Boris Johnson used to be defined by his commitment to having his cake and eating it. But now he isn’t having any cake, let alone getting a chance to enjoy it. He is in a hideously difficult position as he tries to balance the needs of public health and the economy. There are no good choices. He is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.
Since the end of the first lockdown, the government’s policy has been to try to control the virus without shutting down the economy. This is becoming increasingly difficult. Sage minutes — which, in a very poorly timed release, were published just after the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, held a press conference to set out the new tiered system of restrictions — revealed that the scientists were keen on a so-called ‘circuit--breaker’ lockdown on 21 September.