Tony Blair’s Government was infamous for it: briefing policy first to anyone but those to whom it should have been - the members of the House of Commons. And the practice hasn’t stopped since. So well before alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson deigns to tell everyone what his roadmap for easing the Coronavirus lockdown looks like, they already know, providing they have assembled the jigsaw.
Or it would do, had the Tel not put their part behind a paywall. So after we read “Boris Johnson's roadmap to ease lockdown and reopen schools and shops … Gradual lifting of restrictions is expected, provided reproduction of Covid-19 remains low enough to avoid second peak”, it’s a case of, er, that’s it. Ross McCafferty was not impressed.
Fortunately, one part of the jigsaw was also briefed to the BBC. “Garden centres in England will be allowed to reopen next week as one of the early steps to ease coronavirus lockdown measures, a senior government source has told the BBC”. It’s that “Senior Government source” again. And there’s a good reason for the move.
The Beeb also has the airline industry’s part of the jigsaw, perhaps because the airlines aren’t happy about it and leaked. “UK airlines say they have been told the government will bring in a 14-day quarantine for anyone arriving in the UK from any country apart from the Republic of Ireland in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The new restriction is expected to take effect at the end of this month”. Er, hello Grant Shapps.
Perhaps Dominic Cummings could just leave off the briefings for the duration of the pandemic. Unless he wants to make things even worse than he has already.