Steerpike Steerpike

Desmond Swayne rails against the ‘Ministry of Fear’

It’s match day in Parliament as MPs gather to vote on Boris Johnson’s ‘Plan B.’ Sajid Javid kicked things off in the Commons with a plea to Tory rebels to back Boris Johnson’s last-minute compromise, there’s still much anger on the green benches, with Mr S hearing further names could be added to the 85-strong list of Conservatives who won’t vote for tonight’s measures. 

And such sentiment was given voice early on this afternoon after Sir Desmond Swayne, the maverick member for New Forest West, rose shortly after Wes Streeting’s 40 minute long address gave paroxysms of pleasure to every Britpopping centrist dad.

Deploying his usual tact and moderation, Swayne launched into a three minute attack on ministers and their scientific advisers, with much talk of the ‘dogs of war, ‘Stanlist minds,’ advisers ‘twisting the fear factor’ and the ‘Ministry of Fear.’ Declaring that the necessity of more Covid measures is a ‘matter of opinion, a matter of our prejudice’ the former Cameron aide declared that the  government ‘have abandoned any principle of liberal democracy’ – quite the charge from a onetime Tory minister. 

Asking his colleagues: ‘Do you take seriously some of the extraordinary extrapolations we have been given?” he compared Covid fatalities to road deaths, concluding by saying ‘Having abandoned what might have been their ideology, they are rudderless and as a consequence of that, so much more at risk of the opinions and predictions of the advisers to which they are in hock.’

If his colleagues follow in a similar vein, it could be quite the long afternoon for Sajid Javid. 

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