Read the full article here at the Daily Express
Bow Group Research Fellow Benjamin Loughnane wrote for the Daily Express:
THIS TIME last week, it looked as though the end had come for Boris. As new evidence came to light and it was revealed that a party had raged into the early hours of the morning of the funeral of Prince Philip, Boris looked like a dead man walking. Reports of letters flooding in abounded, with many claiming the Prime Minister would face a vote of no confidence on Wednesday evening. Somehow, remarkably, Boris managed to cling on.
By some stroke of luck the stars aligned for Boris and it would seem he has an unexpected chance to turn the tide on his downfall. Had the Prime Minister resigned last week, he would have forever been remembered as an emblem of bacchanalian riot; a glutted, tsarist raver quaffing wine by the suitcase as the rest of the country languished under the restrictions he himself had set (and farcically later claimed ignorance of). His legacy would have been one of a neo-Nero, figuratively fiddling whilst Rome burned.
Boris has bought himself time to rewrite his own eulogy, if nothing else. No doubt this is why immediately after PMQs he gave a statement to the House in which he scrapped Plan-B restrictions, removed the mask mandate, and cancelled the vaccine passports. His desperate ‘Operation Red Meat’ agenda reads like a “baby, I can change” missive from a jettisoned husband, surprised with divorce papers.
Boris appears to be desperately engaged in reinventing himself in the eyes of the electorate as a freedom-loving Tory; liberal, but tough on crime. Strong on borders, lower taxes, and no ‘papers please’ society. Talk of ‘Net Zero’ has also dissipated, and SAGE appears to have fallen from grace. It is a remarkable metanoia, provided it is more than just talk.
PartyGate is not a left or right issue, it is not ideological or political. The entire country is united in disgust at the revelation that No. 10 seems to have played host to a less glamorous but just as morally repugnant Court of Versailles whilst imposing draconian restrictions on the rest of us.
Those who lost loved ones and had no opportunity to say goodbye will not forget PartyGate. Those who missed births, weddings, funerals, and precious moments with their families will not forget the suitcase filled with wine. Those who were fined, lost their jobs and businesses, and suffered great personal loss as a result of these policies will not ‘move on’ as Liz Truss said they should.
Despite this unanimous and deeply felt ire, Boris has managed to cling on; arguably, due to a lack of an obvious replacement. Perhaps the cleverest thing Boris Johnson has done is surround himself with the most bland and unpopular Cabinet possible. The likely replacements are a coterie of mediocrity. It may well be the case that what saved Boris long enough to have his damascene conversion to conservatism was the thoroughly uninspiring alternatives who would replace him.
This was no doubt further compounded by tensions on the Russia-Ukraine border, and the threat of war on the horizon. The risk of Britain being drawn into a major international conflict may be enough to prevent MPs from submitting their letters. Whilst Boris may not seem the best man to lead us into war, the alternatives are no better. Take for example the Deputy Prime Minister, Dominic Raab, who remains haunted by his handling of the Afghanistan collapse whilst Foreign Secretary.
As the evidence continues to mount and yet more salacious stories of boozy bashes at the height of lockdown hit the presses, people will care less and less about the mundanity of Boris’s successor; they will simply want him gone. It may not be the birthday cake which is the final straw, but stories will continue to break until one finally sticks.
It is imperative that the Prime Minister stick to his newfound agenda of popular policies if he wishes to fend off the mounting unpopularity which may yet increase as more evidence comes to light. Boris may have bought himself time, and he may be genuinely committed to his newfound conservatism, but the country is still united in disgust and rage at his rakish and hypocritical behaviour.
The Prime Minister has but a temporary reprieve. If ‘Operation Red Meat’ is all guff, and we end up with the cheap vegan imitation, the baying mob will not tarry to take up their pitchforks and tear down his roaring, dipsomaniac regime once and for all.
Read the full article here at the Daily Express
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