Wow, we have copped Interesting Times, right in the solar plexus. Given that these days, everyone operates under the slogan never let a good crisis go to waste, there's a lot of manoeuvering in prospect. And lucky old Alex Salmond, eh? And lucky old Labour Party (EHRC report).
Now then, the Left: and first to Xi, the ultimate leftie. He's probably thinking he's ridden this one out, and taken the opportunity to ramp up universal, highly-granular state micro-control into the bargain - so a rather good bargain it may seem, to him. As we wrote in Feb, mass outbreaks elsewhere may take the heat off him good and proper. Now all he has to do is promote the "US biological warfare" meme in his spare time.
Now to our own miserable Left. Obviously they are itching to go Full Hostile against Boris' handling of the thing, and of course they have the luxury of making free, cowardly sniping attacks, thinly disguised as innocent questions etc. They have form, bigtime. In WW2 they sniped at the National (coalition) government mercilessly: Churchill survived several ultra-close votes. At the start of the war, of course, the far left opposed it altogether, on Uncle Joe's orders, as a capitalist war against his ally, that nice Herr Hitler. And at the height of the Battle of Britain (as Londoners of my father's generation never forgot) the Liverpool dockers were on strike. Oh, the luxury of opposition.
And then of course there was the relentless work of the Labour Party to advance their strategic cause, triumphing in 1945 while the war on Japan was still being waged. Don't all the Labour hopefuls dream of playing Attlee to BoJo's Churchill? (Though they wouldn't want to push the analogy too far.)
Trouble is, notwithstanding the free hits the Left can make with their peashooters, their opponent Boris-Cummings seems to be sticking to the rather compelling advice of his impressive and highly-regarded scientific advisers. Experts! So all the predictable Polly Toynbees and the silly Simon Jenkins have to hold back a bit (just a bit), because what do they know? And because the government's sages advise differently to the foreigners (and who on earth would want Christine Lagarde running their banking?) ... oh, all manner of puzzles for a lefty to grapple with. (Even Aaron Bastani is a teeny bit inclined to be impressed by the government's actions. And what are the Euro-maniacs to say? "Extend the transition period" (© Lisa Nandy 2020) is a pretty feeble battle-cry from a desperate politician. (Where are Starmer and Wrong-Daily in all this, BTW?)
And: what do I know? Except that there's an acid test coming soon. Perhaps the most interesting political development is the would-be Red Guard of Momentum supposedly mobilising its private army of 100,000 to Do Good in their communities. This tries to tap into the strand of altruism, love and goodwill (sic) that definitely is to be found within the nastier rantings of the youthful 2017-vintage Corbyite left. (Seriously, it really is in there, in all the bile.) Now my observation is that, however honourable this sentiment, it doesn't typically stretch to the traditional kinds of Salvation by Good Works like actually rolling up sleeves and becoming a decent, hardworking local councillor. But who knows? The Chinese CP gained power by many years of slogging away at local level, solving ordinary people's pressing practical problems. Oh, and adroit military tactics too.
Interesting Times, eh? Keep safe, everyone.
UPDATE: Kier Stamer has duly broken cover with this pious and platitudinous pile. Précis: I want to be Attlee ...