Boris Johnson seems to have an irrational urge to make life difficult for everybody.
Only yesterday (January 3), he was merrily telling Andrew Marr that schools should stay open outside London and southeast England, and that although stronger Covid-related restrictions were likely, they weren’t coming yet.
Many of us thought that was extremely off-colour, of course – he was condemning people to die because he, personally, didn’t feel like changing the situation so they would be saved.
Now we find he is announcing new national restrictions at 8pm today (January 4).
He’ll say the situation has reached Alert Level 5 – the NHS in danger of being overwhelmed. He will have known this for some time, of course. We could all see this from last Wednesday, or whenever the infection rate hit more than 50,000 per day.
But that is his excuse, it seems.
There’s no need to watch his broadcast, though – Robert Peston has already told us what the announcement will be!
PM will be directly addressing the nation. It won’t be a press conference. Tier 4 restrictions will be imposed everywhere. Schools closed. No more team games in parks. But outdoor exercise will still be allowed. https://t.co/dhKbH2lkgC
— Robert Peston (@Peston) January 4, 2021
Oh, and Hugh Pym from the BBC has got in on the act, too:
Sources have told the BBC the COVID threat level will be increased to five, the highest level – “material risk of healthcare services being overwhelmed” under which “social distancing measures increase” – the threat level system was set up in May after first wave.
— Hugh Pym (@BBCHughPym) January 4, 2021
Why does Johnson bother talking to us himself when he leaks all his announcements to his client journalists?
Why does Boris need to address the nation when he leaks all his plans to journalists? Lol https://t.co/BZaYi46FL1
— Aleesha Khaliq (@a_leesha1) January 4, 2021
The PM hardly needs to bother now Robert Peston's told us what he's going to say anyway. https://t.co/6HUE3ByoP7
— Prof Alice Roberts (@theAliceRoberts) January 4, 2021
This must be particularly hard for schools:
I cant believe they forced schools to go back this morning only to announce new measures by the evening. Teachers have been put through hell for the whole pandemic.
— Kam Sandhu (@_kayayem) January 4, 2021
One thing’s for sure: whatever happens, Keir Starmer will still be the butt of many jokes:
By this time next week, all schools will be closed.
The day after, @Keir_Starmer will demand all schools should be closed.
— Rachael Swindon (@Rachael_Swindon) January 4, 2021
Let’s be clear: This is the right thing to do – but it is happening far too late.
People have died, are dying, and are being crippled – possibly for life – because Johnson is too stupid to know when to stop trying to create a public relations victory and start trying to save lives.
He has not made a good decision about the pandemic since he first heard about it, back in November 2019.
That doesn’t change the facts:
I don’t know a single person who WANTS to be in a national lockdown.
But I know many who recognise the NEED for one.
Nobody wanted to be at this point; we hoped we’d have defeated this virus & be back living in a way we’re used to.
Robust measures will hopefully now mean that.
— James Foster (@JamesEFoster) January 4, 2021
I think James is being far too hopeful.
Johnson always starts lockdown too late and stops it too soon. We’ve seen that twice now.
I saw a great new term for this today: mockdown.
Let’s hope he doesn’t adhere to form and we don’t get another mockdown.
But I fear we will.
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