HENRY DEEDES watches the Health Secretary announcing the Bolton lockdown  »

Fans of traditional Vietnam conflict epic Apocalypse Now will likely recall Colonel Kilgore – the tough, robust, Captain Ahab-like soldier who loves nothing greater than the crackle of gunfire in his ears and the whiff of napalm in his nostrils.

In one memorable scene, the Colonel, performed by Robert Duvall, offers the smouldering battlefield one final tour d’horizon and laments: ‘Someday this war is gonna end.’ But viewers are left in little doubt – it’s a day he hopes won’t ever come.

There are instances after I can’t assist however ponder whether Matt Hancock hasn’t developed a faint pressure of Kilgore syndrome.

Matt Hancock, pictured arrived in the chamber yesterday fizzing at the prospect of locking down Bolton following a rise in infections 

Robert Duval played Colonel Kilgore in Apocalypse Now, a hard-bitten soldier who appeared to view the end of war as a tragic thing

Robert Duval performed Colonel Kilgore in Apocalypse Now, a hard-bitten soldier who appeared to view the finish of conflict as a tragic factor

While the remainder of the Government is determined to get the nation again to work, the Health Secretary seems decided to yank up the drawbridge and maintain us all inside.

Yesterday he arrived in the chamber, fizzier than a packet of popping sweet as regular, to say he was locking down Bolton after a latest leap in infections. Thanks to his a lot vaunted (although presumably hopeless) take a look at and hint system, he was in a position to blame the spike squarely on the city’s thirsty youth.

Under Captain Hancock’s orders, eating places in the space will now be takeaway solely. Meanwhile, final orders at the bar might be 10pm. My, my. Freshers’ week might be enjoyable!

Hancock curled his fingers gleefully round his ring binder. He by no means appears happier than when issuing directions. ‘This is not over,’ he warned in that ominous, headboyish tone.

I wager he was an absolute so-and-so to the youthful boys in school…


More from Henry Deedes for the Daily Mail…

The opposition benches hardly kicked up a fuss. They had been extra involved about testing cock-ups after some folks had been advised to journey a whole lot of miles to get swabbed.

Labour’s well being spokesman Jonathan Ashworth referred to folks in Devon being suggested to cross the sea over to Swansea. ‘The Secretary of State may walk on water,’ mentioned Ashworth. ‘Most constituents can’t.’ And Philippa Whitford (SNP, C Ayrshire) knew of individuals in Plymouth who had been advised to go to Inverness.

The SNP welcomed this new lockdown announcement. Of course they did. Alyn Smith (SNP, Stirling) was smarmy sufficient to acknowledge that Hancock is doing a ‘difficult job in difficult circumstances’.

But Sir Edward Leigh (Con, Gainsborough) wasn’t so beneficiant. Rather than nannying Bolton’s yoof, he felt they need to be inspired to train frequent sense.

He identified that telling the younger the right way to behave normally has the reverse impact. The gentle exasperation in courtly Sir Edward’s voice urged he was talking from expertise.

The Government benches bore an oddly subdued environment. Most sat glued to their telephones, presumably monitoring the fall-out from Brandon Lewis’s earlier assertion, when he casually admitted immediately’s invoice to amend the UK’s Brexit cope with the EU will ‘break international law’.

Lewis was addressing a query from Sir Bob Neill (Con, Bromley and Chislehurst). The look on Sir Bob’s face at Lewis’s response! Like a nun who’d simply been advised she’s anticipating.

Venues across Bolton had to remove seating as a result of the re-imposed restrictions

Venues throughout Bolton needed to take away seating on account of the re-imposed restrictions 

Earlier, the tradition committee heard proof from composer and theatre impresario Lord Lloyd-Webber on the disaster going through our theatres.

His Lordship spoke a substantial amount of sense. Luvvieland, he warned, was ‘at the point of no return’. There was the odd flash of anger, however – regardless of repeated invites by Kevin Brennan (Lab, Cardiff W) – he resisted the likelihood to kick chunks out of Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden who was ‘up against a brick wall not of his making’.

The previous boy appeared drained at instances. I think his head has not sufficiently met with pillow these previous six months. At 72, few would have blamed him for swanning off to take pleasure in his well-earned squillions. But the truth is, the plight of the UK’s arts trade issues an awesome deal to him. He genuinely does care.

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