London 6 June, 2022 – It’s not just about Partygate, the scandal which distanced the wider electorate from Boris Johnson. Economic crisis and unbearable cost of living are plunging British people in poverty and raised distrust into the Tories over the last months.
Loss of key seats in the last local elections to opposition Labour made clear to the Conservatives that Johnson can’t lead the party to victory at next general elections in 2024. With trust in his leadership at lowest level and Keir Starmer significative advance, Tories found today that minimum level of agreement resulting into what the British state TV called “substantial rebellion”, though MPs did not manage to oust the contested leader.
With 40% of Party support lost, a majority of 80 MPs over the opposition, and of 63 MPs within the Tory party, he might not survive the end of the year. Some MPs of his own party said probably Conservatives will have a new leader before the end of the year’s party conference.
The party is as split as British electorate: Tory 33% to Labour 39%. With such a disastrous majority, whose corruption, regressive and repressive laws, liberticide bills raised concerns even beyond UK borders ”any other opposition leader ‘would be 20 points ahead”, that’s the mot circulating outside Westminster when talking about Starmer.
If opposition were stronger, Britain wouldn’t be in this position today: twelve years of the worst ever leadership led the most advanced economy in Europe below the bar of basic democratic standards.
It’s not just a matter of unlawful parties and Covid rules breach, though this is morally relevant and impacted general trust in the government. Structural irreversible changes for worse have been inflicted to present and new generations in Britain: university and housing made systemically unaffordable, induced and propagandistic racism and xenophobia, widespread corruption from cash for content to the media for political support to million pounds wasted in contracts for orders of wrong Covid PPE.
Scaring laws such as the deportation in Rwanda of asylum seekers to process their visas and the upcoming Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill are the tragic symbols of a political leadership thriving only thanks to mediatic communication of strategic propaganda.
If they hold it’s only thanks to the weakness of the opposition who is not denouncing Tory attacks on every aspect of people’s life. Nearly all sectors of the society have been badly impacted and still the electorate supports a government led by a very wealthy elite who is impoverishing middle classes and using its own power against those who count nothing, who have nothing.
Though today Johnson’s power has been significantly reduced, still Tories hold. This happened because the ‘hard Tories’ closer to Johnson understand well that without the clownesque ability of Bojo to fool the less educated by disguising himself as ‘one of the people’, they won’t go far or last long even within their own party. Johnson’s supporters in the party are exactly those hard ultra-conservatives and hard-Brexiteers who are far away from ethics and any support for social justice, freedom, human rights and morality: if it wasn’t for Bojo’s sympathetic gaffes and incurable ‘compulsive lying’, they would have never moved past the Covid crisis.
They count on him as the only frontman who can make the show going on. Johnson was in fact a celebrity well before becoming PM, and well known to the public also for his role as Mayor of London. He is a mediatic personage, able to stand up to any opposition and crisis simply by putting the mask on. He is sympathetic and comes across as affordable to the public, even if he’s not, and he knows how to give people the illusion that even the poorest, those socially excluded who cannot afford entering in touch with the upper class, can interact with him, they feel close to him.
Starmer is exactly the opposite: serious, high level, strong legal background, high profile career, former head of CPS, he comes across like an authority, he stands out the crowd: he inspires social envy to the many who can’t afford anything anymore. The vast electorate feels the social distance, a gap they would never fill. Though the Labour Party in deeds is on the side of the haves not, these feel not represented by the left, when in reality they actually are and they would be at government level if the Labour were in charge.
It’s all about representation and media. That’s why Johnson’s supporters in the party keep him: the blond sympathetic, fatty Bri’ish brings votes. Who would ever vote the Tories if the leader was Rees Mogg, Sunak, Patel, Javid, Truss?
Media say this government’s days in power are counted. It might well be, but that 33% to 39% distance Cons to Lab in the polls is the real issue Britain will face within one year or, hopefully, earlier.