Do we really want Boris Johnson to get fired for Christmas?
FOR the BBC, it seems, all of his Christmases have arrived at once.
The entire nation is in turmoil over the Downing Street wine and cheese festivities last year.
Tory MPs and ministers are in an unprecedented open revolt against their leader, Labor is leading the polls and the PM is on the verge of receiving the cup.
What’s not to like about our national left-wing broadcaster?
But wait a minute, as the Beeb’s gentle Justin Webb likes to say, don’t they celebrate a little early?
First of all, at the height of these scorching allegations of sordid, scandal and hypocrisy, Sir Keir Starmer’s Labor Party is just nine points ahead. A decent opposition would lead 20 or 30 percent.
Second, this collapse is not without precedent. Remember 1995, when John Major was forced to resign in a “support me or fire me” confrontation. He won.
Third, there is no realistic candidate to take over – not yet Rishi Sunak, nor Liz Truss nor, God help us, Tom Tugendhat.
Fourth, and most importantly, the rightly angry British public are starting to wonder why all the fuss has arisen.
They detect a whiff of hype about a year-long Christmas rally. Voters are expressing dismay at the way BoJo is being hunted down. Radio 4’s Today program seems to have savored the Prime Minister’s unease a little too much.
And the Mirror may have taken their story a little too far by rejecting Boris for a Zoom antiseptic quiz alongside the staff he has worked with all day.
This Labor-friendly newspaper has the right to receive a political coup against its avowed enemy.
The same cannot be said of the supposedly impartial BBC, whose seething obsession with skewering Boris is both unseemly and typical.
It seems impossible for interviewers Mishal Husain and Nick Robinson to put aside their feverish hostility when interviewing ministers, no matter what the subject is supposed to be.
This approach may have started to backfire on her, to the benefit of her victim.
There are warning signs voters believe Boris has been punished enough for a rule break many of us have also committed at home.
As the self-confessed loath of the lockdown, I admit that I also toasted outside my bubble last Christmas, however, as a mitigation, minus the cheese.
I fully understand the fury of those who stayed at home, kept their distance and washed their hands. And the dismay of families banished from the bedside of sick or dying relatives.
I suspect many are pissed off because they didn’t think they should have been jailed in the first place. Orders were orders.
Some will seize the opportunity for revenge in Thursday’s by-elections in North Shropshire.
About sixty Tory MPs, and perhaps some ministers, will rebel tomorrow against the latest move towards a new lockdown. They are right and Boris, in this case, is wrong.
But in my book, the Prime Minister is as much guilty of mixed messages as of lying.
He never wanted the lockdown in the first place. He still doesn’t believe it.
To some extent, he was driven by his former rival Michael Gove, still a Covid hawk.
A cabinet minister colleague asks, “What is Michael up to? Another said, “He certainly doesn’t seem to be working for Boris’ survival. “
Published evidence suggests that the highly infectious Omicron mutant is nowhere near as deadly as the other variants. No one has died so far. Few have been hospitalized here or in South Africa.
Omicron might even prove to be a blessing, inoculating the entire population more effectively than any of our miracle vaccines.
In any case, the confinements do not work. Indeed, these Chinese totalitarian repressions are doing more harm than good.
Their only rationale was to ‘save the NHS’ when an effectively run NHS should have saved us.
I joined the national applause for its frontline heroes last year. I would not have applauded the NHS bureaucracy which, incredibly, now offers fewer hospital beds than before the start of the pandemic.
So will Boris survive?
A seasoned ally and occasional critic admits the Prime Minister is chaotic and inconsistent.
“But,” he adds, “there is no alternative to Boris.”
More stable than the allies
EVEN in these difficult times, Britain appears more stable than many of our European allies.
Germany’s Angela Merkel has been replaced as chancellor by an ex-Marxist leading an unholy coalition of green fanatics and anti-business leftists.
This gives us the advantage of seeing what a Sir Keir Starmer-style coalition in partnership with the Scot Nats and Lib Dems would look like. It would be a recipe for lasting economic and political chaos, rooted in a PR voting system designed to keep the Tories out of power forever.
As the old saying goes, “Be careful what you want. “