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DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Why Plan B could be Boris Johnson’s gravest error 

Warmest congratulations to Boris and Carrie Johnson on their daughter’s birth.

After the happy news, the Mail is tempted to jest that the Prime Minister can expect plenty of sleepless nights.

But his travails over a relentlessly dispiriting few weeks mean he’s probably already having quite a few.

For politically, Mr Johnson has been lurching from crisis to crisis. And – to his supporters’ intense frustration – they have been solely of his own making.

First, he sparked a sleaze row by trying –and failing – to rip up Commons disciplinary rules to save Owen Paterson’s skin.

Next, evidence emerged that – despite his denials – he had intervened to prioritise the rescue of Afghan animals, not people.

Boris Johnson has been lurching from crisis to crisis. And – to his supporters’ intense frustration – they have been solely of his own making

Then, he obfuscated over whether No10 staff held a Christmas knees-up last year in defiance of tough lockdown rules, while the rest of the country was forbidden from even comforting dying loved ones.

Now, another unholy mess. The PM has been forced to deny misleading his own standards adviser over who paid what – and when – for the lavish makeover of his Downing Street flat.

The Mail does not diminish the seriousness of these episodes. Although as scandals go, they are hardly Watergate. But Mr Johnson’s tendency to be cavalier with the truth damages his credibility and authority – and hands ammunition to his enemies.

To avoid stepping on political landmines, he must embrace discipline and propriety.

It’s impossible to say, of course, whether these recent scrapes will have long-term repercussions at the ballot box.

What will undeniably harm the Government, however, is the mounting fury – and Tory mutiny – over the absurd decision to impose tougher Covid restrictions.

Whatever ministers insist, Plan B curbs (covering work-from-home orders and vaccine passports) are not footling regulations. They are profound curtailments of our personal liberties.

The PM ought to take on board the cataclysmic collateral damage of such ruinous constraints: To businesses, to livelihoods, to health and to society

The PM ought to take on board the cataclysmic collateral damage of such ruinous constraints: To businesses, to livelihoods, to health and to society 

And will the creep end there? We fear not. Already, the authoritarian Left – including politically-motivated Sage scientists whose forecasts have proved so pitifully wrong – are howling for a full lockdown.

Yet there is mounting proof the Omicron variant is milder than previous strains. Indeed, not one single person has been hospitalised here, let alone died. Nor is the NHS anywhere near to collapse.

The PM ought to take on board the cataclysmic collateral damage of such ruinous constraints: To businesses, to livelihoods, to health and to society.

He solemnly told us that we must learn to live with this virus. He should let us do so.

Good sense on gender

Liz Truss’s commendable decision to drop anchor on plans to ban conversion therapy is an outbreak of common sense.

Hijacked by militant trans activists, the legislation risked criminalising parents, teachers and doctors who questioned any youngster wanting to change gender.

Liz Truss¿s (pictured) commendable decision to drop anchor on plans to ban conversion therapy is an outbreak of common sense

Liz Truss’s (pictured) commendable decision to drop anchor on plans to ban conversion therapy is an outbreak of common sense

Yet such conversations are not transphobic. They stem from a desire to ensure a child is sure before they pursue a course of life-altering drugs and surgery.

This complex bill could inflict inadvertent harm. It is far too important to rush.

Keep China in check

The fact that ministers are probing China’s ‘malign influence’ on Britain’s scientific community is very reassuring.

Too reliant on Chinese funding, many of our universities are pawns in the totalitarian regime’s ruthless propaganda war. One example? Their swift dismissal of concerns that Covid leaked from a Wuhan lab.

And they are equally eager to swap ultra-sensitive research with colleagues linked to the Chinese Communist Party.

These ‘useful idiots’ must wake up. Their naivety and greed jeopardises our security.


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