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Prediction that Boris Johnson will be out by Christmas. He was never up to the task of leading this country.

(101 Posts)
GagaJo Tue 19-May-20 13:49:54

I agree with the article, more or less. I'm not a Tory (get away!) supporter and actually dislike him LESS now than I did at the beginning. I think he'd stand a better change of being allowed to stay if he ditched Cummings but given that Cummings is the puppet master, Boris is in a Catch 22 situation.

Every time I see Boris Johnson, I ask myself how on earth he got the job. Then I remember that it was luck, guile, and the big red bus and the stuff about the NHS getting £350m a week extra – the promise that never was.

So that question pretty much answers itself. I suppose what I really mean is that it’s just begun to dawn on me that he isn’t actually very good at the job. The posh accent and the classical references disguise it a bit, but the truth is starting to show through. He’s just not up to it.

Remember what close colleague and “friend” Michael Gove said of him back in the 2016 Tory leadership debacle? “I have come, reluctantly, to the conclusion that Boris cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead”. Right first time, Gove.

Every bumbling performance at prime minister’s questions, each stumbling appearance at a coronavirus media conference, each bit of misguided spin that emanates from Downing Street, all the “ramped up” insincere promises and the hasty U-turns serve only to build up the evidence that we have somehow contrived to place a clown with the emotional maturity of a toddler in charge of dealing with the worst pandemic in 100 years.

When will the madness end? I think by Christmas. I cannot say how or what the manner of Boris Johnson’s leaving office will be, but I think we can all discern that the pressures will only intensify. Each avoidable, so-called “excess” death represents a tragic, powerful and eventually overwhelming argument for his departure. There will be thousands more. Will they reach 100,000? The worst record in Europe? It is surely possible.

In due course, Johnson will become an insupportable political burden for his party, as well as a morally shameful one. Right now, there’s no chance of change because we are in the midst of the emergency. The long summer recess will be more politically charged this year; without parliament sitting, however, the opportunities for remote plotting will be fewer, and the time for change still not ripe. By the autumn, though, there is every possibility that the economy will still be depressed, the furlough scheme becoming unsustainable, and the death toll unthinkably high – with a real prospect of a second wave of infections overwhelming the NHS – because the lockdown was relaxed too soon. Those are the perfectly plausible developments that could unseat a serving premier with a large parliamentary majority. They will be apparent towards the end of the year, as will the public’s anger. The very trust and faith so many place in Johnson will switch back, making the sense of betrayal even more painful. By Christmas, a time for reflection, Johnson will be politically toxic. He will be no more immune to overthrow in such circumstances than Tony Blair in 2007 or Margaret Thatcher in 1990. Like them, he might well find himself replaced by his chancellor, with the promise of a fresh start.

Being at the top means making the right calls and taking the right decisions, and Johnson has failed at every turn. No doubt he may have had some bad advice, but he’s also been sloppy, complacent, and reluctant to apply himself to the task even when he was well. He left a confused power vacuum when he was so seriously ill. He was wrong on lockdown, on testing, on ventilators, on care homes and on protective equipment. So determined was he to ignore the devolution settlement in launching his lockdown exit strategy that he has weakened the union with Scotland and Northern Ireland. The free-trade deal with the EU isn’t going to happen. Neither will the one with the US, without featuring British farming. He has appointed a spectacularly lacklustre bunch to his cabinet, and seems overreliant on the svengali Dominic Cummings.

Now Johnson’s shortcomings have at long last been embarrassingly exposed by the replacement of Jeremy Corbyn with Keir Starmer and a reinvigorated and highly able official opposition.

Johnson is slowly losing allies and support in his party and among its usual media allies. Perennial doubts about character and judgement are re-emerging. The exit strategy is premature and chaotic, while also too slow for his natural allies on the right. More than anything, though, the people are beginning to comprehend the human cost of Johnson’s failures. He has let us down. That is the unforgivable bit.

It seems longer, but it is not yet a year since Theresa May was pushed out, and Johnson succeeded her (the muted anniversary celebration will be on 24 July). Since then, he has “got Brexit done” (in his own misleading definition), won the Tories a thumping majority and seemed to be set on a full term of strong and stable government. Of course, a global pandemic would have changed everything, as it has in every country. Preceding governments also made the wrong choices and failed to prepare. But the loss of life on the scale it is reaching in Britain was not inevitable, as the evidence of some other countries shows. Johnson told us in early March that we would be OK because “we already have a fantastic NHS, fantastic testing systems and fantastic surveillance of the spread of disease”. The response was poor, the leadership lacking. There will be a reckoning.

Esspee Tue 19-May-20 13:54:06

GagaJo. That reads, to me, like wishful thinking!

Sussexborn Tue 19-May-20 14:01:57

Wow! I know we all have time on our hands but [really]?

Do people still believe if they wish for something hard enough it will actually happen! I was about five when I accepted this was not the case.

GagaJo Tue 19-May-20 14:03:14

Esspee, I actually don't really care which one of them is leader. It makes no difference to me really. And as I said, I don't dislike him as much as I did. My disapproval is saved for Cummings mainly.

I'd rather have Boris than Gove. But that's the teacher in me reacting to him.

Sussexborn Tue 19-May-20 14:03:28


GagaJo Tue 19-May-20 14:06:31

So bitter! There isn't any need, is there. This IS the news and politics forum, after all.

Yes, really. As as for time on my hands, I've taught 4 lessons, had 121 tutorials with 4 students and done a group tutor time. Just having a wee internet break.

I didn't write the article. Just cut and paste.

lemongrove Tue 19-May-20 14:09:33

Feel better, now that’s off your chest Gaga??

Unless he becomes ill or died unexpectedly, there is no reason to think he won’t be in the job until the next GE which is years off yet.
Wanting something to be so, doesn’t make it happen.

ladymuck Tue 19-May-20 14:12:00

We have to have someone to blame, don't we! I feel very sorry for Boris at the moment because he's being blamed for things which he is not responsible for.
I voted Tory at the last election and I was very pleased when Boris Johnson became the new PM.
However, much as I like him, I have to admit that he isn't really a leader of men, is he?

Glorybee Tue 19-May-20 14:17:51

For me, if such an article was written in the Times or Telegraph it would give it more credence perhaps. This is in the Independent so isn’t a great surprise. Each to his own flavours!

GagaJo Tue 19-May-20 14:18:17

I do too really ladymuck. He signed up, thinking he'd got a good advisor, could be the front piece and would be vaunted for Brexit.

Instead he's been faced with a global pandemic. Believed what others have told him which turned out to be horrifically wrong AND his advisor who may well have been good at manipulating the public's perceptions hasn't got a clue how to manage a crisis of this magnitude.

Riverwalk Tue 19-May-20 14:26:36

Gaga even for the Tories it's a bit too soon for them to be stabbing their leader in the back!

His Cabinet is indeed lack-lustre - look at the same handful of ministers who are put up to handle the daily press briefing, presumably they're the pick of the crop.

And talking of Bozzer, again where is he? If he's not well he should officially step aside. Maybe that's how this prediction will come true hmm

GagaJo Tue 19-May-20 14:28:48

I'm not as up on the day to day stuff as I was now I'm working. One of my friends mentioned he was absent at the mo. Is he?

lemongrove Tue 19-May-20 14:33:39

What would you like him to be doing? Presumably he has plenty of desk work to be getting on with.
Do we need to see the PM regularly .....and if so, why?
Most people are just getting on with life, working or staying at home.There’s the daily briefing for those who must have constant facts and figures.

EllanVannin Tue 19-May-20 14:34:22

Let's have Rishi Sunak. He's a good speaker for a start but whether his character is strong enough to stand up to this country up and coming changes in society as well the country as a hole whole I don't know.

We need a strong leader at this stage who will guide the country in a non-biased manner to get back on its feet and also one who recognises that there is a North West !!

allium Tue 19-May-20 14:37:03

Get rid of Cummings.

GagaJo Tue 19-May-20 14:38:12

I agree allium!

Teetime Tue 19-May-20 14:40:15

I am more and more convinced that there are some people on here who are going slowly bonkers and taking several others with them.

Ramblingrose22 Tue 19-May-20 14:41:39

GagaJo - I agree with everything in the article you have provided.

IMHO Johnson was chosen as leader because he was more entertaining than Jeremy Hunt, because Tory MPs thought he'd be good in an election against Corbyn (when in reality anyone would have!) and because the members of the Tory associations liked him.

Those of us who live in London and saw him as Mayor with his vanity projects (eg the Garden Bridge, which lost huge sums of money) already knew that he is lazy, not interested in detail and resorts to meaningless hyperbole (eg "We'll send the virus packing") and meaningless slogans (eg "Stay alert") as a substitute for well thought through, clear expressions of what we need to know.

His broadcast recently on Sunday evening was so muddled it was laughed at by many. He even made it sound as though those who can't work from home are shirkers who must go back to work the next day, alarming many employers who had not completed their preparations to reopen their businesses.

The lack of Tory colleagues in the House of Commons at PMQs braying in his support regardless of the rubbish he spouts has exposed his inadequacies under forensic questioning by Keir Starmer. It is pitiful.

Unfortunately none of the above will lead him to resign as PM.

quizqueen Tue 19-May-20 14:51:41

I didn't even need to look at who had posted this to know who it was- the person who doesn't live and work in this country full time!. While I realise everyone is entitled to have an opinion on anything, why not stay and help this country out, which you claim to care for and have an interest in, instead of taking the higher salary, and probably the lower taxes, abroad. Why not stand for political office, while you're at it, because you seem to have all the answers!

lemongrove Tue 19-May-20 14:56:08

Then why was he voted in twice for mayor of London. Rambling ??

I like Starmer but find it amusing that everyone on GN now
Calls his questioning ‘forensic’. Copying each other or the in-word of the moment.

Johnson wasn’t chosen as Leader for his love of detail ( and wouldn’t have been my choice if I had a vote) but because he is liked ...and has a can do mentality.It worked as they won the GE easily, and he completed the first part of leaving the EU.
Thinking he will be ditched by the Party is wishful thinking of the purest form.?

MawB Tue 19-May-20 14:57:55

Never mind Gagajo by Christmas you’ll be basking in the balmy paradise of liberal, permissive, Chinese democracy!

Riverwalk Tue 19-May-20 15:00:04

That's a bit unfair Quizqueen , as you say anyone is entitled to have an opinion - and the OP has started a debate, and a thread of interest.

Why not start some threads yourself, instead of carping from the sidelines.

growstuff Tue 19-May-20 15:06:04

The bookies have Keir Starmer as the favourite to be the next PM, just ahead of Rishi Sunak.

I can't find any of them with odds on Johnson being gone by the end of the year or I might be tempted to have a flutter. grin

lemongrove Tue 19-May-20 15:06:42

MawB grin
Ah, the Chinese Leadership at all levels.....a great bunch of lads.

GagaJo Tue 19-May-20 15:07:35

Oooo growstuff! That's a good idea. I do have a bit of a feeling about it. Do they predict Cummings will be gone?