The “Sunday Times” today says that Boris Johnson’s “safety is assured”. As a nation we are divided on most things including the Prime Minister where the “Good Old Boris” numbers seem still to be ahead of those who believe “Johnson must go”. Opinion polls show voters would reject the Conservatives if we had a fair electoral system – but we don’t, so they won’t.
Johnson’s persona seems a mixture of stupidity and cunning. The latter delivered Tory MPs in some constituencies that had never had them before. He did this with a unique gut feel approach driving a bulldozer through a wall – a prescient metaphor as it turned out. Never underestimate the capacity of the British public to ignore facts and vote with prejudice and emotion. Johnson didn’t.
The stupidity is daily on view. Telling lies is stupid – as Johnson showed when he denied the truth to Christianne Amanpour on CNN about Britain’s abject performance on COVID. But he gets away with it in part because a servile media fails to hold him to account. This may be in the process of changing, but don’t hold your breath.
Britain, in embracing the politics of UKIP in today’s Conservative Party, has moved from the sometimes cerebral, and moderate, to the rarely coherent and extreme. There is no other explanation for Boris Johnson. It’s frankly our own fault – a breakdown of common sense as well as ignorance. It seems to be an Anglo-Saxon thing. The appalling Donald Trump was rejected by a smaller majority than the bare figures suggest – and he hasn’t gone away.