Covid: Boris Johnson unable to make a decision as Omicron threatens Christmas

Last year the Prime Minister told the public they could have a normal Christmas and there would be no restrictions.

Days later, having repeatedly accused Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer of wanting to “cancel Christmas”, Boris Johnson introduced restrictions that his scientific advisers had called for weeks, if not months, prior.

Too little too late, cases continued to rise and the UK locked down again.

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Now we are in exactly the same situation, with the Prime Minister torn between his own Cabinet who oppose restrictions over Christmas, and the scientists who are desperately clamouring for it on health grounds.

Now I love Christmas. I love presents, I enjoy seeing family, I cherish eating so much I feel sick.

But it’s not a price worth paying, nor a reason to overrule a medical response to a variant that is seeing cases skyrocket.

Yet Christmas, understandably, remains a sacred cow, a beacon of hope whose presence transcends the reality of what is happening.

It is akin to a child having two cakes on its birthday. You shouldn’t, but it’s different because it’s a special day.

Now the Prime Minister is once again is struggling to make a decision.

Speaking to reporters on Monday evening, Mr Johnson appeared tired, embattled and weary of making a decision when he knows there are no easy ones.

The Prime Minister had spent three hours arguing with his own Cabinet over restrictions, but still did not appear to have a plan.

To put that into context, it is longer than the entire running time of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

Instead he told reporters the “situation is extremely difficult and arguments finely balanced”.

Mr Johnson added: “We should keep the data from now on under constant review ... hour by hour.”

The Prime Minister told reporters “we won’t hesitate to take action”, while once again hesitating to take action.

This is not an easy situation. It is ever changing, but the public want certainty and safety above all else.

Leadership means making decisions, and a year on from his last Christmas disaster, Mr Johnson has given no signs to date of showing the courage to make them.


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