There is blood on Boris Johnson’s hands

In charge ?

Boris Johnson is finding that the challenges of power are rather greater than just dealing with, as Harold Macmillan famously put it, “Events, dear boy, events”. But you do have to deal with the events. Johnson hasn’t. Much of both the backbencher and the public unease about his eccentric and dangerous premiership is not about his personality or character but about his floundering incompetence. There is blood on his hands.

In peacetime for the actions, or inaction, of one man to kill so many citizens is unprecedented. But that will be Johnson’s gruesome legacy – and it isn’t over yet. International comparisons are clear – not one country in Europe has had as many deaths as Britain and every day we are still adding substantially to that grisly count. There is absolutely no case for the relaxation of the rules Johnson will announce today. He’s playing politics – no surprise there then.

From the start the venality of Dominic Cummings has been behind the deeply flawed response to the Virus. But that doesn’t let Johnson off the hook. The buck doesn’t stop in the Number 10 cellar where Cummings has his cauldron and mixes his potions. It stops on the Prime Minister’s desk and in the cabinet room.

The Prime Minister cannot be believed and that does more than undermine trust in him as a leader. It means that the public will make their own minds up about what to do. Never in modern times have rules needed to be followed more than now. And yet we have liars in charge who respond to challenges not with facts but with obfuscation and untruths. When that happens people stop listening.

Across the Atlantic there is a deranged fool in the Oval Office. Boris Johnson isn’t deranged but his actions and assertions are as equally foolish and untrustworthy as Trump’s. If your indolence, lack of judgement and culpable errors kill people in their thousands it’s a good idea to change your approach. And apologise. And get better people in the loop. Johnson has done none of these things. For months nobody has believed a word Matt Hancock has said but he’s still “in charge” blathering inanities.

At its core, and from the start, the problem has been that managing the Virus has been seen by Boris Johnson as a political not a management and operational task. It’s the master political manipulator Cummings who has been pulling the strings not the top Civil Servants and scientists. There are people in Britain perfectly as capable as dealing with the emergency as well, for example, as they have in New Zealand. Our one island may be bigger than the Kiwis two but if we had followed the same rules as they did we would have far fewer bereaved families around us.

2 thoughts on “There is blood on Boris Johnson’s hands

  1. Boris Johnson was never fit for high political office. He bungled many issues when London Mayor was a lazy backbench MP and wasted millions of Londoner’s taxes on grandiose schemes that never materialised. His personal life is a window into the chaotic way he conducts his personal and professional business. That may be acceptable if he was only running his own private company but not to hold the highest political office in the land.
    The simple reason he is in this job was actually because of the failure of his predecessors. The Tories are fixated on pushing through Brexit on their own terms and severing once and for all Britain’s relationship with Europe. The last two Prime Ministers didn’t deliver what the party grandees wanted in the way they wanted it. That is a complete amputation of Britains political and economic ties to the European project. Johnson knows his political future depends entirely on delivering that. Bungling the COVID emergency will be tolerated if he can just deliver that.
    The damage Brexit with no deal will inflict on the British people is of little consequence to the ideologues of the Tory right. They are the masters now and like Trump and Bolsanaro intend to reduce their collective nations to a mirror of their deeply flawed vision of nationalism and the destruction of social liberal values.
    Johnson does not really appear to hold any real opinions of his own. Have any far-sighted political vision. He simply says and does what he thinks others want to hear and what will gain and retain popularity and his own personal power base.

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  2. The Tories have totally lost it! There is not even one ‘good egg’ in the cabinet! I despair for the future of the UK! Good article Paddy! Cheers

    Norman Norman DugdaleIm Grund 71 40474 Dusseldorf Germany tel +49.2114963204 cell +49.1734971577UK cell +44.7768861816 Montenegro tel +382.(0)32.326169 Montenegro cell +382.(0)67696634 Please be nice to the world and don’t print this e-mail unless you really need to.This email is confidential and is for the intended recipient only. 

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