Quote of the day 24th September 2020

"Boris Johnson’s politics and personality do not appeal to everyone. There will be many who have cogent criticisms to make of his inability to acknowledge past mistakes that cost lives and his failure to explain present reversals of advice. Some loathe his face, his voice and his character so deeply that they will have barely taken in a word he said." 

"Yet for many more people, the person delivering these grim tidings is neither here nor there. Boris was elected less than a year ago and he is simply doing his job. What they do care about is whether he knows what he is doing. The prospect of a return to lockdown terrifies them and they will be relieved that this danger has been averted, at least for the moment.

"When Johnson claims that “this broad approach is shared across the whole UK”, most would not dissent. Indeed, it is striking that neither the other parties nor the devolved administrations, all of whom are led by enemies of the PM, have publicly denounced his policy." 

"Boris Johnson has had to take tougher decisions than any of his recent predecessors in office. The economy has been damaged, the NHS has struggled to cope, children’s education has suffered, the weaknesses of British society have been laid bare, but so far we have avoided chaos and kept our nerve.

"The moderate course that is now being steered — neither laissez-faire nor authoritarian — commands general, if grudging, support. 

"Boris Johnson knows he is no Churchill, but he was right to deploy Churchillian prose in his broadcast. Just as the success of Britain’s wartime leadership depended on solidarity in sacrifice to defeat Nazi Germany, so today he is gambling on our readiness to put aside our personal interests for the sake of the common good. Churchill could appeal to a nation that had been through hell only a generation before, but he repeatedly reminded people of very recent dark times, such as the fall of France and Dunkirk.

"Boris likewise invokes our memories of March, when “we pulled together in a spirit of national sacrifice and community”. 

"The idea of togetherness, of a people that is far more than the sum of its parts, is immensely powerful. It is no more a Conservative idea than it is a Labour or Liberal one. It is no more English than Scottish, Welsh or Irish. It is, in the best sense, the idea of the nation. If Boris Johnson can summon up the courage and skill to lead us out of the wilderness of this pandemic, he will not only deserve the nation’s gratitude, but to be remembered as a genuinely national leader."

Extracts from a piece by Daniel Johnson on "The Article" which you can read in full here.



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