Don’t expect change after coronavirus while Boris Johnson is in charge
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Readers are sceptical that there will be any change from the Tory government after the coronavirus outbreak.
For the past few years, politics has been dominated by matters of principle and personality: the principles of Brexit (pure sovereignty versus shared sovereignty); the personalities of Johnson, Corbyn and Farage. Now, all governments, will be judged on how effective they have been in the twin battles to save lives and livelihoods, even if in the short term, nations rally to their leaders. And slogans will not be enough. Thereafter, the principled divisions will resurface. No doubt after the Plague Year and the Fire of London that quickly followed, the nation and capital rallied with the need to rebuild. But the unresolved issues quickly resurfaced, a contemporary noting in 1681, 'instead of Cavalier and Roundhead, now they are called Torys and Wiggs'. In 2020, how we survive and recover from Covid – as sovereign competing nations, or sharing resources, vaccines, support, trade – will help shape the long-term resolution of Brexit and other populisms: so will it be as isolationist nations or international allies?
You may also want to watch:
We do need some optimism right now, and in your 'Life After The Virus' special issue (TNE #190), John Kampfner, Frances Coppola, Catherine Rowett, Mike Galsworthy, even James Ball all have high hopes of changes for the better. I wish I could share their confidence.
Positive change is possible at grassroots and middle levels – businesses, entrepreneurs, environmentalists, philanthropists – but the problem is at national level. The chances of any moves in the right direction on the economy, social problems, green issues, pollution, climate change and greater financial equality are extremely unlikely while we continue to have this Brexit-loving, arrogant government in power.
- 1 The bigot we should have called out on day one
- 2 The greatest failure of government in our lifetime
- 3 Nigel Farage launches new party in Scotland to promote 'positive case for the Union'
- 4 Matt Hancock praises free school meals before being reminded he voted against them
- 5 Brexit changes lead to exodus of Brits from Spain, UK nationals claim
- 6 James O'Brien schools Brexiteer who refuses to accept new EU-UK trade rules
- 7 Brexiteer rebuked after backing Nigel Farage's 'East Germany' claims
- 8 Brexiteer MP ridiculed after calling for free movement of goods between GB and NI
- 9 Tory candidate suspended by party over comments about ‘fat’ food bank user
- 10 No 10 defends Stanley Johnson receiving two coronavirus vaccines while others don't
Boris Johnson has hollowed out the Tory Party. Those with intelligence or experience have been pushed out. We have an incompetent prime minister presiding over a government of equal incompetents.
What hope is there that they could actually plan long-term for a new type of society?
I am puzzled by the remarks of your columnists, who seem to believe that a change in Tory politics will take place after the virus disappears from our lives.
I am sure that there will be some additional money for the NHS, but that scenario also has the benefit of portraying Johnson as the PM who saved the nation.
Soon we will get back to the 'normal' of Tory government – MPs hope for ministerial positions and opt for association with lobbyists as an alternative, ministers look forward to a nice collection of non-executive directorships to supplement their pensions, earning more in a year than my father did in a lifetime
Will the Tory party really be willing to change track? Pigs might fly more easily!
• What do you think? Send your views for publication to email@example.com and see our full mailbag of letters in the newspaper every Thursday.
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.