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Friday, November 27, 2020

Why Boris Johnson's latest remarks reflect a major shift in his COVID-19 hopes

The key ingredients in Boris Johnson’s electoral elixir are humour, happiness and hope. He prefers to be positive and optimistic.

However in this crisis, that political potion has seemingly stopped working.

Today in the Commons there was no carrot, only (scientific) sticks, as the PM attempted to persuade MPs with sobering stats and depressing data.

He spoke of the “medical and moral disaster we face” and claimed “there is no alternative”.

He apologised for the “anguish” another lockdown would cause to business, announced a boost in support for self-employed people, and said “quick turnaround tests” would help combat the coronavirus.

For the eagle-eared, there was also a change in aspirations.

The PM suggested we will “defeat” the virus “by Spring”. In contrast, in July he suggested a “significant return to normality” from November at the earliest and “possibly in time for Christmas”.

More from Boris Johnson

Unlike some rebellious Tory backbenchers, Keir Starmer told the Commons that his MPs would vote for a second lockdown in England.

But the Labour leader argued that “for forty days the PM ignored” advice for stricter restrictions and claimed there would be a “human cost” because of that “inaction”.

Mr Starmer also returned to his core criticisms of the government: the track-and-trace system and levels of economic support.

The Prime Minister survived today’s Commons statement and is expected to comfortably win Wednesday’s vote on the restrictions.

Yet his handling of this latest episode has angered Conservative backbenchers – with even the most loyal saying they are “shell-shocked” and “concerned”.

And with projections from scientists looking unremittingly bleak, that political potion is likely to remain ineffective for many months.

This post courtesy of sky

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This post courtesy of sky