In the 2019 general election, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labor Party suffered its most crushing defeat since 1935, handing Boris Johnson the gift of a lifetime: complete control of Parliament. Corbyn resigned and the shattered Labor Party held a leadership election. On April 2, Keir Starmer won by a landslide. Hope flickered that the next election could be a victory for Labour. Then Covid-19 hit us between the eyes.
Despite the shaky incompetence and criminal negligence of Boris Johnson and his government, which has put us in the unenviable position of bearing the brunt in Europe, opinion polls consistently show the British public support the government. But Boris Johnson and his clumsy and unskilled staff have been living on borrowed time. When Parliament reopened, Keir Starmer criticized the government in the PMQs with clarity, persistence and forensic dignity, and he has not given up.
He is the leader we long for, while Boris Johnson has only made a fool of himself, unable to back up his own claims, or to respond coherently to Starmer.
Not surprisingly, Starmer’s net approval ratings have surpassed Johnson’s. In the latest Opinium poll, 35% support Labor’s opposition to the government, 20% disapprove and 33% are neutral. The government’s approval ratings have plummeted from 65% when the lockdown was announced to 39%. Disapproval rose six points to 42%.
Calls for an investigation into government failings are growing in volume. I thought you could do whatever you wanted, Boris Johnson. That rupture of the red wall in the elections, his control of Parliament? wasted. There is a riot in the north and many cities refuse to end the lockdown. Now it looks like the blue wall will come crashing down as Keir Starmer proves that integrity in British politics is alive and well. That’s leadership for you.
Being in opposition to a government with a large majority does not mean that you are powerless. The truth is enormously powerful. Some people don’t know how much they crave it until they hear it. They may not realize how many lies and cover-ups have left them feeling assaulted until they witness integrity.
Meanwhile, in the US, Barack Obama is influencing again and Joe Biden is doing a brilliant job of uniting the Democrats. All this gives me hope that good will triumph over evil, that the rise of the extreme right, with Donald Trump and Boris Johnson and their respective parties, has been more of a death rattle than the beginning of anything sustainable.