Expectations of an easing are running high and Boris looks set to gamble

Expectations of an easing are running high and Boris looks set to gamble

The tabloids are very clear this morning that the shutdown is going to be eased next week. Johnson’s comments on yesterday receive great coverage and all sound positive for ministers provided of course, that he hasn’t over promised and that the change does not produce an increase in the death toll.

I just wonder whether the tabloids have raised an expectation for an easing of the lockdown which is in excess of what is possible at the moment.

One thing that Boris has demonstrated over the last decade or so is that he is a gambler ready to to take actions that could lead to possible catastrophe. The question is whether this is the right time to make such a move and will it produce changes which don’t impact on the fight to stop the coronavirus.

A factor which has been widely talked about this morning is that being outdoors is probably a good place to be with less chance of catching infection. But it’s hard to see at the stage any alteration in the notion that we should continue social distancing.

Another factor is that Boris is acutely aware that his actions during this period are going to be what defines his premiership and his instincts are very much to be against controls and regulations and for a freedom approach. You cannot imagine Theresa May doing something similar. That was probably why the the decision was made not to impose a lockdown earlier in February as many say he should have done, and why the messages from Number 10 are that things are going to change after Sunday.

Next Monday, when the changes will come in, my birthday, will also be the 10th anniversary of the formation of the Conservative Liberal Democrat Coalition following Cameron’s failure to win a majority at the 2010 general election.

This weekend will also be the 80th anniversary of Winston Churchill becoming Prime Minister during the Second World War.

Mike Smithson

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