In Depth

‘Follow any government’s advice but this one’

Your digest of analysis and commentary from the British and international press


Tom Peck in The Independent

The key to a Covid-secure Christmas? Just follow any government’s advice but this one

on staying safe this festive season

“Germany and Italy have shelved plans for a Covid Christmas amnesty, at least partially based on the understanding that Covid itself is unlikely to follow the rules. It does not appear to have affected either leader’s general public popularity. It is only over here that the prime minister must be asked, from about September onwards, whether he intends to cancel Christmas. It is only over here that it seems the government must conclude that there is no point seeking to introduce rules stopping people from seeing family members at Christmas because they will only break them anyway.”


Esther Webber in The Times

Outrage at Dominic Cummings’s pay rise caps his tumultuous year

on another #classicdom moment

“He’ll live on for a long while after his spell in No. 10 in most people’s minds as a super-villain, and in his own as the ultimate super-forecaster. The truth is probably more prosaic: like any politician he got some things spectacularly right and others disastrously wrong. What marked him out was the hype around him, which he played no small role in creating and was always going to trip him up. As one of his sympathisers put it: ‘I think the problem comes when you set yourself up as some sort of moral arbiter with huge understanding of the concerns of those outside the metropolitan elite.’”


Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in the i

We Remainers have become the silenced people of Britain

on finding a pro-EU voice

“The truth is that Remainers have now become the silenced people of Britain. We need to rage, rage more against the dying of the light. And defy censors by having conversations about Leave spivs – including Farage, Johnson, Gove, Gisela Stuart and Kate Hoey – now Baroness – who became Brexit heroes. And talk frankly about how the vote released pent up nationalism, populism and xenophobia. Remainers will face more oppression and abuse as things fall apart, the economy crashes and civil bonds fracture further. As that man-made calamity approaches, we will have to speak up more boldly than we have done so far. For we are the people, too.”


Scott Martelle in the Los Angeles Times

It feels like the nation may be at a pivot point, at least on Covid and the presidency

on a nation changing course

“But at this moment, there is reason for some optimism, a sense that is more palpable than even just a week ago. There is no plausible path for Trump to undo the election results (if there ever had been one), lines are forming to receive vaccinations, and it does, indeed, feel as though we’ve reached a turning point. And while the new road may be just as bumpy as the current one, at least the new driver is more likely to try to navigate past the potholes and rough patches instead of steering us right at them.”


Philip Johnston in The Daily Telegraph

Stop wasting billions on testing. Only the vaccine can save us now

on pandemic priorities

“Instead of throwing good money after bad on random mass testing, which will cost billions and get us nowhere, the massive ‘moonshot’ commitment of funds and manpower should be diverted to the vaccine. Moreover, once those most at risk have been given the jab, then everyone else must be allowed to get on with their lives. The government is talking about next spring or early summer for a return to something approaching normality, but it needs to be quicker than that. If the Oxford team can go from a standing start to the creation of an effective vaccine within the space of 10 months, the same Herculean effort needs to be applied to its delivery.”


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