With the daily death rate leaping to 143, the highest since early June, Keir Starmer’s call for a short lockdown to control the virus is following the science.
The Labour leader’s sensible suggestion is in stark contrast to the vacillating Boris Johnson who makes up policy as he goes along.
There is no consensus in the Cabinet or Conservative Party about what to do with Tory MPs rebelling against a string of measures including 10pm pub closing.
In the light of this disunity, the Prime Minister has no right to expect a blank cheque from his main opponent.
The tipping point for Starmer was the SAGE experts’ recommendation that a short shutdown was required.
The spread of the virus has doubled since the PM rejected that advice.
Holding the lockdown over half-term would limit upheaval.
When no easy choices exist, Starmer has grasped a nettle that frightens Johnson, a PM terrified of his own party.
Unemployment soaring to a level not seen for more than three years is warning of a jobless nightmare to come.
The estimated 1.5 million out of work now will soar without the ambitious job and business-saving measures the Prime Minister and his Chancellor are foolishly resisting.
Returning to the mass unemployment of the 1980s would devastate individuals and communities. The long-term damage would make it harder for the economy to recover.
Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak will never be forgiven if unemployment is a price they
force working people to pay.
What a drama
Let’s hope actor Dominic West and wife Catherine Fitzgerald escape the curse of Tory MPs who posed outside their homes, to insist their marriages were hunky-dory.
The appearance of the uncomfortable couple created enough drama to outshine many a TV series or film – because real life is more telling than fiction.