Boris Johnson may be an expert on ancient Greek classical writing but he’s hapless when it comes to the problems of modern society says Voice of the Mirror
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Britain today is not the nation Boris Johnson hoped to lead when he jubilantly bounced into office 26 months ago. We accept that events beyond his control have seen to that – but not the way he so comprehensively screwed up decisions under his control.
No one could have seen Covid coming when Mr Johnson took over No10 in July, 2019. Yet when the virus did arrive, the PM initially bungled our response at every turn.
The PM also could not have foreseen the appalling murder of Sarah Everard. But he could have done more to make women and girls feel safer on Britain’s streets. Priti Patel’s extra £25million is too little, too late.
The Grenfell tower tragedy did not happen on Mr Johnson’s watch. But the failure to get to grips with huge cladding replacement bills facing three million flat owners did.
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Tomorrow we name Tom Mansell as the first suicide victim linked to the scandal. Mr Johnson should have acted before he died. He must act now before others do.
The £20 Universal Credit uplift is a lifeline for 5.5 million families. On Wednesday Mr Johnson intends to end it.
He could avoid the misery and hunger that will cause at a stroke, yet so far he has shown no sign of bending.
So much for levelling-up the country. Instead of the helping hand for low-income families he promises, he is kicking them in the teeth. And booting 200,000 children into poverty with his other shoe.
Mr Johnson deals with each disaster that befalls us with a ready joke and the odd quote from an ancient Greek. It is not enough.
A half-way competent PM would get his nose out of old classics and his head round today’s problems.
Aristotle had much to say on the universal human condition but little about stocking empty supermarket shelves.
Socrates may have founded Western philosophy but was not so hot at delivering petrol to garage forecourts.
And the shortage of HGV drivers was something Mr Johnson should have seen coming.
He knew last year that 25,000 fewer drivers passed their tests because of the pandemic. He knew in March that 16,000 EU truckers who had lived and worked in Britain had left. He was repeatedly told this country needed 100,000 extra drivers. His panic plan to lure 5,000 foreign ones here is a sticking plaster when full-on transplant surgery is needed.
The Tories once told us we’d never had it so good. An honest prime minister would admit we have never had it so bad.
Mr Johnson’s relentless ebullience has already cost too many Covid victims their lives. He should knuckle down before chaos turns to catastrophe.
Instead the PM’s slogan for his party conference this week is the jaunty Build Back Better.
While what he should be addressing with the utmost seriousness is a Britain now bruised and battered.