Could Swine Flu prove the joker in the pack?
Looking at the Politics Home news charts, which measures the column inches of each major story, the largest rises are the news that Shadow Chancellor George Osborne is to be investigated over his expenses, and that Health Secretary Andy Burnham has warned the Commons that Britain could see 100,000 cases of Swine Flu per day by August.
Like BSE and Foot’n’Mouth in years past, nothing dominates news coverage like a domestic disease epidemic. If Burnham’s statement proves to be accurate, this could dominate coverage for weeks eclipsing stories like Osborne’s expenses or the police investigations into other MPs.
Let us not also forget that Brown tends to experience a bounce in the face of massive (perceived) crises – so it was in the moments of greatest panic about the Economic Downturn, and his initial months saw him bask – not only in the honeymoon of a new leader – but in his sober and sure-footed response to floods and the terrorist attack on Glasgow airport.
We’ve not had any discussion of it yet on PB.com, but could Swine Flu be a significant factor in the political machinations of the coming months?