If only PM had acted a lot earlier
Once again, the country has to steel itself for another national lockdown. The surge in the number of Covid cases has made such a move unavoidable. Unless we act, the death toll from this terrible virus will rise and the NHS in England will be unable to cope.
To save lives, we have to make this sacrifice. But nobody is under any illusion about the cost. It leaves many firms, already struggling from the first lockdown, in a precarious position.
More jobs will be put at risk. More livelihoods left in the balance.
Nor should we forget the personal toll. Families and friends will be isolated, putting further pressure on people’s mental health.
Now, more than ever, we need to look out for our neighbours and reach out to those who are alone or shielding.
There is also a responsibility on the Government to put in place a robust support scheme for companies and organisations affected by the new restrictions.
This is an anxious time for workers across England, who could be facing unemployment through no fault of their own.
And there should be additional support for families on the breadline for whom Universal Credit is not nearly generous enough.
While a second national lockdown in England is unavoidable, it was not unpredicted.
Boris Johnson was advised more than three weeks ago by his own scientists to impose a two-week circuit breaker.
To the Prime Minister’s shame, he ignored that advice. Instead of being guided by the science, he jettisoned it.
In doing so, he missed the chance to get ahead of the curve, save lives and limit the economic damage wrought by Covid.
Instead of two-week circuit breaker, we are now facing a month of new restrictions.
Having been too slow to bring in the first lockdown, Mr Johnson has now been too slow to bring in the second one.
What an abject failure of leadership at a time of national crisis.