This government will be swept away unless it has a story to tell - by Sherelle Jacobs
Barring another threatened lockdown in the autumn which no one admittedly has yet denied, it is nonetheless time to turn our attention to the post-pandemic political scene and the central question underpinning it: what does this government and this Prime Minister actually believe in?
The story so far, as with so much concerning Boris Johnson, is a blizzard of chaos, contradiction and obfuscation. An avowed free-marketeer presiding over the highest levels of taxation since 1948, an enthusiastic privatiser who is throwing unconscionable amounts of tax-payers money at an unreformed NHS, and a once-fearless polemicist now taking the knee to every passing metropolitan fad which happens to pass his nose. It has made him almost impossible to pin down politically, but this game of cloak and mirrors will not fool his new-found coalition of supporters for long.
At some point - and we at BringItBack will do all we can to pin him down on this at party conference - he will have to tell us what he stands for. The importance of his impending platform speech in October cannot be overstated. It may well come to define his entire Premiership.
Sherelle Jacobs, in her column for the Telegraph, attempts to peer through the fog for any discernible shape to his political philosophy:
"As he seeks to find a way through the maelstrom, the PM’s basic problem is that he is a leader without a story. Stripped of his rebellious, Churchillian optimism, he becomes apparent as a figure riven with contradictions. He is reportedly raring to get back to normal – but also not quite willing to rule out definitively a winter circuit-breaker or other draconian Covid restrictions. He wants to reboot the economy – but is willing to pummel it with taxes to prop up the NHS. Without a vision of his own, Mr Johnson can only triangulate against Labour, like a Tory Tony Blair.
He has seemingly decided to protect his landslide majority by occupying the Opposition’s centre-Left territory, while keeping lifelong conservatives just about on side. He would do well to heed WB Yeats’ dismaying words, which Didion is famed for taking mainstream, “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold”.
The full article is enclosed below with a link to the original beneath it: