Boris Johnson before the covid pandemic was the man who knew what the people wanted. They wanted Brexit. His well poised political sonar which won him the election however, has been either turned off or severely damaged, and along with that his energy and confidence.
During the election the prime minister was the bulldozer driving blonde man of Brexit. He was on one mission; to get Brexit done. After completing that almost instantly the world began to see the Coronavirus as a real threat. This is were Boris Johnson made his first mistake.
He elected not to take it as seriously as other countries favouring herd immunity. This was his first fatal step towards the deep hole the conservative party is destined for without real change.
After this mistake he needed to appear serious as he did when he sent the nation into lockdown a month or so later. He seems however to not have left this serious mode which is not good for him or the conservative party. This is because he has lost his identity in this pandemic.
Boris Johnson's identity and funny nature are the things that draw voters as well as controversy towards him. Not only does it bring him popularity and votes but it also drives him during debate and I believe in his work. Without his identity he looses his drive as we have seen in recent weeks especially in PMQs.
We see much less of his Borisisms which sum up the nations mood so well and instead see his vulnerabilities as a prime minister. Such vulnerabilities are ruthlessly exploited by the new analytical opposition led by Keir Starmer, who has soared in popularity polls now ahead of the docile prime minister.
No longer are the tales in the papers of PMQs about the prime minister ripping into the inconsistency and incompetence of the labour party and its leadership. Now we see them report on the surgical precision with which keir starmer examines government policy and exposes its flaws.
If Johnson still had is flare he would do better to combat the new guns firing on the government, the truth is however its gone for the time being. I personally thought and hoped a fresh start today after summer recess would allow Johnson to reset and recharge, and go ripping into the opposition, the reality however is that Keir is stronger.
Johnson also misses the jeering crowds of conservatives behind him who give him noise in the background and fire in his belly.
Johnson must now search for the spark he so desperately needs to bring this government back on track. Or we may well pay dearly down the road.
© 2020 Matthew Wood