Boris Johnson will be the scapegoat for the Conservative Party and he will not lead the Tories into the next election. The Prime Minister will be the major sacrifice for everything that has gone wrong in 2020 and everything that will go wrong in the coming year.
Johnson is a man who favours style over substance. His bubbly charisma had always won him a lot of support from the British people - a true beacon for personality politics. The common man or woman couldn’t tell you much about his specific political standing on certain policies, but they would be able to tell you about his energy and his sense of humour.
Unfortunately, personality politics can only get someone so far. Without any substance, the castle will quickly crumble and, right now, with Donald Trump no longer President of the United States, Britain is the leading laughing stock of the western world.
People expected there to be turbulence during the pandemic. It was never going to be easy and there are very few countries, if any, that haven’t made some mistakes along the way. However, Johnson and company have tackled this pandemic like an elephant trying to walk down a flight of stairs. It ends with a crash, a bang, and a wallop!
The PM has recently thrown London into Tier 4, a new level that is basically a full lockdown, and has curtailed his initial plan for a five day loosening of restrictions around the festive period. This has caused massive outrage, not because people don’t believe in protecting others, but because the leader of the country is enforcing yet another reversal of decision on the population of England. People had made plans to see family. Train tickets had been booked. Excitement had built.
Johnson’s 793rd u-turn comes after it was revealed that a new strain of the virus has started to surface in the south of England. Again, tightening up the lockdown in a bid to curb the virus was absolutely the right thing to do. However, the UK Government had been aware of this new strain since September and one in four of November’s London cases came as a result of this variant, according to The Hindustan Times.
The recent decision to put the brakes on Christmas freedoms was absolutely the right one, but Johnson’s initial bid to relax the restrictions for the festive period looks incredibly negligent in light of this new information. Nonetheless, people won’t be surprised by yet another misstep.
The first lockdown of the United Kingdom came too late. That lockdown ended prematurely because Johnson wanted to keep up with Germany, who had started to come out of their own shutdown. The difference is that Germany went into their shutdown weeks earlier than Britain, and Chancellor Angela Merkel had already devised a plan to get the country back on track. Johnson had not.
In that first lockdown, it had emerged that government advisor Dominic Cummings had blatantly broken the social distancing rules that he had helped create for the nation. The infamous excuse that he was going on a drive to “test test [his] vision” was frankly laughable, although, it was slightly more original than the child who claimed that the dog had eaten their homework! No matter, the government lost the integrity of the rules that had been put in place as soon as Johnson decided to unanimously back his right-hand man.
A few months later, the PM unveiled a plan to find a compromise between those who wanted strict lockdowns and those who wanted herd immunity: the tiered system!
Johnson's approach was an attempt to find the right balance between protecting jobs and saving lives. But the approach was riddled with flaws, the most obvious being the reluctance to place London in a higher tier, despite the fact that the capital city had more cases than many tier 3 areas.
It’s also worth mentioning that Johnson introduced his tiered plan when scientists were telling him to impose a “circuit breaker” to get the virus under control. The Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, brought this up a few weeks later at Prime Minister’s Questions, and Johnson shut him down. Shortly afterwards, the Prime Minister buckled and plunged the country back into a second lockdown.
One would have more respect for Johnson if he had given us a roadmap of several months. He could ask for our understanding if certain events did not go as planned and many would accept any bumps along the road. These are unprecedented times. But the biggest issue is that Johnson seems to plan for today and not tomorrow. He is reactive and not proactive.
To be fair, this virus would have challenged even the strongest of leaders. Unfortunately, Johnson was never a political candidate that screamed strong leadership. He won the leadership contest because the Conservatives felt that he was the most appealing candidate for a country obsessed with Brexit. They were right. He annihilated former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in last December’s General Election. But he was not a man for long-term sustainability.
Could a competent and respectable leader of the UK genuinely deliver Brexit? It takes somebody who is willing to overlook all of the obvious red flags that suggest any movement away from the European Union will be bad for our economy and our country, in general. In other words, they want the people who can paint a happy picture against the adversity of self-inflicted economic hardship. And Johnson is a good b*llshitter!
The facade has quickly fallen with the pandemic, an event that requires true character and resilience. This government was brought in to appease Brexiteers and sugar-coat the completion of Brexit. Brexit is being thrown into the washing machine at the same time as the pandemic. Only, instead of using a liquid tab, someone has taken a massive dump and set the full load to spin. You wouldn’t want to open that door! Instead, you’d rather start afresh and forget about that whole smelly situation. When the epidemic is at an end and the course for Brexit is patched together, that’s exactly what the Conservatives will try do.
Inevitably, Johnson is beyond saving and so are many of those on his front bench. He will be the face for an embarrassingly butchered response to the pandemic and Brexit will not help his cause.
The Tories were not ready to tackle this humanitarian crisis. Almost instantly after gaining their majority, this newly assembled party was thrown in at the deep end of the political swimming pool. Can somebody pass them some armbands?