With cases of Covid-19 surging, Boris Johnson came to the Commons to announce draconian new restrictions, including a curfew of pubs and restaurants and a return to home working. In the midst of this statement to the House of Commons, the prime minister said: “These rules—these measures—will only work if people comply. There is nothing more frustrating for the vast majority who do comply—the law-abiding majority—than the sight of a few brazenly defying the rules, so these rules will be enforced by tighter penalties.”
This observation is notable because brazen defiance of the rules has come to define the Johnson premiership whether in connection with the Covid emergency, the standards of public life, or Johnson’s personal dealings.
Mr Johnson was not lying. In fact he was telling the truth. His comments drew attention yet again to his own and his government’s double standards and habitual contempt for the public.