The Light Brigade charge into Russian cannon
The 93rd Highlanders halt Russian cavalry charge

Back in 1854, in the Battle of Balaclava, aristocratic English cavalry showed us how to throw away victory after Scottish soldiers had shown how it might be won.

As I watch Boris Johnson lead his own foolhardy charge to victory over covid-19 by opening up to it, I’m reminded of his use of the story in the context of Brexit, last June.

The contrasting approaches to the virus, in England and Scotland, suggest to me the contrasting approaches of the English and Scottish regiments in that famous battle 166 years ago.