Boris Johnson failed to adapt economic policy to vaccine success


The Pfizer vaccine has been temporarily approved for general use in the UK and rollout will begin as early as next week. The first phase of immunization will target those most vulnerable and most likely to spread the disease, including people living in care homes and care workers, those over 80 and frontline workers in the health system .

This is good news for everyone and a much needed boost for Boris Johnson, who suffered his biggest parliamentary rebellion after 55 Tory MPs voted against England’s return to regional lockdowns and 16 more to abstained (of course, the Conservative MPs in the Scottish seats do not vote on matters which are confined only to England).

The rebellion was easily big enough to defeat the government if the opposition parties had not abstained, although it works both ways. The fact that Labor and Liberal Democrats both confirmed they would abstain, which made the vote against the government a risk-free hit for the average Tory rebel. If you felt the government had met you halfway, you had no reason to come home. Of course, the bigger story for Parliament is that, through a combination of neglect, lack of transparency and sheer rudeness, Johnson’s Downing Street operation managed to severely erode his majority of 86 seats. , leaving doubt about the capacity of this Parliament. to do anything controversial without the support of all parties.

What is striking about yesterday’s debate is how much good news about vaccines has not been allowed to intrude into debate on both sides of the Conservative division. The government has offered a grossly underpayment of £ 1,000 to pubs due to close – barely two percent of the average UK pub profit in December.

Johnson and Rishi Sunak still act as if the coronavirus can be with us for years to come, and this fiscal firepower is wasted on helping businesses navigate a temporary crisis when it should be used to help them adjust to an era of long-term lockdown. Skeptics of Parliament’s lockdown are acting as if the strategy is an indefinite commitment, rather than a commitment with a clear and visible end.

Like I Written in July, the positive news around vaccines has long forced the government to rethink its economic strategy and move away from facilitating adaptation to lockdowns and social distancing, and keeping the economy in the best shape. possible conditions. The inability to adapt policy to this reality is a far bigger problem for Johnson than for his mutinous MPs.


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