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Sunday, June 14, 2020

Is Boris Johnson in trouble?

Some caveats: Boris Johnson has always been trouble; trouble follows him like a bad smell; Boris Johnson creates trouble wherever he goes, like Donald Trump, he is a disruptor who creates chaos to promote his own self interest.

But now he has achieved his ultimate goal of becoming Prime Minister, these attributes cannot help him. He does not have the skills needed to sustain his position, and this truth is starting to dawn on many of his supporters.

As John Rentoul writes in the Guardian, Boris Johnson has been found out:

The world is closing in on the prime minister. His opponent is advancing on him from in front, and his enemy is advancing from behind. His decision to stand by Cummings over his apparent breach of lockdown rules cost him so much public support he is now reduced to tweeting about statues.

Above all, Johnson has lost control of the story that the nation tells itself about coronavirus. The scientists say that if they knew then what they know now, they would have advised an earlier lockdown, but they didn’t.

The piece actually argues that Johnson is being judged unfairly, but when did fairness ever count in politics? It is not a concept that Johnson has ever embraced either as a journalist or a politician. If he becomes a victim of a false narrative, then that will be justice, payback for all the false narratives on which he built his own career.
Clearly the Rothermere and the Murdoch press both want him out. In the past, the opposition of just one would have been enough to sink a prime minister. However, Johnson is nothing if not obstinate. He seems safe from any putsch led by a member of his cabinet, all of whom owe their positions to him. A wholesale Conservative parliamentary party revolt could do it, but, as no doubt Johnson's Whips keep reminding them, a publicly divided party loses elections. The last thing any Conservative MP wants at present is an early general election.

The 1922 Commmittee (the Conservative MPs' "trade union") are after him.

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