With twister Boris Johnson in Downing Street during this crisis, politics looks like a game where the unfittest survive best, not the fittest.
The coronavirus may yet bring down the Tory charlatan, who now looks more like a bemused bystander than a reassuring leader.
Labour hopeful Lisa Nandy attacking the “real shambles” of a Tory Government will strike a chord with an anxious public.
It is Britain’s misfortune to be led by a lightweight (politically speaking) at a moment of unique national danger.
The contrast with the 2008 global banking collapse, when Gordon Brown organised the world’s response to avoid even worse devastation, couldn’t be greater.
Johnson and the Brexit Britain he shaped are largely ignored onlookers in this international nightmare, cut off from Europe and shunned by Trump’s US.
Coronavirus will consume Johnson’s political career more and more as the bodies pile up, voters demanding why there was a fatal absence of preparations.
Claiming that decisions were correct when taken – keeping schools open and letting sporting events go ahead – is no defence.
In times of national stress a PM must appear in control but Johnson was outflanked both by football bodies, cancelling games, and neighbouring countries, giving children extended holidays. Johnson and his party put the NHS in its current enfeebled state with a decade of austerity.
No10 says it wants companies to build ventilators but the grand announcement smacks of cynical spin when Rolls-Royce’s boss reveals he hasn’t even been contacted by the Government.
The screeching U-turn on banning mass gatherings raises serious questions about how closely Johnson actually follows scientific advice.
Downing Street is under intense pressure from Labour to publish full discussions rather than filleted PR documents.
Detailed scrutiny of a serial-liar PM is clearly in the national interest.
Draconian laws to restrict people’s movements similarly require inspection.
But it’s the economic situation that may prove Johnson’s Achilles’ heel.
Without financial support for restaurants, airlines and everything in between on a scale matching the bank bail-outs, there will be precious few jobs and businesses left when coronavirus is eventually beaten back.
The Budget offered relative pennies and the Tories’ hands-off ideology is economically calamitous.
Financial catastrophe can be sidestepped only by huge Government intervention such as loans, spending and the state buying stakes in strategic industries.
Gordon Brown and Labour were brave enough in 2008.
The fear in 2020 is that Johnson’s timid Tories, marooned on the wrong side of the argument then as now, will sacrifice otherwise healthy firms.
The current crisis illustrates the value of a strong state.
Undermining the public realm for the past decade was treacherous vandalism.
Britain is nervous and panicked and we need the Government to protect us.
The egotist Johnson has shown he isn’t the man for that job.
Labour, with a new leader, would probably walk another election.
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