- Pandemic in Europe: viral anarchy spreads across the UK
- Coronavirus.Johnson proclaims the end of "national hibernation"
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will go on the offensive this week after his troubling crash in the polls, with the announcement of an ambitious € 274 billion public investment plan and the culmination of the 'purge' of top officials ( possible removal of Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill ), in what is interpreted as the final "revenge" of his strategist Dominic Cummings.
Johnson's step forward, with an interview in 'The Mail on Sunday' in which he claims to feel "strong as a butcher's dog" , comes at the time of the first poll in which Labor opposition leader Keir Starmer is listed as "Best Prime Minister" (37%), compared to Boris himself (35%), in the eyes of the British.
The same Opinium poll puts conservatives just four points ahead of Labor (43% to 39%) in voter preferences, versus the distance of over 15 points at the start of the pandemic. The fact of being listed as the country with the most deaths in Europe (43,514) and the cascade of errors in the de-escalation have notably pierced the public perception of Johnson, even questioned within the 'tories' ranks for his erratic leadership in recent months.
Johnson has had to personally come to terms with the rumors about his health, after the news (denied by Downing Street) that he had not fully recovered from the coronavirus after passing through the ICU of the St. Thomas hospital and that he needed to take it. naps during the day to regain strength. After his return to No. 10, followed by the birth of his son Wilfred, Johnson was actually absent from eight consecutive press conferences and missed several strategic Cobra cabinet meetings again, such as in the preamble to the pandemic.
Push-ups in your office
In a show before the cameras of 'The Mail on Sunday', to demonstrate his impeccable state of health, Johnson began to do push-ups on the carpet of his office after ensuring that he feels "better than ever." Even so, he admits that his morning jogging sessions with his dog Dilyn were especially slow until recently: "But in the last few days I have detected a noticeable increase in speed, and if I turn around I see security officers in a light jog. "
On the personal side, and despite having indefinitely renounced paternity leave, the 'premier' acknowledges that he is "present and involved in a meticulous way" in the care of his son, including changing diapers. Mother and son are "healthy and happy," he says. The date of his wedding with Carrie Symonds, however, is still in the air and pending events in the coming months.
"I don't want a second confinement," warns the president. "But if there are outbreaks somewhere, we will empower local governments to apply quarantine to whoever it comes from."
"The government has done some things well, but above all the people have done well," says Johnson, without going into details about the things that have gone wrong, starting with the excesses with the heat wave this week and the massive invasion. to the beaches of southern England.
"I would say to people who go out in large groups: you may think that you are immortal and that you will not suffer , but the virus that you carry can kill your family and your friends," Johnson warned, not without first acknowledging that the pandemic and confinement They have been "one of the greatest challenges the country has faced in 75 years."
The conservative leader hopes this week to silence criticism for his belated reaction to the economic crisis and the prospect of a forty-year reversal of the unemployment levels that preceded the Thatcher era. The 'premier' will launch on Tuesday the so-called 'Project Speed' with the destination of £ 250 billion in investments in hospitals, schools, housing and infrastructure such as the high-speed train between London and the north of England.
"We are going to redouble our efforts," he anticipated. "If the Covid has been the lightning bolt, we are going to feel a thunderclap of economic consequences ... What we are not going to do is going to be to return to the austerity of ten years ago."
By way of political lightning, the possible impeachment of senior official Mark Sedwill (anticipated by 'The Telegraph on Sunday') may trigger a new political storm. Sedwill's departure would be interpreted as Johnson's final gesture of support for his controversial strategist Cummings, three weeks after saving his post from the scandal of his violation of confinement traveling from London to Durham (400 kilometers) at the height of the pandemic.
Following Johnson's election in December, Cummings set a goal to sink his teeth into the British civil service and end the 'Kafkaesque' environment of Whitehall, the complex of government buildings that surrounds Downing Street. The first major victim of his offensive was the team of the then Secretary of the Treasury, Sajid Javid , who ended up resigning his post. The harassment culminated on February 20 with the resignation of Philip Rutnam as "permanent" Interior Secretary after his confrontation with cabinet chief Priti Patel . The coronavirus was a truce, but Cummings - creator of the Brexit victory in the EU referendum - seems ready to poison the political environment again as a personal revenge for the media harassment in recent weeks.
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