ENTERTAINMENT

HENRY DEEDES watches as the prime minister sets further rules and regulations for coronavirus


To think that a week ago he was a booster of boosterism, a supplier of positivity, all Whizzbang Fizz and Sparkle.

It turns out that Boris Johnson's conference speech on Pingier as Propane was just a false dawn.

A daily distraction from deaths, infection rates and all the other daily horrors that have become the new norm.

And so, just as a dark, wet Monday couldn't get any more depressing, we were back in that dreary meeting room on Downing Street to learn more rules, more regulations, and redder lockouts.

Please Boris, however bad things may be, keep these bleak events to a minimum.

"We have to act," said the Prime Minister, a (noticeably less chubby) index finger nudging the lectern.

"We have to act," said the Prime Minister, a (noticeably less chubby) index finger nudging the lectern

Signs of a second wave flashed "like warnings on the dashboard of a passenger plane".

The Prime Minister's voice trembled with urgency.

He spoke to us through his new "three level alarm system" – medium, high and very high, with their own mind-boggling limitations.

Boris & # 39; delivery stuttered briefly and his eyes buzzed like small kaleidoscopes.

Obviously, he was afraid of misunderstanding his own rules.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak came to share part of the summons. Apparently he was there to talk to us about his winter management plan.

But it's entirely possible that Boris felt the public could swallow his plan more easily with the boy wonder by his side.

"Thank you PM," Rishi chirped before introducing his new support measures. He spoke in slow staccato tones.

Those Bambi eyes were cranked to full gleam and glowed with compassion. What a salesman the Chancellor is.

If he showed up on one of those charity ads and asked viewers, "Pleeeeaase, only give 3 pounds a month," most of us would be calling up a direct debit in no time.

He spoke to us about his new three-level alarm system - medium, high and very high

He spoke to us about his new three-level alarm system – medium, high and very high

Professor Chris Whitty, Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak speak to the nation from Downing Street on Monday night

Professor Chris Whitty, Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak speak to the nation from Downing Street on Monday night

Also present was Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer.

He always reminds me of a man who goes on a police ID parade.

Something about those long, dangling arms and the way his dull eyes flit nervously from side to side.

Marks of a man who is afraid of being fingered for something.

As usual, Whitty spoke to us through his "why I was right" charts.

Infections, hospitalizations. Then he announced that he would be optimistic.

Hooray! If the government hadn't put in place the current restrictions he recommended, things would seem to have been much worse.

If this is the prof who is optimistic, I'd hate to hear him in moments of desperation.

The Prime Minister had set the new restrictions in the House of Commons early that afternoon. His testimony was slow and serious. Levity was in short supply.

Sir Keir Starmer was his usual fountain of helplessness.

He trodden the usual disaster movie stereotypes – "We are at a critical moment," "We are at a tipping point", etc. – before accusing the government of losing control of the virus.

At no point did he say what he could do differently. He never does.

Additional supportive noises came from Jeremy Hunt, chairman of the health committee.

Mr. Hunt is staying in Purdah because he stood against Boris in last year's leadership competition.

Couldn't it be time to bring him in from the cold? I noticed that he and Rishi used to have a chinwag behind the speaker's chair.

Most uncomfortable for the prime minister were the angry voices on his own benches.

Jane Stevenson (Con, Wolverhampton NE) resented pubs and restaurants.

Kate Griffiths (Con, Burton) was worried about breweries. Ed Timpson (Con, Eddisbury) lamented the decimated wedding industry.

Philip Davies (Con, Shipley) urged Boris to trust the public to use their common sense a little more.

The Prime Minister had set the new restrictions in the House of Commons early that afternoon

The Prime Minister had set the new restrictions in the House of Commons early that afternoon

Cue loud gurgle of approval from Sir Desmond Swayne (New Forest W). The Prime Minister pulled his cheek in a big grimace.

Andrew Mitchell (Sutton Coldfield) argued elegantly how the current restrictions in Birmingham showed signs of work.

Why did it need stricter ones? Boris said that was the judgment he made and that he is sticking to it.

The most sobering moment came when Steve Baker (Con, Wycombe) asked the Prime Minister when he was expecting a vaccine.

Boris replied that this "cannot be taken for granted". So possibly never. You are wondering what the long term plan is. If there is any.

(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Debate (t) Coronavirus (t) Boris Johnson (t) Downing Street