It is sheer mulishness now. Sheer stubbornness and bloody-mindedness. That is why Boris Johnson is still holding out against free school meals in the holidays in England. And that is why he is still holding out against a 16-day national lockdown, beginning as midnight took us from tomorrow into Saturday. It is an awful thing to have to say, but he would rather see many thousands of deaths than admit that he was wrong.
The attitude to both of these questions embodies the lost promise of 2016, 2017 and 2019. Here along the Red Wall, we cast the decisive votes for Leave, we delivered the hung Parliament that only I had predicted even in the comments threads of the "national" media, we would have made Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister if his own staff had not sabotaged his prospects, and we provided a Conservative overall majority of 80 because, while Corbyn was still anti-austerity as we preferred, he had caved in to Keir Starmer over Brexit.
For the rest of this century, political and cultural hegemony beckoned, if we could at least work out on what specific grounds we were going to exercise cultural hegemony. But less than a year later, and where are we now? It is no exaggeration to say that neither the Prime Minister nor the Leader of the Opposition cares whether we live or die. I am a declared and active Independent candidate for North West Durham at the next General Election. Please give generously.