day, another lockdown party at No. 10.
The Guardian published an image (Boris Johnson and staff pictured with wine in Downing Street garden in May 2020 | Boris Johnson | The Guardian) of Boris and his aides enjoying wine and cheese in May 2020 (the cheese and wine haven’t been specified, but I suspect a Blue Stilton with a tipple of Sangiovese were sloshed) whilst the rest of the country were under lockdown measures.
In the image Boris reclines in a sun-drenched garden whilst chatting, without an apparent care, to his aide.
The pressure builds on Boris after earlier this month Allegra Stratton resigned after a video went viral showing her laughing about Christmas parties (Downing Street staff shown joking in leaked recording about Christmas party they later denied | ITV News)
The Beastie Boys once said ‘You gotta fight. For your right. To parrrrrty’.
They continued with the not-so-subtle political shake-down of Boris Johnson on Friday, 17-12-21.
With language like “The party’s over” and “last orders” –
the message was clear from North Shropshire and the new Lib Dem by-election winner, Helen Morgan (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-shropshire-59693102).
Boris, whether enforcing another lockdown or not, is the proverbial Christmas kill-joy -
the uncle drunk before breakfast;
the brandy pudding without silver coins;
or the table without brussel sprouts (I know, they’re back).
Boris announced a return of mask-wearing on the 27-11-21 after the ominously sounding Omnicron hit the streets. These were tightened with another announcement on the 8-12-21, stating:
· mandatory masks in more venues;
· people asked to work from home where they can;
· self-isolation to be replaced by daily testing for contacts of Covid people;
· and the NHS Covid Pass required for visitors to nightclubs, indoor unseated venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people and any event with more than 10,000 people (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-59585307).
Titled as ‘Plan B’, (or, in some circles, ‘The Boris Plan’; ok, those some circles are only one circle – and that one circle only includes me…) the suggestion resonates: follow this, or another plan will follow (presumably, titled this time as ‘Plan A’) that claws us back into the ‘you-can-see-your-family-for-one-day’ type of Christmas from last year.
Paul Edmundson from Shropshire said –‘I think the way the last few weeks have gone, a lot of confidence [in the Conservatives] ha[s] eroded away’ (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-politics-59687316). Shropshire, a seat seen as a Conservative ‘in-the-bag’ county, represents a turn in Boris’ support. Tim Farron, former Lib Dem leader, went with ‘the people of North Shropshire [are] speaking for the people of Britain’ (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-politics-59687316).
It’s this feeling, that the festive party won’t go ahead, and we’ll all become well acquainted with Zoom quizzes again, that Boris’ political adversaries are latching on to.
And latch on they shall, with the sting of No. 10 parties still fresh, whilst the rest of the country was under lockdown measures, the pressure on Boris is reaching Bethlehem Star levels.
not just the opposition that see a chink in the floppy fringe of Boris’ armour.
His own back-benchers have risen in open revolt with these latest measures.
Given in blustering breath by Tory MP Roger Gale, ‘One more strike and he’s out’, Boris is teetering on the Tory MP precipice.
The fight from the back was all the more pronounced with Sir Graham Brady stating he will accept letters of no confidence in the Prime Minister over Christmas (Tory backbench chiefs ALL join rebellion against Boris | Daily Mail Online.
And, to dig in the thorned holly even deeper, Boris needed a political lifeline from Kier Starmer and Labour to pass the public health measure. Because of the back-bencher rebellion, a majority was only possible with the red side of the House of Commons' support. Kier Starmer, tinsel-red in quiet confidence, said '[the Prime Minister was] so weak that without Labour votes last night a vital public health measure would not have gone through (PMQs: Boris Johnson has lost the trust and authority to lead - Sir Keir Starmer - BBC News)
How about those baubles, Boris?
So, as Helen Morgan burst Boris' bubble on the frost-tipped slopes of North Shropshire, Boris may just have heard the bell ringing behind his parliamentary bar.
Merry Christmas all (hope not to see you over Zoom).