Boris Johnson is pandering to the worst demands of his backbenchers in a desperate bid to stop them booting him out of 10 Downing Street, it seems.
He has apparently drawn up a list of extreme actions that he hopes will persuade his Parliamentary party not to challenge his leadership.
- Promising to end the BBC licence fee, putting the existence of the UK’s beloved public service broadcaster in jeopardy.
- Announcing plans to tackle the backlog of operations in the NHS that has arisen because of his party’s failure to fund and staff the public health provider properly.
- Lifting Covid-19 health protection measures (otherwise known as restrictions) on January 26, whether it is safe to do so or not.
- Ordering the military into the English Channel to stop foreign nationals from crossing to the UK.
- Forcing the 1.5 million people who are out of work and on Universal Credit into government-funded skills and job training (but not creating actual work for them).
- Publishing Michael Gove’s “Levelling-Up” White Paper, that aims to improve neglected towns in northern England. So far, so-called “levelling-up” money is notable for having been used to improve a Tory aristocrat’s driveway, costing the public £300,000.
- And announcing a workplace booze ban to end the drinking culture in what has been called “Club Downing Street”.
If any of that sounds good to you, it shouldn’t.
The BBC remains the best creator and broadcaster of TV and radio in the world – because it is funded by licence fee and does not have to pander to shareholders, advertisers or even ratings. This means programming for minority interests is not only possible, but encouraged. Johnson’s plan will make it the same as every other broadcaster – if it survives. Culture secretary Nadine Dorries has leapt at the opportunity to kill off this huge national asset, like the raving dunderhead she is.
How will Johnson tackle the backlog of operations that his own idiocy has run up? He’ll probably farm it out to private companies, funnelling even more of our money into shareholders’ pockets. If previous records are any yardstick, many of the operations will be botched and NHS surgeons will have to repair the damage.
Johnson’s attitude to Covid-19 has been wrong throughout the crisis. Here he is being influenced by his backbenchers who don’t care about public health but do want the proles to get back to work, making money for them and their doners. If he lifts the measures that protect us too soon – again – he will pitch us back into crisis.
What will happen when the Royal Navy – intentionally or otherwise – sinks a boat full of refugees? How will Johnson respond to the international incident he will have created?
Funding skills and work training may seem a good idea, but there is no guarantee that this training will be of any use at all; based on Johnson’s criteria for handing out Covid-19-related funding, it seems likely that it will be a tick-box exercise for hastily-created firms founded by friends of Conservative MPs to take more money from the public purse.
The failings of “Levelling-Up” are already well-documented, and publishing a White Paper is not the same as putting the right money in the right places. In fact, experience of Johnson suggests the exact opposite will happen.
And announcing a booze ban isn’t the same as stopping the drinking culture in Downing Street. Far from it. Johnson is a liar. He’s most likely to tell us he has done something, and then carry on partying as though no scandal happened at all. What do his MPs think the public will do, when we find out that he has let us down again?
The whole strategy – if it can really be dignified with such a description – is being called “Operation Red Meat”. One questions how Johnson arrived at the title.
Is it because he intends to rip the best parts of the UK – its finest institutions – into bloody shreds and then feed them to his toadies?
We can all foresee the harm Johnson is planning. Here’s just one comment on his plan to destroy the BBC:
Operation Red Meat. Get Dorries to launch another war on the BBC and set the army on the small boats to deflect from party-gate and get the right wing press and hard Brexit voters back on side. So predictable. All in the name of saving Boris Johnson. Appalling
— Shane (@shane_glag) January 16, 2022
And then, of course, there’s this:
Operation Red Meat is a distraction from these new Laws being sneaked in:
* Anti-Protesting Bill
* NHS Privatisation Bill
* Anti-Refugee Bill
Don't let Tories distract you while they take away your Human Rights.
— Lloyd Hardy (@LloydHardy) January 16, 2022
Worst of all is: You won’t have any say in whether this happens or not.
The decision will be left with Conservative MPs – and we all know that their first priority has never been the good of the nation; they will do whatever they think will enrich themselves in the extreme short term.
You’ll get your chance to vote them out in 2024. If these plans – including the Police, NHS privatisation and anti-refugee Bills – have been enacted by then, it will be too late to save the institutions that have made Britain great.
And the alternative, of course, will be an extreme right-wing organisation masquerading under the name of the Labour Party, whose policy platform will bear no resemblance at all to traditional Labour philosophy.
In other words – and purely for your information: Boris Johnson is trying to use this threat to his leadership as a way of screwing you even harder than he was doing before.