Boris Johnson: incompetent and adrift in a sea of troubles

…. incompetent and adrift in a sea of troubles

How is Boris Johnson being judged by his own MPs? Not good:

“A circus run by clowns”

“The most inept government in living memory”

13 months after the Prime Minister took office; verdicts on his administration have set new levels of condemnation. These are chiefly aimed at its handling of the Covid crisis which has been an absolute mess. The considerable discontent goes far beyond his own backbenches and Covid. The exams fiasco is the latest in a series of U-turns. Others include the last-minute decision to extend the ban on landlords evicting tenants. Both highlight that the government is incompetent and adrift. If all that weren’t bad enough, the PM returned last week from holiday to face immense challenges. The national debt has hit an amazing £2trn. The reopening of schools will involve lots of political problems. Unemployment is on track to hit 2.5 million by mid-winter. Plus, with Parliament set to return next week, there is little hope of ministers raising their game.

A Cabinet of sycophants

When Johnson moved into Downing Street, I suspect he wanted the role of a hands-off chairman; leaving the detail to a team of talented ministers. Just as he did when he was elected mayor of London. Trouble is, Boris has willingly chosen a Cabinet of sycophants, picking people for their loyalty and allegiance to Brexit as opposed to their ability. The result: they have proved inadequate. To make matters worse, the Prime Minister has been silent throughout the crisis. We have waited in vain for any statement on the exams debacle, on the failures of track and trace… and on almost anything else, for that matter. Yet rather than a show of leadership, we have witnessed a succession of steps in the wrong direction and then u-turns.

What’s next

Johnson’s own approval ratings have slumped to 41 %, down 20 points since April. More voters right now think the Labour leader Keir Starmer would make a better prime minister. But for all the Government’s blunders, the Tories are still ahead in the polls, albeit by only two percentage points. Voters believe the party has bungled the crisis, but unfortunately Labour has yet to convince them it could do better.

Photo by Jannes Van den wouwer on Unsplash

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Robert Thompson

Robert Thompson

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Big ideas and important articles. Writing to help you make sense of the world. And cope with being human.