It’s time for the prime minister to level with us: the Covid situation is not looking good

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Monday 14 June 2021 15:50 BST
Just tell us, Boris Johnson!
Just tell us, Boris Johnson! (Getty)

With the lifting of lockdown likely delayed for a month, I want to ask: why set a date? People have been led to believe that the country is on course to meet its targets, so were making arrangements and plans on that basis. This is of course particularly true for businesses, which would have spent time and resources planning to reopen, losing money they cannot really afford.

The lesson we should learn is not to set a date for lifting restrictions, because in effect it is meaningless. What the government should say is, when all the indications are that it is safe to lift restrictions, we will announce a date to remove some, if not all, of them. Then we can all plan for the future. At least the government would not be setting up false hope.

Finally I wish the government and the experts would unite in telling us that Covid and its subsequent variants are going nowhere and that lockdowns and restrictions, resulting in further lost industry and jobs, are a real possibility. As with everything, the people, if they know what they are facing, will adapt and survive. We are more capable and resilient than our political leaders.

N Smith

Pulborough, West Sussex

Taking the knee

Priti Patel, the UK’s home secretary no less, says that racists “have a right” to jeer at footballers who take the knee. This is shocking even by the very low standard of Boris Johnson’s government.

Patel is actually endorsing and encouraging the verbal abuse of those who take the knee. She says it’s “gesture politics”. I have a “gesture politics” of my own when it comes to the vile xenophobe Patel, and it involves two fingers of one hand. Solidarity with all footballers who continue to take the knee and stand against racism.

Sasha Simic

London N16

In berating GB News (‘The whole channel is founded on a false prospectus – GB News was a disaster from start to finish’, 13 June), Sean O’Grady writes that the news organ only referred to booing of footballers taking the knee, not applause. Which is what I remember from BBC coverage.

Cole Davis


Good Friday Agreement

The prime minister said, during an interview about the Good Friday Agreement, that we must maintain its “essential symmetry”. Does this mean that he can smudge the edges of it to suit himself, as he and his government presently wish to do with the protocol? It might be cunning to tinker at the edges of the protocol, so that when the EU intends to maintain it more rigorously, they can be blamed for any violence that could erupt in Northern Ireland.

If blurring the edges is a strategy for dealing with the protocol and the peace accord, it shows a prime minister who does not understand the complexities of recent Irish history, or does not want to understand it. And if anything goes wrong he will keep his distance and let someone else try to sort things out. The people of Northern Ireland have been through too much to be dismissed by English nationalistic concerns, and we can only hope that the outcome may not result in further bloodshed.

Chich Hewitt


Businesses, not politicians, are in charge

In your piece by Andrew Woodcock and Rob Merrick (‘Cornwall gathering branded “colossal failure” as promises on climate, aid and vaccines fall short’, 13 June), you list the failures to act on climate change, vaccines etc, but not the reasons for this lack of commitment.

For me the main reasons seem to be financial, because heads of state no longer have any control over the finances of the many global businesses that have grown exponentially in recent decades. Would it not be an idea to bring the, sometimes anonymous, heads of these organisations to the same table as our “world leaders”?

Peter Cole

Alnwick, Northumberland

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