Covidiots v Realists: showdown time in Downing Street

Skirmishes between Cabinet economic hawks and Covid19 Ideologues have escalated into all-out civil war over the last 36 hours. And behind it lies a war between the traditionally Tory media for the soul of the Party.

It’s beginning to look like the Prime Minister is determined to dig his own grave prior to hanging himself.

The introduction into the Inner Cabinet of up to £10,000 fines for “failing to self-isolate” last Friday was a bridge too far for those Conservative ministers whose left-right brain comms are still intact. As a fan of realism and opponent of Pharma-biased alarmism, I’m delighted by this development….not least because normal leaking rules have now been re-established, and so the smaller contrarians like me can get a closer approximation to which way is up.

The Times suggests this morning that ‘Daily infections rose to a four-month high of 4,422 yesterday, and Boris Johnson is expected to make a television address to the nation on Tuesday to announce a further tightening of restrictions on ordinary life’.

The half-baked narrative of making cases the focus of everything only reflects the desperation of the Covidiots whose sole desire is to invent a Second Wave where there quite obviously isn’t one. The daily UK deaths alongside the 4,422 cases were 27. Given the now well-established ‘mild symptoms’ rate of 99.1%, that means 40 potential new hospital cases. If Our Great NHS can’t cope with that, then we really do have a problem.

If you are over 60, you now have 6 chances in a 1,000 of dying from Covid19. If you are under 40, you have a 1 in 10,000 chance of that outcome. If you are not either obese or saddled with a breathing difficulty aged (say) 38, it’s 3 chances in 100,000. Youth and infants on the same definition have more chance of succumbing to the virus than they do of winning the Lottery.

Stylish but largely untried new Chancellor Rishi Sunak is making it brutally clear to his circle that he is implacably opposed to any further measures that might impede economic recovery.

Michael Gove, Liz Truss, Business Secretary Alok Sharm and (increasingly) Dominic Raab are of the view that “what we need is more interrogation of this ‘expert’ advice, not more pointless restrictions”.

Beyond the Cabinet, one Tory Big Beast suggests, “Alarm is being spread by a cabal of discredited so-called experts. They never think about the economy. The PM and Hancock are in awe of them, God knows why”. Chair of the influential 1922 Committee Graham Brady has also let it be known that it’s time “Rule by decree based on dubious and secretive advice was stopped, and the Government made properly accountable to Parliament”.

In the background is the struggle between the Telegraph and the Times to speak for the Realists and the Covidiots respectively.

Later today, The Slog will offer an analysis on behalf of the Realists – and how we can support their view without being censored.

Stay tuned.