It is a few years since the British Council of Weasels (sic) took exception to comparisons with Michael Gove. Weasel was gathering pace as a description, and it hasn't ceased to be a description.

There are politicians, ministers, for whom "sympathetic" can be a merited epithet. Rishi Sunak seems like a "sympathetic" character; quite likeable, in other words. Gove, on the other hand ... Cummings in ministerial disguise, Gove (Cummings) had clearly pressed the message button, and the word to be emphasised was "decisive". I listened to Gove dismiss notions of exemptions to the Spanish Decision, and it was the "decisive" which had the effect. As he (Cummings) would have hoped. Yet when it comes from Gove, you just know it's a device, but for once not a weasel word of ambiguity. A second wave is coming in Europe. Man the barricades. Mine the Channel. Boris was now also "decisive".

There has been a "decisive" volte-face. Indecisive, muddled are hardly words that a minister would readily offer in public, but they characterise much of the UK government's communications. These are to now be infused with a decisiveness that was previously absent.

Theories there are, other than a genuine health theory, as to the Spanish Decision. I'll leave you to your own opinions on this, except to observe that it is all about the messages. And as I say elsewhere today, Spanish ministerial allusions to a second wave haven't perhaps helped. Real or unreal this wave may be, but it has been "decisive".


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