As the £840/roll wallpaper starts to peel off – Owl reflects on: “a week is a long time in politics”

[All these events have been widely reported]

A week ago Boris Johnson felt sufficiently confident in the success of the Government’ Covid strategy to concede a public inquiry.

The May elections boosted his confidence that he could win a general election in 2023 without having to worry about an inquiry that would not start work before 2022 and would not report until at least 2024.


 “I’m sick of it.” 

 Jenny McGee, St. Thomas’ nurse who treated Boris Johnson, resigned over low pay. 

“We’re not getting the respect and now pay that we deserve.”

“We’re All Going on a Summer Holiday”. Or are we?

Days of mixed messages about travel – Can you/can’t you? Should you/shouldn’t you? Does amber mean stop, go or don’t even think about it?

A couple of days ago:

Dominic Cummings tweeted in combative mood that the key to the pandemic was “fast hard effective action” to lock down. He dismissed any notion of there being a trade-off between lockdown and economic recovery. “This nonsense is STILL influencing policy, eg our joke borders policy.”

 Which naturally leads Owl to note:

The “Indian” variant of Covid-19 is becoming increasingly “significant” and, if it proves to be very much more infectious than the “British” variant, could derail Boris’ June 21 “Freedom Day” plans.

As Cummings says, Johnson has become complacent about the trade-off strategy. 


The government has admitted that failings with the test and trace system led to a delay in hundreds being told they should have isolated after coming into contact with coronavirus,

The glitch meant local councils, including Blackburn with Darwen, were not given the full data on the number of positive tests in their area – which may have led to the current surge in numbers.

On Track and Trace :

Dido Harding’s test and trace system has swallowed up “unimaginable” amounts of taxpayers’ money with no evidence of any measurable difference on the progress of the coronavirus pandemic, a scathing report by a Westminster spending watchdog [the Public Accounts Committee] has found.

The report said NHS test and trace must “wean itself off” its reliance on private-sector consultants, after figures showed it was still employing around 2,500 in early February on an estimated daily rate of £1,100 a head – with the highest-paid individual costing taxpayers £6,624 a day. 

The March budget included an additional £15bn for test and trace, taking the total bill to more than £37bn over two years.

Next week:

Cummings is to give “explosive evidence” to the joint health and science select committee investigation on the handling of the pandemic next Wednesday. (He claims to have a “Smoking Gun”).


To cap it all, the £840/roll “gold” print wall paper is reported to have started to peel off the walls of the Downing Street flat.

The company states on its website that it does not offer refunds and advises customers to inspect deliveries before pasting its heavy-duty products to walls. “No claims for faulty fabrics or wallpapers can be made after the fabrics or wallpapers have been cut or hung,” the firm says. 

 So who foots the bill on this one?