Daily Archives: April 26, 2020

Lockdown

People – most importantly the Chattering Classes – are getting restive.  The novelty of Lockdown has worn off somewhat, and there’s a growing clamour for change.   The subtly different nuances of Sturgeon’s[1] position have attracted favourable comment, even from the government’s own backbenchers and customary cheerleaders.

But now we have a timetable.  No, they haven’t announced it as such, but Stuttley is to return to work next week, and he is not a man to let such an occasion pass without some headline-grabbing flourish.  I think now we can be sure that within the next few days there will be an announcement to please the crowd and steal a march on Sturgeon and others.  Not of course an unlocking – that would not be welcomed – but there will be some slight easing (whether symbolic or material) and, more importantly, an update to refresh the carrot of our future prospects.

What easing?  I wouldn’t like to say.  Stuttley’s instinct will be to go further than anyone expects.  But he (and his nudge) will want to anticipate public and media reaction: how much pushback (vs welcome) from the media will they want, and will they have thought beyond an initial reaction?  Paradoxically being seen to go too far might provoke the most cautious behaviour, just as doing nothing would cause the current lockdown to fray.

[1] Head of Scottish government (in case she’s unknown to non-UK readers).