Boris Johnson must take time to the make right call after refusing to ­surrender control to erratic Sage scientists

Big call, Boris

BORIS Johnson has rightly refused to ­surrender control to the erratic scientists of Sage.

Nor must he buckle to the immense pressure Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer cynically piled on him yesterday.

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Sage and Starmer both now clamour for the new ­national lockdown every sane person previously considered ­catastrophic, unthinkable and unfair.

For Sage it is the culmination of a long journey from complacency to panic.
Starmer, meanwhile, knows the public backs sweeping restrictions — and that if Boris resists he can blame the PM for every new death, claiming they would have lived under Labour.

And yet Labour, as ever, will accept no responsibility for the mass unemployment and deprivation their plan would cement in place.

They are already blaming Chancellor Rishi Sunak for a “1980s jobs crisis” despite the unprecedented sums he has spent to minimise hardship.

Their games are revolting and shameful.

Yet it will take a PM of immense courage to resist the lockdown calls.

Unlike Sage or Starmer, though, Boris has responsibilities to us all.

Yes, to the old and sick, the most vulnerable to dying from Covid.

But also to the overwhelming majority who aren’t, and whose job may be lost, business bankrupted, family home repossessed.

The first lockdown cost hundreds of thousands of jobs.

A second will send unemployment rocketing towards four million: More firms destroyed, more families destitute, more ordinary people suffering physically and mentally.

And there is no plan beyond the panic button Starmer and Sage long to press.

Starmer wants a “two to three-week” lockdown.

He doesn’t even know exactly how long.

Not long enough, in fact, to register significant falls in the daily tolls.

But even if they did visibly decline, what then?

Reopen the economy, watch them climb again, then lock down a THIRD time in the dead of winter?

How would this cycle of doom ever end?

With a vaccine not yet invented?

With a mass-testing programme which exists only in Matt Hancock’s dreams?

Sage admits its lockdown would delay the virus’s march just 28 days.

What, then, is its point, given the cost?

Boris has a monumental decision no one would envy.

He is surrounded by a divided Cabinet, scientists covering their backsides and a devious, tribal Opposition hell-bent on deploying a grave ­national crisis for political advantage.

He must try to take his time and somehow make the right call.

Clowns to left

THE idea the Tories are “betraying” their new seats in ex-Red Wall areas is a laughable, self-interested fantasy of the Left.

They have the harshest restrictions solely because their infections are the highest.

Why would any party pick on the very voters they need to keep power?

Whatever else he does, Boris will bust a gut to keep the Blue Wall blue.

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