It may sound obvious, even trite, but it’s the only way out. The primary purpose of economic policy for the next five years should be to generate revenue.
The Chancellor says that an additional £4.6 billion will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses forced to close.
The sense that he hates the whole business is helping to carry him through it – for all the mistakes that have been made.
But vaccination doesn’t give instant protection; pressure on the NHS won’t lift immediately – and delivery may run late. So restrictions will take longer to lift.
“I really do believe that we are entering the last phase of the struggle…For now, I am afraid, you must once again stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”
Support to much-loved community assets should be given priority. Or the legacy of isolation and loneliness will be permanent.
There are still lessons that others can learn – namely, that it has been creative, above all else, in getting the vaccine out.
The present social contract was written when the number of taxpayers well outstripped the number of retirees. But times have changed.
“It may be that we need to do things in the next few weeks that will be tougher in many parts of the country,” he says.
He says there is “no doubt in my mind that schools are safe”, and describes school closures as “exceptional”.
The Government must speed up its vaccination programme, but until it understands the effect on transmission, tiers are here to stay.
The dubious legal basis for lockdown restrictions should be clarified by making its scope explicit.
From January 1, no longer will anyone be able to say: “you can’t – EU rules”. We have jumped from the passenger seat to the pilot seat. So what should we do?
How will we feel about cutting aid if we see the kind of shocking scenes of starvation that started Live Aid in the 1980s?
A hyper-localised approach means decisive action with local residents and businesses in mind.