United Kingdom

MAIL ON SUNDAY COMMENT: Revolt by MPs will help the cause of common sense 

We were promised an end to chopping and changing only a week ago. Yet the Government continues to swerve and switch its position on how much our lives should be restricted. 

And there are still strong forces pushing for the most stringent measures possible, especially the militantly puritanical Michael Gove.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister, who expresses his irrepressible optimism in The Mail on Sunday today, tries to steer a more reasonable course.

Then there is the supposed relaxation of the rules for Christmas, which we are told we will have to pay for later in longer, fiercer detentions.

The festival already looks likely to be a shadow of its normal self, with lockdown enthusiasts frowning even on decorations and board games. 

Christmas already looks likely to be a shadow of its normal self, with lockdown enthusiasts frowning even on decorations and board games

We are told once again that if children embrace their grandparents they could be hugging them to death, a grim thought for the season of goodwill. 

So if the hardliners really mean what they say about the perils of a normal Christmas, why do they not simply insist that it is locked down like everything else?

They do not do this because they fear a rebellion, and the resulting weakening of their authority. But that is a danger anyway. The people of Britain are very patient, but they have their limits. 

The new tiers are both too severe and too undiscriminating. They have already stirred up discontent among those who would normally accept pain in return for the public benefit.

Despite No 10's offer of a new January vote, many MPs are understandably unwilling to defend such measures to their constituents. 

On balance, it will be a good thing, helpful to the cause of common sense inside the Cabinet, if there is a sizeable revolt against the new tiers when Parliament votes on Tuesday.

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