in the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson attempts a political refocus

Last April, Boris Johnson had developed such a serious form of Covid-19 that she had taken him to intensive care and then disabled for more than three weeks. In mid-November, the British Prime Minister announced that he was isolating himself again after having rubbed shoulders, in Downing Street, with a Conservative MP who subsequently tested positive. Tested negative, Mr Johnson still said he would remain in quarantine for fourteen days (regulatory time in the United Kingdom), participating for the first time remotely, Wednesday, November 18, in the famous questioning session at the Prime Minister of the House of Commons.

“Protected from Covid”, Downing Street, as its spokesperson says? Not so sure … Anyway, thedose horribilis 2020 will not have spared the conservative leader, who tumbled in the polls, going from 66% of favorable opinions according to the YouGov institute in April – when he was ill – to only 34% on October 26. His flair, his humor and his unfailing optimism were not enough, nor the historic victory won by his conservative camp in the general elections of December 2019: still according to YouGov, Labor would take the lead (40% of the votes), ahead of the Tories (38%), if the British were to vote again in mid-November.

Opaque markets

Unsurprisingly, this loss of confidence is linked to failed management of the first pandemic wave (nearly 42,000 deaths last summer), due to late confinement (March 23) and a government unprepared for a crisis health of this magnitude. Details continue to emerge of the negligence and questionable practices of this period. A report from the National Audit Office (NAO -, an independent parliamentary body) on Wednesday found that the government had awarded pandemic-related contracts to private companies for a total of £ 17 billion , in an opaque manner and sometimes bordering on a conflict of interest.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Confinement in England, severe political failure for Boris Johnson

The summer was not used to fine-tune the contact case tracing system and the Johnson government has increased backpedaling (on wearing a mask, leaving high school exams, etc.), giving the impression of managing the health crisis without a strategy. The episode of “Barnard Castle”, Dominic Cummings’ escapade in the north of England, at the end of March, in violation of the rules of containment, cost Boris Johnson dearly, who refused for months to thank his very controversial special adviser, before parting ways last week. Just like the government’s lack of political flair, long ignored the appeals of Marcus Rashford, the Manchester United footballer, the new hero in the fight against child poverty.

You have 42.59% of this article to read. The rest is for subscribers only.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.