, along with more than 600 deaths. Those with the intelligence to understand what this means know perfectly well what lifting the lockdown will signify:

For clarity:

Suicide by the Tories, maybe.

For most of us, the victims of their policies, it will be mass murder.

Flounder will end up, as John Crace states in his Guardian commentary (that was overly obsequious to Starmer, in This Writer’s opinion), “with blood on his hands that no amount of washing for 20 seconds while singing Happy Birthday can get clean”.

Some might call it pointless death, but that would not be true.

If Flounder lifts the lockdown, and it triggers a second peak in coronavirus infections and deaths, it will happen for just one reason:

Boris Johnson was struggling, and thought he could help himself out with a happy headline.

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7 thoughts on “Coronavirus: Johnson is floundering toward lifting the lockdown too soon because he wants happy headlines

  1. trev

    I woke up to the news on Radio 4 this morning talking of lifting the lockdown, I just worry that it’s far too soon, like you say Mike, people are still getting infected and still dying in significant numbers. I know people are getting fed up of the lockdown but I think it would be irresponsible to end it now.

  2. chriskitcher

    Flounder? If you are referring to the fish then I think it’s a very appropriate name. Slimy keeps out of the way and LIES all day long (on the sea bed).

  3. Sophie

    Too soon? I suggest you learn Critical Thinking as this is House Arrest masquerading as protecting us all. Even the WHO has praised Sweden. What precedent does this follow? Why isolate healthy people? I’m sorry, but you may have swallowed the politics over the understanding of what we need to keep healthy ie a strong immune system. And that doesn’t come out of nowhere.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Sweden has a pretty bad record on this, if I recall correctly. You should be looking at New Zealand. And you should be trying to make sense.

  4. Stu

    He should be revealing his “Big Bojob” Plan tomorrow but our bone idle PM likes to have his weekends and holidays off !

  5. David

    He wants happy headlines? You are being much too kind with that analysis. He wants another wave of deaths. He wants the UK to be the exception and for it to give the excuse for a no deal Brexit December 31st. In other words he and the rest if his ilk haven’t finished reaping their rewards from this crisis.

Comments are closed.