Thought for the day
It is rather difficult to tell where the current slew of allegations of sleaze against the Tories is going to take us. It was reckoned that John Major’s government was badly damaged by the sleaze factor, although I feel there was a backwash which slopped over Labour too. It wasn’t long before the F1 tobacco exemption scandal confirmed that ‘all politicians are the same’ and now, after the MPs’ expenses scandal public confidence has clearly not returned. A cynicism has set in which I suspect turns people off politics and certainly does not enthuse them to do anything about it (whatever it is). ‘Vote that lot out’ is fine, if you have a positive feel about ‘Vote this lot in.’ Johnson seems to have taken on board Trump’s discovery that no matter how badly you perform, and no matter how sleazy your administration is, the main redemptive factor these days is just to be ‘one of us,’ a simulacrum of ‘normality,’ a flawed human being without pretensions to sainthood. Trump famously said that if he shot somebody on Fifth Avenue, nobody would be bothered (or words to that effect). Johnson has one of the worst Covid death rates of any leader, and nobody seems to be bothered. The Tories’ poll rankings are still well above Labour’s. Labour has unfortunately signally failed to make anybody bothered about the death rate. So much for constructive opposition. So who will remember in two or three years’ time whether Johnson actually said he would rather see bodies piling up then entertain a third lockdown? In the face of a multiple liar, who was elected on the back of multiple lies, and who will lie again and again, what’s new? What would actually make voters change their opinion? It will have to be something nobody has yet anticipated, least of all the nincompoop Johnson himself.
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