Boris Johnson has got the job done… but at a cost
WHEN Boris Johnson stood on the steps of Downing Street as Prime Minister in July 2019, the skies were blue and the streets of Britain were paved with Brexit gold.
All he needed to do was break the Parliamentary logjam and finally get us out of the EU.Few Prime Ministers in history have ridden such a rollercoaster of triumph and disaster as Boris[/caption]
At long last we were about to reap the rewards of freedom from Brussels tyranny, as firms and savers unleashed treasure at home and abroad to boost the economy and heal Brexit divisions.
He delivered Brexit. Yet, in a matter of weeks, optimism was blown away by an invisible microscopic mutant, probably made in China.
Millions of lives were at risk worldwide including, on one drama-filled night, Boris’s own.
Almost twice as many have since died here from Covid as from German bombs in World War Two.
Yet despite Professor Neil Ferguson’s shocking forecasts of half a million dead, the NHS was never in serious danger.
Few Prime Ministers in history have ridden such a rollercoaster of triumph and disaster as Boris since succeeding hapless Theresa May two action-packed years ago.
Yet after multiple lockdowns, a nightmare spending binge and now Pingmania, he still commands the support of British voters.
Latest polls put the Tories a stunning ten points ahead of Sir Keir Starmer’s floundering Labour Party.
‘TRIUMPH AND DISASTER’
To his fans, who include former lifelong Labour supporters, Boris can do no wrong. To his enemies, including bitter Tory rebels who tried to sabotage his premiership over Brexit, he is unfit to hold high office.
Some on the hard Left urged him to die as he was rushed into intensive care with Covid last April.
Such venom is mercifully rare. Most people rush for a selfie with Boris. They smile the moment he enters a room.
It was his personal chemistry that beguiled Britain into Brexit in 2016. It delivered a Tory landslide in December 2019. This remarkable victory should have marked a Jeff Bezos-style blast-off for UKplc.
Britain was set to boom, with cash ready to flood parched areas of the economy. All the levers of power were in place. Then Covid struck. We saw shops, pubs and offices mothballed and streets emptied.
What we could not see was the poison brewing behind No10’s bombproof door. Boris was in mortal combat with the man he picked as deputy PM in all but name. Dominic Cummings was plotting to topple BoJo “within days” and replace him with Michael Gove.
Nobody knew about this, including, apparently, Mr Gove himself. Cummings, a megalomaniac with more power than sense, had seized control of the Covid campaign, raging at Whitehall’s “useless buffoons” and berating Boris as if he were the teaboy.
He also declared war on the woman he sneeringly dubbed “Princess Nut Nut” — the PM’s partner and now wife, Carrie Symonds, mother of baby Wilfred.
“It was her or us,” he told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg. He meant “her or me”.
Cummings finally strode out of Downing Street under TV arc lights carrying a cardboard box filled with menace and began leaking private chats and WhatsApp messages.
He finally blew himself to smithereens in this week’s BBC interview, emerging as a dishevelled Dr Strangelove who aimed to rule the world. As someone who has known Cummings for two decades, his ravings came as a shock.
For Boris, it was must have been like lancing a poisonous carbuncle. Yet the PM himself must accept the blame for appointing Cummings in the first place and handing him virtually untrammelled power.
Indeed, he has to accept responsibility for most of the errors and missteps this government has made in the last 16 months — including the disastrous £40billion splurged on Track and Trace.
The system is causing indiscriminate havoc and misery — especially to children of all ages whose parents have had to suddenly self-isolate.
A glorious summer of sunshine and freedom has been shattered by a system doomed to fail from its misbegotten start.
Six weeks ago, Boris was heading for a triumphant second anniversary as Prime Minister. He had delivered the miraculous Covid vaccines ahead of most of the world.
Everyone most at risk had been offered both jabs. We were on our way back to life as normal and looking forward to Freedom Day.
Today that brilliant success story is in peril. The madness of pings is snatching away our long-awaited freedom.
Boris is locked in a struggle with Chancellor Rishi Sunak over our eye-bleeding national debt — almost £3TRILLION including magic money tree cash from the Bank of England.
This Tory government is behaving like a socialist state on steroids, spraying money like water on pensions and welfare. Boris risks turning the Tories into a reckless spending machine which leaves no space even for sensible Labour moderates to fill.
Money is still pouring into the economy — almost as fast as it is pouring out.
But inflation is on the rise. You need to be over 50 to remember 1975 when it soared 26 per cent — ten times as high as today. Mortgage rates hit 15 per cent.
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Supermarket staff used to run ahead of shoppers, sticking new prices on food and other goods.
For the moment all seems calm. But a tsunami of inflation and unpayable debt is building on the horizon.
It threatens to break just as Boris is ready to run for his second full term as Prime Minister.
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