The prime minister’s father, Stanley Johnson, has been photographed in a shop without a mask. His excuse was that it was the first day back from a three-week holiday abroad. Anybody can make a mistake, especially seniors, I suppose. But then I thought, surely he ought to have been isolating for two weeks rather than shopping?
This is the second time he has seriously transgressed the rules about Covid-19 and he appears to be “fireproof”, probably because of his family connections.
But is it not counter to the ethos of trying to rid Britain of this infectious scourge that people simply dismiss the advice of the government and its advisors? Or is it that certain people believe they are immune from the virus and can ignore the advice and guidance? Maybe it’s just arrogance and a total disregard for the health of friends, neighbours and family.
Mr Johnson’s behaviour, even though he apologised, is reprehensible and he ought to have a stern reminder that he cannot let down his nearest and dearest. Not to mention embarrassing his son yet again.
So now it’s fine to attend a private dinner party with eight other people so long as you say sorry afterwards?
US presidential debate a reminder of House of Commons
The US presidential debate has been described as a “national disgrace” with Donald Trump and Joe Biden shouting over each other.
How does this compare with some of the debates in our House of Commons with MPs braying at those on the opposite benches, drowning out what’s being said and with the Speaker constantly calling for order? At least Covid-19 has, for the time being, relieved us of witnessing this spectacle.
Isn’t it time the confrontational layout of the Commons was changed to a U-shape or circle to encourage more constructive working among politicians?
An alternative to ‘taking the knee’
Michael Bankole (30 September) suggests that taking the knee has become a match day routine which, through familiarity, will lose its impact. This may well be the case and perhaps it’s worth considering replacing it with something more permanent and with lasting impact.
My suggestion, to mark the positive contribution of immigrants over the centuries to the UK’s culture and economy, is to declare a new bank holiday. The obvious date is the anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush into Tilbury Dock on the 22 June 1948.
Dr Kevin Murphy
Send them back?
Rather than sending asylum seekers to Ascension Island can we not transport Johnson, Patel and the rest of those in No 10 and the Home Office there instead and make this country a better place?
Robin J Bulow
Disregarding parliamentary scrutiny
I was surprised and disappointed that MPs voted so overwhelmingly (330 votes to 24) in favour of renewing the emergency coronavirus powers currently granted to government.
Without any parliamentary scrutiny they’ve already made so many chaotic decisions. Who hasn’t been deeply impressed by the strategic thinking behind the 10pm curfew? Who hasn’t been wowed by the treatment of A level and university students? Who cannot be in awe of a strategy that sends people with symptoms all over the country to get a test, overriding any isolation guidance? Why would the Commons not just let them carry on? Well, why?
Matt Hancock’s promise of a debate “wherever possible” comforts me not at all. Routine parliamentary scrutiny would force ministers to focus their minds more keenly on the issues. Now, they can simply say that parliamentary debate wasn’t possible. Given how much is at stake, I feel we have been betrayed by the House of Commons.
My initial positive response to the Speaker’s long overdue intervention regarding the PM’s disregard for parliament has now been sullied by a concern that the timing of his rebuke, just before this vote, was designed to ease the government’s path, allowing them to be contrite and plead that “wherever possible” nonsense.
What a dismal day.