Governments, like children, are best seen and not heard. This administration has been in an almost permanent state of tantrum since day one. It is hard to conclude Boris Johnson has the power to lead his party, this government or the country. The second to last thing an embattled Britain needs is another leadership contest distracting from what could, with mismanagement, turn into a full-blown economic crisis, if it has not already done so.
But at least that will, we hope, bring an end to the bloodletting, to internal chaos which has prevented Johnson’s administration from beginning to grasp the scale of the challenge which faces us.
It is also worth looking back at the hope we had in 2019, for that gives us a sense of the scale of the opportunity missed.
Boris Johnson won a storming majority the likes of which we had not seen since Tony Blair reshaped the electoral map and the Labour Party.
He did so on two tenets: he would “get Brexit done” and deliver the country from the uncertainty it had lived in since the 2016 referendum. He would enable Britain to make the most of its freedoms, to let the City shine with looser listing rules to tempt more tech firms to go public in the capital, to overhaul legacy-EU directives holding our insurance industry back.
He would also “level up the country”. This message struck a chord. The economic inequality and underinvestment into “forgotten” communities and regions, as well as within London itself has held the country back. But, a new dawn would beckon, his premiership promised, we would be free and more prosperous, with enough Conservative MPs to avoid the day-to-day drama of Westminster becoming centre stage.
What did we get?
The City still has little idea on its future relationship with the European Union, indeed we could be facing a trade war with the bloc.
Our economy is teetering on a recession. We have an ageing population because of a financially hostile country to raise a child in, a housing crisis with still no solutions.
London, meanwhile, has been damaged every day by a government which failed to recognise the contributions it made to the economy.
The Prime Minister faced huge challenges, but too many of them were self-made.
He never fleshed out his ideology, he was unable to hold the core of his party together once the Brexit question was removed from the equation and he was too concerned with his personal mandate than the hard decisions which needed to be taken for the sake of our economy.
And then, the scandals. Endless, made worse by lies, and allowed to become a storm and a distraction from what the country needs.