The problem is not that we have an unpopular Prime Minister and a struggling Government. That’s happened before and we’ve survived. No, today’s crisis comes from the fact that we have an administration of woeful incompetence which they compound with mendacity. They are useless, and they lie about it.
In 1940 it was Labour who pushed for change at the top. Their MPs, in supporting the replacement of Chamberlain by Churchill, weren’t playing Party politics but acting in the national interest. “Speak for England Arthur “ called out a Tory MP when Labour MP Arthur Greenwood called for Chamberlain to go. Somebody needs to speak for England today.
Democracy relies upon checks and balances to work. It may be the Virus that keeps people from the streets to protest against our malignant Government but I fear that it is more likely to be complacency. Public opinion, if we believe the polls, has turned against Johnson and his Junta but there’s no civil unrest. What protests there are come from those who shout libertarian messages ( as they would no doubt see them) – the anti maskers and anti lockdown mob. But the real people of England haven’t spoken yet.
It may be that the impotence of the masses comes from us not being able to articulate a solution because there isn’t an obvious one to hand. Yes we are sick of being governed by idiots but there isn’t an election for four years. Yes a substantial majority of our people now see Brexit for the disaster it is, but its happened and we will shortly all be making the worst of it. Johnson should go, of course. But have you seen those in the frame to replace him when he does?
2020 has been the year of the unprecedented. Around the world governments have varied in the nature of the response to the virus and in their success in containing it. New Zealand recently overwhelmingly re-elected their Prime Minister and her Labour government not because it had as a nation swung to the Left. They recognised competence and rewarded it. Donald Trump’s rejection was probably swung by voters who saw his woeful incompetence and rejected it.
There may come a point when we say enough is enough – “No Deal” might trigger that. But a nation that can be persuaded to vote Conservative because of a populist Prime Minister driving a bulldozer through a wall doesn’t bode well for the chances of a mass uprising. It’s said that countries get the Government they deserve. Perhaps we do.