Boris Johnson used to be the Teflon man of British politics, who used to remove scandals, gaffes and mistakes. is no more


Johnson’s plans now appear to be in ruin. He wanted to use his personal enthusiasm for Brexit to create a new sense of optimism that Britain’s future outside the EU was bright. Free from the Brussels bureaucracy, Johnson’s government led Brexit by “leveling” the deprived areas in some sense, vowing to address Britain’s socio-economic imbalance. He will also try to strengthen the bonds between the UK’s four nations, which reached a breaking point amid bitterness following the 2016 referendum. In short, the man who led the expedition carried out an aggressive offensive to heal the country.

However, 10 months on, his government is short on resources and is losing good will. Johnson’s detractors pointed to a number of errors as evidence of his failures as the highest death count in Europe and the worst recession of any major economy due to an epidemic of testing and sending misleading messages on lockdown. . Worse, members of his own party fear that the PM’s public perception is being altered by not paying attention to detail and instinct for militant politics: from sociable optimists to incompetent crooks who are out of their depths. And they worry about what could be Johnson’s personal mission and long-term damage to the Conservative Party’s brand.

A former Conservative cabinet minister and Johnson’s co-worker, whose name was denied, agreed with this analysis. The politician said, “To deal with this kind of crisis, you need public confidence and different parts of the state need to work together.” “Instead, they have managed to resent leadership by raising largely pointless quarrels with the mayors of major cities in Scotland and Wales where conservatives historically do no good. It goes about unifying the country. Is a very strange way. ”

For the past week, Johnson has been in a long and public place with Andy Manchester, the Labor Mayor of Greater Manchester. Johnson wanted the city to enter Britain at the highest level of Kovid sanctions. Burnham did not want this to happen without much financial support from the central government. The whole thing became a complete mess, as Johnson’s government did not clarify after the negotiations that funds deemed insufficient by Burnham were still on the table. This led to a television press conference, in which Burnham reportedly found on air that the government withdrew its £ 60 million ($ 78 million) offer to the city, instead offering only £ 22 million .

The government claims that the whole thing was done by Burnham and that the minister in fact spoke to him before the press conference.

A government minister told CNN that “there is zero evidence that the PM chose a fight with Burnham,” with one central government saying that “naturally economic and public health issues have to be balanced, while the attention of local politicians Less often happens, “Burnham meant politics with Johnson.

However, worryingly for Johnson, his personal approval ratings and confidence in his government have been sufficiently affected by the crisis that the truth does not fully matter.

“When you look at Boris’ personal brand you see a dramatic decline in people who think he is sensible and reliable since the beginning of the epidemic. He is now Keir Starr (leader of the opposition Labor Party) in almost all metrics ). “, Says Chris Curtis, political research manager at pollster YouGov.

This dip in trust is particularly toxic to Johnson when you associate it with prestige as conservatives in parts of the country historically voted Labor and Johnson was able to take seats in last December’s election – the so-called Red Wall.

This reputation did not help when Johnson found himself in a fight with popular Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford to provide food for the poorest children during the Christmas holidays this year. On Wednesday night, Johnson instructed his party to vote against the motion.

Lauren McVet of the former special says, “People will remember in six or 12 months that the government did not have children hungry at Christmas during the economic crisis. Advisers to the previous Conservative administration.” It feeds into a narrative that still exists That conservatives ultimately don’t care much about poor people. ”

Many observers at the Rashford affair are surprised that Johnson had to take a U-turn for the summer vacation earlier this year in exactly the same case. Rob Ford, a professor of politics at the University of Manchester, says, “This government is like the GIF where Sidhesho Bob steps on the same rake and jerks himself in the face.”

All of which only reopens the question of government competence. Says a senior Conservative jurist, “From the outset, this government kept a tight grip on the Johnson project to sub-centralize a small team in Downing Street.” “This means that a small group of people are making decisions in areas they may not specialize in. It’s quite difficult at the best of times, but during a crisis that affects the whole country and is constantly changing. Hai, it’s almost impossible. ”

The jurist goes on to explain that he thinks they “rely too much on mass groups” to appeal to public opinion. “The trouble is, focus groups don’t have much foresight. One day something might be very popular, but getting in line for six months is a massive mistake. The usual practice in government is to find the right policy and sell it to the public. ” No other way. ”

Several current and former Downing Street insiders told CNN that while it was true that this government ran too many focus groups and considered them very important, opinions on their precise impact on policymaking were divided. Some stated that the decisions were made based on focus groups; Some said that they help shape how the government will sell policy to the public; Some claimed this led to a major policy U-turn, including Rashford’s summer campaign. A government official denied this claim.

Boris Johnson visits the headquarters of the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust in London on 13 July 2020.

Whatever the truth, it is hard to deny that Johnson’s credibility has taken a significant hit this year. Many surround his most senior adviser, Dominic Cummings, as the worst moment of the year. Displaying signs of comid, Cummings decided to drive hundreds of miles from his home in London when government advice explicitly stated that he should be self-immolated. Cummings claimed that he did this to provide childcare for his young son.

The former cabinet minister says, “They could have killed that story in 48 hours if they had said that they were very worried about their child and now they came to know that it was wrong.” Instead, Cummings gave a bizarre press conference, where he not only defended his initial journey, but took further walks in his car which he claimed only to test his vision. The former minister says, “The refusal to show any kind of contradiction led to a major change in mood. The episode symbolizes what went wrong about the approach.”

Whether or not this is fair, it is certainly possible to argue that the Cummings scandal had three major elements: the cock-up; Lack of forgiveness; Aggressive reaction. It is also possible to suppose this playbook on both Burnham and Rashford responses. In the latter case, Johnson is not helped by members of his own party to prove that some poor parents are innocent and have no interest in feeding their children and that the children have always starved anyway.
Marcus Rashford clashes with MPs as UK parliament votes against free school meal proposal

All this makes Johnson vulnerable to those who want to portray him as a meanie running a meaningful bullying government. “Fairly or unfairly, it plays to the conservatism of conservatives because the poor are not interested in and the North is not interested. It is, unfortunately, actually raising their stature, strengthening the Red Wall, and defending the Union. Harms his agenda for “former minister

It is worth pointing out that as things stand, Johnson’s party is still ahead in the election. A government minister has put down the fact that despite all the headlines, Johnson’s actual actions present an alternative narrative that voters understand. “If you move away from Kovid, all the big announcements we have made are focused on investing in skills, and we didn’t go for austerity 2.0 despite the great pressure. All these things suggest still leveling PM has top priority. ”Said the minister.

However, despite those elections, Johnson won his majority only last December and the lead slipped. And as the crisis continues, many of his previous supporters are raising doubts that Boris Johnson was ever the one to unify a country divided by political anarchy, for which he was largely responsible.

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