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Johnson back in No 10 27/04/2020

Posted by chrisdshaw in COVID19, Domestic Politics.
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Three weeks since the last post in which Boris Johnson was admitted to Intensive Care with COVID 19. It was a deeply unsettling moment. We are now in a new normal. Anything becomes normal given time. The Government has consistently failed to show transparency in its strategy, responsibility in (the many) problems that have arisen in managing the crisis, and trustworthiness. Dominic  Cummings’ return to No 10 has been felt with the BBC being whipped into line, and a capitalisation of Johnson’s illness. The coming tsunami of blame and anger is being carefully diverted to scientists and the Heath Secretary Matt Hancock, and the knawing, exhausting dread, synonymous with Brexit has returned. Classic Dom.

Is the public buying it? Polls over the last few weeks have shown solid support for the Conservatives and the Government. This support is waning and some hopeful glimmers from Labour and Keir Starmer, may change the political dynamic. Corbyn acted as a vice on sensible professional politics. The first PMQs since lockdown was a breath of fresh air with forensic questioning from the Leader of the Opposition.

What now? Johnson has ruled out an early end to the lockdown. Good. There has been a notable change in mood, with signs that the consensual self-imposed lockdown is beginning to break down. Traffic levels have started increasing and businesses have started reopening. The problem is that we all really need to trust our government and this is a challenge after the last few years. We have all been on hold to wait for Johnson to help give us direction. Apart from not ending the lockdown, there appears to be just more of the same. This may not be enough to keep us all together.

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