HAIRDRESSERS, a part-time Prime Minister and chronic indecision were the topics discussed by columnists in the newspapers.

The Daily Mail

Sarah Vine puts the case for hairdressers to reopen as soon as possible after news that ‘Britain will become a nation of shopkeepers again’ on June 15. (Hairdressers cannot open along with other shops then, and must wait until July).

“It is the beginning of the end of lockdown in a tangible sense,” she said. “While it spells hope for thousands of businesses, I fear there may be a slight fly in the ointment. In a word: hairdressers. Who but a group of middle-aged men with excess nasal hair and bushy eyebrows would make such a daft error as to open up fashion before hair and beauty?”

She argued that men buy clothes out of necessity - to replace worn out socks and shoes, or trousers if they gain weight.

Women, however, shop for pleasure, she said. “The thing about this non-essential shopping women do — which sustains so much of the fashion industry and retail in general — is that it is very dependent on mood and self-esteem.

“If we leave the house feeling a million dollars, we’ll spend. Confidence breeds confidence: the more you like what you see in the mirror, the more you buy. By contrast, if your roots are showing and your face looks like putty, everything looks bloody awful and it’s all pointless.”

And why, she added, would we want to get dressed up if, thanks to your hair, ‘you still look like you’ve lived in a hedge for three months?’

“There is no earthly reason, that I can tell, why hairdressers can’t reopen along with everything else.Surely with appropriate PPE, a strict appointment system and lots of common sense, they can get back to work. And we can get back to saving the economy, one pointless purchase at a time.”

The Guardian

Aditya Chakrabortty lamented that Boris Johnson hadn’t acted as ‘swiftly and forcefully’ with coronavirus as he has defending Dominic Cummings.

“Over February and early March, Johnson was scarcely to be seen, even as the coronavirus crept into the UK through our airports, our workplaces, our pubs and gyms,” he said. “But in the past few days he has put himself front and centre, displaying a speed and decisiveness that contrasts shamefully with his previous lethal complacency.”

The part-time Prime Minister, he said, was now doing overtime.

“Nobody elected Cummings,” he pointed out. “He boasts no policymaking expertise and bears no inherent authority, bar that lent to him by his friend the prime minister. Yet to keep him in post, cabinet ministers have been used as sockpuppets, tweeting the same ridiculous excuses for his behaviour.”

Hypocrisy is nothing new in politics, he said. “But in truth, this is its opposite ­– an ugly display of naked honesty by both Cummings and Johnson about who really matters in Britain today. Namely: them. Not us, the Little People who have to follow the rules; nor the health of a democracy that relies on everyone respecting norms and procedures.

“The scandal that today rightly roars around Cummings and Johnson is nothing compared with the their gigantic failure on Covid-19. Both men must know that their real reckoning is still to come.”

The Daily Express

Ann Widdicombe accused Boris Johnson of changing his mind ‘more often than his fiancee changes their baby’s nappies.’

“First there was no need to quarantine people coming to Britain by air. Now suddenly, weeks later, there is,” she said. “He wouldn’t scrap the migrants NHS surcharge in perpetuity without any further review. At least that was what he wouldn’t do at midday on Wednesday but by Thursday he had changed his mind. And so it goes on.”

She said the Government had a large enough majority for the Prime Minister to rule decisively but instead he ‘blows out in winds of public opinion and media pressure.’

“Meanwhile, the Government has so thoroughly succeeded in scaring people that many are too afraid to go to work or send their children to school,” she said.

“This is a new pandemic and some mistakes were and still are inevitable, but I do expect firm leadership.

“The PM is at the time of writing standing by Dominic Cummings. Given his record of consistency, Dom should start clearing his desk.”