Boris Johnson could falter further due to political or economic upheaval
Monday night’s vote of no confidence for Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent Britain back to bare-knuckle political struggles after a decidedly apolitical weekend, when Britons celebrated Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee and her role unifier as a popular and symbolic head of state.
But during the four-day celebration of the Queen’s 70 years on the throne, Mr Johnson’s issues have been on full display, underscoring national discontent with the Prime Minister and putting his public persona in stark relief alongside that of the Queen.
Throughout the weekend, as Mr Johnson took part in Jubilee celebrations, members of the public – and even attendees – made their contempt known.
Mr Johnson and his wife, Carrie Johnson, were booed as they walked up the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday ahead of a service of thanksgiving. Videos circulated showing a similar response as they attended a Saturday night concert outside Buckingham Palace. And during the gig, two actors, Lee Mack and Stephen Fry, digged at Mr Johnson on the national stage.
But it was the revelers who took to the streets of London over the long weekend who remarked – spontaneously and often – on their distrust of the government, even as they reflected on their admiration for the Queen. , giving insight into how the general public perceived their leader. .
Marian Argent, 77, who had gathered with three generations of her family on the Mall outside Buckingham Palace for the Trooping the Color parade on Thursday, remarked that the Queen was a unifying force, “unlike to politicians”.
She rolled her eyes at “Boris,” with a sigh, before quickly focusing on the festivities.
On Friday in Hyde Park, Marina Burns, 60, said of the celebrations for the Queen: ‘It’s all apolitical, that’s why it’s so unifying.
“Meanwhile, politics is a mess,” Ms Burns added. “It’s absolutely appalling at the minute with Boris and Partygate.”
She said she saw the Jubilee celebrations as one of the first post-Covid moments in which the nation could truly find joy, amid the ‘dark fate’ of failing leaders, economic hardship and pandemic loss. .
A few park benches away, 60-year-old Erwin Kunnen, who had come from the Netherlands and was waiting to leave for his flight home, also pointed to the “mess with the prime minister” as one of the many difficulties the Great Britain was facing. Britain was currently facing, and why so many people were excited about the Jubilee positivity.
Catherine Cooke, 48, who works for the National Health Service, also inserted an exasperated comment about government failures into an otherwise glowing account of the festivities.
Ms Cooke, reflecting on the ‘great respect’ for the Queen because of her sense of duty to the country, added: ‘Our politicians, like Boris, not so much’.
Comments on the streets of London may be indicative of greater national sentiment, with Mr Johnson’s approval rating in a YouGov poll falling to just 26% in early May. Hot on the heels of the Sue Gray report late last month which highlighted failure of government leadership during coronavirus lockdowns, some 60% of people polled by YouGov said Mr Johnson should no longer be leader of the Conservative Party.
A snap poll from Opinium on Monday morninghours after the vote was announced, found that 28% of voters thought Tory lawmakers should vote to keep Mr Johnson, while 59% thought they should vote to impeach him.