Boris Johnson has had a good week.
So far, his decision to spare England from a Christmas closedown has been vindicated.
If we had followed the example of the other UK jurisdictions, or of our Continental neighbours, we would have suffered a great deal of economic and social pain, for no significant medical gain.
It is always wise to be cautious about Covid, but our Prime Minister’s recent policy towards the Omicron variant has been proportionate and measured.
The Labour Opposition, perpetually playing safe by demanding more severity and more restriction, has looked wooden and unthinking.
In general, the Government has done itself a great deal of good, after a nasty patch of misjudgments and sleaziness.
Much of this change is due to the actions of Lord Frost.
His interview in The Mail on Sunday today gives new insight into the nature and meaning of his secret pre-Christmas resignation, which this newspaper exclusively revealed and which became dramatically public as a result.
It was right that this event should have shaken the Government. Lord Frost is a major heavyweight, who should be taken seriously.
He is not the sort of careerist politician who flounces noisily from office to enhance his leadership chances.
As he discloses, his departure was absolutely not a personal attack on his leader, who he believes to be the right person with the wrong policies.
Happily, there is evidence in the subsequent behaviour of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet that Lord Frost’s departure has had some important effects.
As he puts it, ‘there has been a change of mood and people are looking at the evidence more carefully than they have in the past’.
It might even be claimed that our revelation of his resignation helped to save Christmas in England, by greatly concentrating Boris Johnson’s mind at a key moment.
His action gave muscle and direction to other Cabinet members who had also been suffering growing doubts over Downing Street’s excessive willingness to be pushed into restrictions by prophecies of doom.
But there is more. The shadow of an internal opposition to the Prime Minister is thickening into a fact, as the Leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg, lets his discontents be known.
The Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, is also making no secret that she would prefer a more free-market agenda.
Some of these objections are justified. The Government’s preoccupation with coronavirus has led it a long way from the bold, Brexit-influenced policies with which it once won a majority of 80.
Lord Frost is right when he says that Mr Johnson should trust his instincts more.
He also hints that Downing Street is not giving Mr Johnson the support he needs, that the machinery needs to be overhauled and new advisers brought in to sustain him when he seeks to follow his Tory, patriotic instincts.
Those instincts, as Lord Frost argues, should be based on the belief that what people want above all is for their own lives – and those of their children – to get better.
He offers a good manifesto, national pride, free debate and low taxes.
This should be accompanied by a stout defence of the most basic liberties – no more policing of opinions by woke warriors. It should no longer be difficult to advocate reasonable positions just because a militant minority would prefer them not to be heard.
And as energy bills soar, perhaps the Government should be more concerned with the way that people actually live (and keep warm) rather than with grandiose ideal targets.
Since Brexit, this country is amazingly free to set its own course.
Boris Johnson should take full advantage of that as he steers us into what we all hope will be a better year.
Source: Thanks msn.com