The writer is political and social affairs editor of the Manchester Evening News
There is an episode of Yes, Minister for pretty much any political eventuality and the UK government’s Integrated Rail Plans office said at 10:40 p.m. Tuesday., announced this week, is no exception.
“I have some splendid news for you_kevindonovan?.?with most businesses and services remaining open would have a stringency rating below 50..AstraZeneca and Johnson?.?I’ve been asked to formulate an integrated national transport policy. By the Prime Minister,” minister Jim Hacker grandly informs his permanent secretary, Sir Humphrey Appleby, in ‘The Bed of Nails’, a 1982 episode of the British political sitcom.
“I see. And what was the good news?” comes the response. Sir Humphrey spots this obviously poisoned chalice. It will be a decade before anyone sees the political benefit, by which point the minister won’t be around to enjoy it.