The prime minister’s overriding imperative – you could tell by the very many times he said it – is to “move from universal government diktat to relying on people’s personal responsibility”. He’s basically had enough of making all the decisions, and wants someone else to have a go. Absent an obvious single candidate, he’s throwing it on to all of us.
Zoe Williams www.theguardian.com (extract)
In one way, it’s a relief, since his diktats were always so hit and miss; and yet it was a little unsettling to hear his rationale. “We must be honest: if we can’t reopen society in the next few weeks, we must ask ourselves, when will we be able to return to normal?” At least technically, it’s the middle of summer. We’re outdoors, schools will have their holiday “firebreak”, winter is when the virus is at its most powerful, so if not now, when? He sounds much more like a guy in B&Q, who’s just lost patience with looking for the right shade of white – what do you want him to do, go to Homebase? – than he does like a man carefully weighing up the intricate and often incomparable risks and benefits as have been produced for him by the nation’s finest minds. Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance, two of those very minds, flanked him with almost palpable reluctance.