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Nothing says "UK open to business" like commands on the street


This wasn't Lockdown II: The Sequel. In some ways it was worse. The announced measures all felt as miserably authoritarian as a call to arms for petty official authority. So un-Boris.

But here he was, sounding as bossy as an old Biddy's bed and breakfast owner in Birkenstocks.

Nobody cheered Boris Johnson's address to the nation last night.

The Prime Minister sat at a well-polished desk with a single Union Jack flag hanging reassuringly behind him.

He looks good physically. This jaw is sharper than it has been for decades. Still not quite able to cut ripe camembert, but give the guy a break.

Gloomy: Boris Johnson addresses the British people

"Covid," began Boris ominously, "is the greatest crisis the world has faced in my life …"

We heard him calling the time in pubs. The waiting time would now be 10 p.m. Wedding numbers would be cut, the use of face masks expanded.

We have been warned of tougher fines, stricter controls, and stricter police work.

It was even mentioned that the army was being mobilized to take some of the burden off the crowd. Kind.

Nothing says "UK Open for Business" better than trains of camouflaged commands on the streets wielding automatic weapons.

It was a good day, at least for giant turkeys. As the number is limited to six, the mother doesn't have to order gigantic eaters this Christmas. Tiny tiddlers all around.

"Covid," began Boris ominously, "is the greatest crisis the world has faced in my life …"

For those thinking of breaking the rules, Johnson offered food for thought. "Your slight cough can be someone else's death knell," he warned, his arms poking into the camera like a pair of tournament lances.

It is thanks to the prime minister that he avoided coming by like an epaulet-laden Latin American dictator.

The lack of pomposity spares him that. He spoke of "being deeply and spiritually unwilling to make any of these impositions."

In the same situation, Tony Blair or even David Cameron might have stumbled upon a table that is a little too comfortable and that wrests our fundamental freedoms from us. It ended with an ecclesiastical upswing that rose for a short time.

"Never in our history has our collective fate and health been so dependent on our individual behavior," he said.

A throaty whisper promised us “great days ahead”. But linguistically, this was a no-frills speech. The seriousness of it all was striking.

The Prime Minister had previously announced most of these measures to Parliament.

That earned him a short break from spokesman Sir Lindsay Hoyle, who is getting more and more upset about these announcements on television.

Earlier in the day, Boris' speech was bloody and thunderous, his behavior strangely harsh. "We have reached a dangerous turning point," he informed the house. "This is the moment when we have to act …"

To believe that it was standing in the same spot less than two months ago to announce that "our long hibernation period" was over. What a happy day it was. Not so yesterday.

Sir Keir Starmer announced that he supported the measures. I think he half expected the Chamber to break out in applause. His main concern was that the vacation program end next month.

To think that it was standing in the same spot less than two months ago to announce that "our long hibernation period" was over

To believe that it was standing in the same spot less than two months ago to announce that "our long hibernation period" was over

It would be a disaster to scrap it in one fell swoop, he said.

Other opposition parties jumped on the same topic. Ian Blackford of the SNP urged the government "not to throw workers in the junkyard".

The Green Queen Caroline Lucas advocated freelance workers.

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey, as always, made a spectacle of himself by trying to get Boris to apologize to the public.

Last night felt scary like a turning point in the Boris Johnson Premier League. By imposing such draconian new measures on a freedom-loving audience – not to mention adopting such powerful language that tightens the larynx – no one will realize this more than Boris himself.

Should his leadership crumble over the next few months, this will likely be the place on the map that his critics will mark with an X to indicate where everything went drastically wrong.

He asked the country for another six months of sacrifice. After that I'm afraid

that famous well of goodwill towards him will have run terribly dry …