Monday 1 February 2021


Labour's Barry Gardiner was involved in a bad tempered exchange with Tory MP Richard Holden on Monday.  The pair were appearing on the BBC's Politics Live when host Jo Coburn raised the issue of Labour's call to extend quarantine measures to all travellers to the UK.  Holden's response sparked an angry intervention from Gardiner, to which Holden replied that Labour were engaging in 'typical Goldilocks politics'.  To be fair, Gardiner made some valid points - click below for the video.

Neither Gardiner or Holden are frontbenchers, so their influence on these matters is somewhat limited, but Labour's proposal does make sense.  What is the point of only putting certain nationals in quarantine when anyone can bring in a new strain?  We all saw how quickly this virus spread across the face of the planet and we've seen how nations with aggressive border policies have fared much better than us.

The Australian Open will soon host tens of thousands of tennis fans as a direct result of the country's strict approach at the border.  Furthermore, today the Isle of Man not only lifted its lockdown, but removed all restrictions - including social distancing.  The strict Manx border policy extends to all travellers, regardless of their origin.

It seems that in the UK we are currently in a Twilight Zone-style situation where a party normally committed to opening borders wants them tightened, while the Tories appear desperate to keep them open.  Having been pushed for a vote on the issue, Boris Johnson has taken the extraordinary decision to whip his MPs into abstaining on Labour's proposal.  So much for taking back control!