Two Prime Ministers and at most two Boris Johnsons exist, with very little else.

This is the first, and it’s the Lord of Misrule. We have all read about his jolly, rule-breaking leader, and the many misdeeds. Boris the original, fundamental version, wants everybody, particularly himself to have a good time.

The second version, which has emerged since the outbreak of Covid, is the overbearing rule-maker, obedient to the diktats of scientists, ready to apply restriction after restriction — the man who only last week floated the profoundly unconservative idea of compulsory vaccination.

Maybe such contradictions are common in most of us. It is possible to be both Roundheads and Cavaliers in one breath. There have been times when the Tory Party placed high value on personal liberty while simultaneously extolling the right of the State. 

Boris Johnson addressed the public (pictured) to provide an update on the Covid-19 booster programme, at Downing Street on Sunday

Boris Johnson, (pictured), addressed the general public on Sunday to update them on Covid-19 booster programmes.

The Revelations

Both versions of Boris Johnson are co-existing. According to recent revelations, he established Covid rules that were not followed at the close of last year. This included allowing parties to be in Number 10, as well as possibly attending.

Let me observe that yesterday’s Sunday Mirror photograph — showing the PM presiding over an online quiz, flanked by two people in party garb — wasn’t quite the knock-out blow the paper believes it is. His glass was empty. He wasn’t at the party.

To me, the more damaging aspect is that he allegedly mixed with other guests at a restaurant last October and continued to stay past the 11pm curfew. This violated the regulations. It is not trivial to say that people have received lesser fines under the laws of this Government.

However, there is no denying that Johnson hasn’t always followed his Covid rules. It is undoubtedly a bad thing that is sure to raise questions about Johnson’s judgment and his ability to run for office.

For myself, however, I’m more worried about Boris the Other, as his rule-making tendencies could cause a lot of harm to this country.

Tomorrow’s vote will be by MPs on so-called Plan B. The rebellion will include 50-60 Tory MPs and even more Tory ones. However, with Labour’s support, the government is sure to win. The Prime Minister is just a bit embarrassed, but this will not be the end of the universe.

However, Cabinet ministers like Michael Gove are already hinting at Plan C. He is coercive and more coercive that even Boris’ authoritarian counterpart. Plan C will require Vaccine Passports in order to be allowed into bars and restaurants.

As a result of scientific advice and closer collaboration with the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon (the bossy First Minister), Mr Gove could be developing Plan D or even Plan E. This would include a ban on mixing households and the impending grimness of locking down. 

Johnson is not a follower of the Covid rules. This can’t be denied.

Mr Johnson’s announcement tonight that the booster roll-out will be significantly extended before the end of the year raises hopes that, for the time being at any rate, he is mounting a stand against repressive measures.

Is there a reason for Mr Gove’s policies, and the alarmist epidemiologists who provide speculative forecasts that are deemed Holy Write by certain media outlets?

The Government informed us yesterday that Omicron-related illnesses have resulted in some deaths, although there were some cases of Omicron patients being admitted to hospitals.

In South Africa, where Omicron first took root, the health minister has been upbeat about the variant’s severity: ‘Preliminary data does suggest that while there is an increasing rate of hospitalisation . . . it looks like it is purely because of the numbers rather than as a result of any severity of the variant itself.’

Perhaps it’ll be different in South Africa, where there is a younger population. Many of these people have contracted Covid. Omicron, although less dangerous than the previous variants, is more likely to be transmitted.

I’ve heard several epidemiologists argue that we need tougher rules in case Omicron turns out to be lethal. These precautionary measures, however, are likely to cause massive damage to the UK’s economy and even drive people mad.

Trade unions are clamoring for financial support to help mitigate the negative effects of Plan B. Yet the Government has already borrowed more than £400 billion to deal with the pandemic — money that will have to be paid back. Rishi Sunak will impoverish our grandchildren’s grandchildren if he goes on another spending spree. 

Mr Gove may be formulating Plan D and even Plan E. A ban on the mixing of households, followed by the grimness of lockdown, could lie ahead

It is possible that Mr Gove has already begun to formulate Plan D or even Plan E. This would ban the mixing of household and lead to the grimness associated with lockdown. 


There has to be a way other than resorting to the familiar repertoire of lockdown measures which offer only a temporary respite from the disease — while ruining the economy and shutting down society.

For isn’t it likely, if not certain, that after Omicron there will be another variant, and after that a further one, and so on for the foreseeable future, perhaps for the rest of the lives of many of us?

Of course, the best thing for the Government is to give booster jabs for those willing while trying to persuade those not yet willing to get vaccinated to do so for their sake and for the benefit of the entire society.

The Government should not resort to its usual arsenal of repressive arms, which offer no long-term relief and come at a terrible price. Instead, it must have more faith in the collective wisdom of all of us. Stop nannying and let the people be their guide.

Pubs and restaurants and other venues should be allowed to decide which precautions they wish to request of their customers — and let customers work out whether or not they want to accept them.

Instead of reaching for its usual array of repressive weapons, which, as I say, offer only short-term relief at a dreadful cost, the Government must put more faith in our collective common sense. It should stop nannying us and trust the people

The Government should not rely on its usual arsenal of repressive arms, which offer no long-term relief and come at an unacceptable cost. Instead, it must trust our common sense. The Government should not be controlling us, but instead trust our collective common sense.

There is always risk

Here’s a small example. We are hosting a dinner party for six people at our home, two of which have had a booster jab. In the morning, my wife and I will do lateral flow tests. As I can imagine, so will our guests.

Many of them might still choose not to travel. It is up to them. Our lives should be free to reflect our risk assessments. We, and not the government, have to decide whether or not we go to the pub.

While some risks can be avoided, they are still there. The way to deal with these is to wear a mask — I can’t see any objection to that — and to get triple-vaccinated. We will all need boosters before Covid can be defeated, even if it is ever eliminated.

The Prime Minister’s undertaking last night to speed up the booster programme suggests he may understand that Plan C isn’t the solution to the new variant. For the time being, at least, he doesn’t seem about to unleash another set of regulations.

Let’s hope there is a third Boris Johnson — neither the irresponsible rule-breaker nor the authoritarian rule-maker, but a calm and measured leader who trusts the good sense of the people. A similar version of Boris might save his premiership and save the country.