Have ministers panicked?
Today’s front pages give a good representation of the main pandemic stories and what the papers think are the issues most likely to impact on their readers.
Once again the Daily Star manages to produce the most striking front page and that paper is to my mind having the best pandemic. So often it is taking the most eye-catching and humorous approach which is very much in the spirit of the early days of the tabloid Sun.
After all the constraints that lockdown has had on people’s lives many were looking forward even more than usual to getting away on their holidays. Alas the moves against those who are holidaying now or are booked to go to mainland Spain is the big political news simply because of the number of people who will be affected.
Under the headline The Spain quarantine decision shows No 10 is still in coronavirus panic mode Simon Jenkins in the Guardian notes:
“..when last Friday’s surge in “reported cases” from Spain flashed on the radar, ministers clearly panicked. They wrenched on the handbrake and imposed a two-week quarantine on those returning from the country. The Foreign Office clearly thought it hard to punish the detached and low-risk Balearics, but that was a subtlety too far for Johnson..The impression given by the cabinet throughout the pandemic has been constant. It is of a group of ministers and scientists in a bunker, all terrified for their headlines and reputations, blown hither and thither by unreliable data. They seem to lack any feel for the outside world, be it care homes, high streets, hospitality or entertainment. They are in thrall to Imperial College’s criticised modellers, and hostile to all regional or local differences. They know only the great god – statistics.”
At least for the moment parliament is in recess so decisions are not subject to the same parliamentary scrutiny.