This is a situation of state capture. The Government are completely in thrall to a lobby driving a policy that has manifestly failed—it has failed, or we would not be here yet again. It is a complete failure, yet we go through increasing iterations of it, with ever-tighter controls and restrictions, in the hope that it might finally work. And, then, when there is a possibility of change, as a consequence of the arrival of the vaccines, the crazed lobby has already begun to signal that the social control will not be over and that some restrictions will remain; indeed, the chiefs have pointed out that they might have to be reimposed all over again next winter.
To those colleagues who are contemplating voting for these measures this evening, buoyed up by opinion pollsters telling them that, actually, the voters are in favour of them and, indeed, that they crave even tighter restraints on their liberty, I would point out that when the devastating economic consequences of this policy come home to roost, and we see double-dip recession and years of slow growth as firms cannot take up new opportunities because they are saddled with debt, those same voters, who were so enthusiastic, will abandon them, and those colleagues will be back to point a finger of blame—and, on that occasion at least, they will be right.