After being bloodied and victorious the government won the necessary votes. However, this wasn’t the right time to have tea or get medals. Ministers were able to implement their Plan B restrictions. This was made possible by the support of so-called “Opposition” benches.
Boris Johnson was left with a nose that looked like Joe Bugner after 12 rounds of pounding, despite nearly 100 Tories protesting against Covid passports.
This was the pivotal moment in Boris’s reign. Boris was faced with such a difficult vote and furious backbenchers. He surely realizes that his party isn’t as rebellious or restive since Theresa May attempted to get them to support her awful Brexit deal.
The PM will need no reminder of Ma May’s terrible fate once she lost her power.
This was an exhausting afternoon. The votes were preceded by four hours of deliberation. Health Secretary Sajid Javi’s opening statements took almost an entire hour.
The Saj sat at the despatchbox, his bitter squawking was so persistent we could have imagined ourselves in an aviary with vultures as he was about to throw another carcass.
Henry Deedes writes that The Saj was standing at the despatchbox when the angry squawking of his MPs became so constant we felt like we were in an aviary full of vultures, as he was about to throw a new carcass.
Following many interventions, Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing snapped and told the members to pipe. Sir Lindsay Hoyle was wisely forgiven.
His voice is so croaky that it seems he might not have been able to carry on this far.
Javid said that Omicron was now a “grave threat” and cases are increasing in number every day. He assured the House that regulations would be lifted, everything being well, as dissenters poured out from behind the bench. ‘What year?’ cried Alec Shelbrooke (Con, Elmet). Nervous laughter.
Javid was accompanied beside Maggie Throup the matronly vaccination minister, who gazed blankly through Thora Hird glasses. The Government has not used such an ineffective weapon against this virus since Track and Trace.
Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary was just as sloppy. Naturally, Mr Streeting wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to criticize and denigrate the Government.
However, he continued to ramble on for too long. Nearly 40 minutes after he had sat down, his eyes began to drop.
Streeting made it clear that he trusted scientists’ opinions. Graham Stringer, his colleague (Lab Blackley), wasn’t as sure. He felt that the Government gave the boffins too much credence.
Stringer pointed out the fact that the legislation of yesterday will lead to many deaths of patients with cancer. This assessment was given a fittingly serious tone by Stringer’s Eeyore-like delivery.
Surprisingly, he was also the Labour MP that saw it as his responsibility to examine these measures and to hold the Government accountable. The usual peppery speech by Sir Desmond Swayne (Conservative, New Forest W), who said that Covid was more dangerous than getting in a car.
This is very possible with Des, his Mr Toad tendencies and raffish Des. This man seems to be able to rev his engine when he sees nuns on a crossing of the zebra on their way towards evensong.
Javid stated to the House Omicron was a “grave danger”, with Omicron cases increasing by more than a third every day. He assured the House that Omicron would be a ‘grave threat’, with cases now increasing by two per day.
Mark Harper (Conservative, Forest of Dean), criticized the Sunday evening address of Prime Minister Tony Blair, claiming that it had put young children in fear. Boris was a frightening sight.
The Tories have been particularly upset by this fearmongering. Steve Brine, Con-Winchester: Steve Brine said that the new restrictions make the old mantra of “Learning to Live with Covid” seem absurd.
Brine stated that there was no plan, but that there were merely panic stations whenever a new version of the game came out.
Bob Seely was the Member for Isle of Wight. He believed that the Government wanted to terrorize the old. Although it wouldn’t take much Omicron to scare the poor duffers Skipper Bob meets at Cowes Yacht Club, I would venture to say that.
The Opposition MPs still babbled about face masks. It was interesting to note that the House’s medical profession wasn’t united on these issues. Dr Liam Fox (Conservative, N Somerset), said that masks are a positive thing.
Mark Harper (Con, Forest of Dean) (pictured) criticised the PM’s Sunday night address, which he claimed had sent young children to bed terrified. Boris seemed frightened.
Their benefits were, however, only marginally considered by Dr Andrew Murrison (Conservative SW Wiltshire). They were referred to as ‘wretched’ by him.
Murrison’s words are calm and soothing. He speaks like a long-serving doctor who visits patients at home and offers warm words and shots of whiskey. He should see that the government uses his knowledge more.
The fireworks were not lit at the final moment. There were no angry skewerings of the PM. There were only a few angry and frustrated backbenchers. He still has North Shropshire’s By-Election tomorrow to win.
Boris needs to reset his relationship with his party – fast.
Dr Andrew Murrison (Conservative, SW Wiltshire), however (pictured) believed that the masks’ benefits were only marginal. They were a ‘wretched thing’, he said.