How Did Tories Extend Their Lead?
Posted on March 9, 2021
I tell you what has intrigued me this week. The Tory Party extending its lead over Labour in the opinion polls. Why is that?
Some say that it is down to the vaccine roll out that has been a success. Others say that it is because the government are doing well in the circumstances and that Boris is doing his best. My son made me laugh the other day when he said that it won’t be long before Johnson gets a little trophy for being ‘Most Improved Prime Minister’. The implication being that ‘Most Improved’ trophies are generally reserved for the useless kid who turns up to football/cricket every week and does his best.
Of course, running a country isn’t like doing your best in an Under 11 football match, but it does seem to be how some people see it. Another reason could be that people are continuing to back the government through misplaced patriotism. They feel that it just isn’t right to turn on the PM and his cabinet in a crisis. I could buy into that theory myself if there wasn’t such industrial scale corruption with regards to public funds.
Both these reasons are plausible, but I think the key reason that the government are surviving this crisis is that people aren’t interested in corruption, or worse, they think it is acceptable. They feel it is just one of those things, even saying that they would steal public money themselves, given the chance (some are already doing this with false Furlough and Grant claims).
This kind of individualism is widespread and stems from an inability to think collectively for the greater good. It is so entrenched in society that a good number of people hear about Matt Hancock giving multimillion pound contracts to his mates and they think, “Fair play to him, I’d do the same if I could get rich out of it”. Then in the next sentence they will say that nurses can’t be offered a pay rise worth looking at, because the pot is empty.
Who emptied the pot?
Look Over There!
So, a large amount of people are refusing to get angry about corruption. Instead, they look elsewhere to vent their spleen. They’d rather get in a fizz about Meghan Markle, Shamina Begum, or the sexual orientation of a plastic potato from the Toy Story movies. None of these things will have any impact on their lives but it offers them a way out of confronting the things that do.
120,000 people have died of Covid-19 and that is not down to the government doing a good job. Test & Trace has been a multibillion-pound disaster and the distribution of PPE has been riddled with ineptitude, substantial allegations of corruption and failure to undertake due diligence of suppliers. How can a spat within the Royal family be more important than that?
What Keir Starmer has in his favour is that there is a long way to go before the next election. The current euphoria over the vaccine roll-out will be gone and the fall out of Covid and Brexit will start having an impact on the economy. The Brexit debt will no doubt be hidden in the Covid-19 losses account, but even if it is, questions will be asked. How did we incur more Covid debt than any other nation? It’s like when all the toxic mortgages got hidden in the 2000’s decade; you can’t hide it forever.
On top of all that, Starmer needs to up his game and I think he will. No longer hindered by the damage that criticising a government in a pandemic can do, he needs to load his guns and start giving it to the government with both barrels. He can’t go on appearing like an appeaser or he will get massacred in the next election.
The public also need to realise that a second-class degree in the classics and acting like a bumbling fool, is not what is needed to be a good Prime Minister, particularly in troubled times. It is in fact, the last thing we need.