The results of the latest poll show that Boris Johnson‘s popularity in the UK has dropped to its lowest level since taking office. Deutsche Welle reported Boris Johnson’s growing unpopularity among British MPs as well. The Labour leader accused the prime minister of “betraying” the Afghan people. Johnson’s allies also harshly criticised him. The unsustainable management of Covid-19 has eroded public confidence in Boris Johnson
Ian Blackford wrote in a Twitter message: “Conservative government ministers cannot shirk their responsibility for this foreign policy catastrophe. Dominic Raab failed in his basic duties as Secretary of State and endangered the lives of the people. Moreover, Johnson’s government is now strongly criticised by the Labour Party, and tax increases could increase the opposition parties’ chances of winning the next election. Public alarm over the incompetence of Boris Johnson and his cabinet ministers in fulfilling their promises has been sounded, and this may lead to his early resignation in the near future.”
The latest poll shows that Boris Johnson’s popularity has dropped to its lowest level since taking office. According to the Guardian, currently 34% of respondents to the opinion poll published in the Observer newspaper are satisfied with Johnson’s performance and 49% are dissatisfied, which is 2% more than in the previous poll. The results of the poll show that the popularity of Labour and opposition leader Keir Starmer has also dropped to its minimum, and only 28% of respondents are satisfied with his performance. Among British political parties, the Conservatives are still 7% ahead of the Labour Party, with 42% of the popular vote. The Liberal Democrats are next with 7% and the Greens with 5%. The findings of the latest poll show that Boris Johnson‘s popularity has dropped to its lowest level since taking office. The main component identified in the survey as the main cause of dissatisfaction with Johnson is the prevalence of the pandemic.
During the first months of the Covid-19 outbreak in Britain, Boris Johnson stubbornly prevented the minimal closure of public places and offices. He believed that the Covid-19 virus could be defeated by relying on a “collective safety” strategy. The cost of this approach by the British government has brought the country to its current state! Many medical analysts and experts in the UK blame Boris Johnson’s government for this. Imitating Trump’s actions in the early days of the Covid-19 outbreak, the British prime minister ridiculed the virus and even shook hands with everyone despite health and medical advice, and ignored the cancellation of crowded meetings. Johnson, in a directive criticised by the World Health Organization, even rejected the “social distancing” strategy and instead put the “collective safety” strategy on the agenda. Johnson believed that by infecting at least 70% of the population, the community would be immune to Covid-19. But of course tens of thousands would die! Thus, the British government refused to adopt a lockdown in public places, restaurants, sports venues and training centres in the early days of the outbreak. The government backed down from this dangerous approach when many people were suffering from Covid-19.
Failure in Afghanistan
According to Deutsche Welle, in the British Parliament, tkhe Labour leader accused the prime minister of “betraying” the Afghan people. Johnson’s allies also harshly criticised him. He said he did not have much choice but to follow the United States. Members of the British Parliament have been summoned to an emergency session to discuss the Afghan crisis on Wednesday. The meeting sparked emotional controversy and sharp criticism of the Prime Minister. Johnson told lawmakers that Britain would “continue its work for the people of Afghanistan.”
Boris Johnson said the British government was closely monitoring the Taliban regime’s actions and what options it was choosing: “We will test the (Taliban) regime not on the basis of their words, but on the basis of their actions.” Labour leader Keir Starmer accused Boris Johnson of “shocking selfishness” and “betrayal” of the Afghan people over the dire situation in Afghanistan and the desperation of the Afghan people. Starmer emphasised that the government’s assessment of the Taliban threat was so wrong that they were able to return to power without any resistance.
Johnson said the government did not have many options and had to follow the US plan to withdraw its troops. He said the countries that had joined the military coalition in Afghanistan were no longer willing to continue the mission after 20 years, because they believed there was no military solution. This is why this US-led mission had to end.
Former Prime Minister Theresa May has also accused the government of failing to cooperate with the United States on leaving Afghanistan: “The government thought it could solve everything overnight.” Johnson said more than 2,000 people had already left Afghanistan with British help.
The Labour leader also criticised the government’s failure to properly organise the withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan over the past year and a half. The government’s negligence is that what we have achieved in the last 20 years may be wasted, Starmer said. Speaking to Boris Johnson about the pandemic, Labour leader Keir Starmer said his indifference had killed 17,000 people and infected one million.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson may lose their jobs as Boris Johnson reportedly intends to make changes to his cabinet. It is said that the prime minister is considering the necessary changes to his team, which may take effect very soon.
The prime minister’s office has ruled out change, but some news sources speculate that Johnson is likely to wait until after the COP26 climate change summit in November. Education Minister Williamson is likely to be the most vulnerable if he decides to push for change this week, as he has lost the confidence of many Conservative MPs to continue his work after a series of mistakes during the covid 19 pandemic.
Raab’s position as foreign minister has also been compromised after his holiday during the fall of Kabul last month. His role in the Afghan crisis seems to have angered Conservative Party members. Raab and Williamson have fallen sharply in the Johnson Cabinet performance appraisal table. Johnson and his secretary of state have come under fire in recent days from politicians in various parties, and some have even called for Raab’s resignation. In one of the sharpest criticisms of the government, Ian Blackford wrote in a Twitter message: “Conservative government ministers cannot shirk their responsibility for this foreign policy catastrophe.
Dominique Raab failed in his basic duties as Secretary of State and endangered the lives of the people. His position is indefensible and he must either resign or be fired.”
Former Secretary of Defence George Robertson and Secretary-General of NATO at the time of the 9/11 attacks had previously criticised Raab’s trip, saying it was “shocking” that “while our mission in Afghanistan is falling apart, he is on holiday”. “The fact that the Secretary of State is missing shows the aimlessness of our government’s response to what was planned twenty years ago,” said Robertson, a former official of the All-Party Parliamentary Group.
Simultaneously with the capture of Kabul by the Taliban, Dominique Raab had gone to the Greek island of Crete for a leisure trip, leafing Afghan affairs to one of his lower-level deputies. In response to the criticism, Boris Johnson claimed that Britain should be proud of its legacy in Afghanistan. “We can be proud of our forces for everything they have achieved and for the legacy they have left,” he said in response to growing criticism of him and his foreign minister over the plan to get Afghan allies out.
Johnson’s remarks were criticised by the Opposition Labour Party, which said the British government was powerless because the Taliban had taken control of Afghanistan and Britain was frantically trying to get its personnel, citizens and allies out of Kabul.
Ian Blackford, a member of the Scottish National Party, asked the prime minister why he was defending his foreign minister, Dominic Raab, who was on holiday during the Taliban occupation of Afghanistan, and why he was not fired for failing to address the crisis. Blackford also cited many of the government’s immediate unanswered emails about airlifting British and Afghan nationals out of Kabul.
According to Turkey’s Anatolia News Agency, Britain says a total of 20,000 Afghans will be relocated to Britain over five years under a policy of relocation and assistance to Afghans. This figure is small compared to Britain’s allies, which have attracted more than 100,000 people. The British government has been accused of abandoning Afghans who supported British forces in the two-decade war.
Austerity and Financial Pressures on People
Boris Johnson, along with Treasury Secretary Rishi Sunak and Health Minister Sajid Javid, announced their decision to raise taxes at a news conference. Accordingly, the prime minister is set to increase part of the taxes in order to cover the cost of changes in the social welfare system. Given that the Conservative Party promised in the previous general election in 2019 that it would not increase taxes, any increase would turn people away from the ruling party. Boris Johnson will increase the national insurance tax by 1.25 percent for citizens of working age to cover changes in the social welfare system. The increase will be 250 pounds a year for people earning 30,000 pounds a year.
A number of senior members of the ruling Conservative Party, including William Hague ,warned that voters will not forget about breaking election promises. Ian Duncan Smith, another former leader of the British Conservative Party, also said the tax increase was a “shame”.
The Johnson government is now strongly criticised by the Labour Party, and tax increases could increase the opposition parties’ chances of winning the next election.
Johnson added that funding for the project will be split between individuals, businesses and those with higher incomes. Thus, from October 2023, people with more than £20,000 in assets will share in their treatment costs proportionate to their income.
Johnson said the share would not exceed £86,000 over a lifetime, but would be a heavy cost given the average income in the UK. He predicts that under the plan, 36 billion pounds will be raised over the next three years to expand the health sector, increasing patient admission capacity by 110%. In his speech, the prime minister admitted that he had broken the Conservative Party’s election promises, but that there was no way out for the government due to the economic pressures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. He claimed that his government had taken a fair approach, saying that the pandemic was not foreseen in any government programme.
However, members of parliament criticised the government’s plan and called it insulting. Labour leader, Keir Starmer, said that the implementation of the plan would make people poorer. Liberal Democrat leader, Ed Davey, also called the increase in taxes to cover medical expenses unfair.
Tory Failure in the Middle East
The Middle East is seldom the centerpiece of British politics. But when that happens, the consequences can be really dramatic. The current crisis is hurting Boris Johnson, who has already the subject of a series of abnormal investigations.
The Suez Crisis, when the Israeli, French and British invasion of Egypt failed in 1956, caused trouble for the country and ended the presidency of Anthony Eden. Nearly half a century later, the invasion of Iraq drew more than a million people to the streets in Britain and finally helped end Tony Blair‘s presidency.
Britain is in a state of crisis today with another catastrophe in the Middle East. This one is different because it is not directly related to British foreign policy. Instead, it is about a bitter internal struggle within the ruling Conservative Party, and this is more deadly politically. Thanks to this crisis, every day we find new information about the methods of financing the Conservative Party. This will increase the list of unanswered questions. The crisis will not be as deep as the Iraq war, but it will hurt Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He has already been involved in a series of abnormal investigations, and this new case is personally dangerous for him.
Tory-Middle East Ties
The dispute began as a struggle to control relations between the Tory Party and the Middle East. The relationship has been managed for years by the Conservative Council of the Middle East (CMC), chaired by Sir Nicholas Soames, grandson of Winston Churchill and one of the leaders of the Tory Party. The council’s monopoly was threatened after Boris Johnson became the leader of the Tory Party in Britain.
As revealed in Middle East II two months ago, a rival group called the Conservative Friends of the Middle East and North Africa (COMENA) argued that it could do a better job than the council. Mohammed Amersi, a businessman and supporter of the Conservative Party backed by Johnson, sees the COMENA as a replacement for the CMC.
Amersi said in an interview last month that he wanted COMENA to cover 23 countries, from Mauritania in West Africa to Afghanistan in the east. He has brought together a group of senior figures, including former Prime Minister Theresa May, as supporters. He said he did not seek personal gain in setting up the organisation. He stressed that his main goal was to link the Conservative Party to the Middle East by visiting the region, educating lawmakers on the Middle East, inviting members to Tory Party conferences and opening efficient bilateral trade channels with the United Kingdom. He stated that this institution will not interfere in solving the unresolved diplomatic problems of the region, because this is the duty of the Foreign Office. He stated that he is ready to interact with all parties, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Palestine, and does not pursue any personal interests. “We do not lobby for any country in the way that Tom Barrack did on behalf of the UAE,” he said.
Barrack was arrested two weeks ago by the United Arab Emirates on charges of illegally influencing the Trump administration. Amersi also said that the organisation would be affiliated with the Conservative Party, unlike the CMC.
Johnson-Ben Elliott Relationship
Earlier this year, however, a legal dispute arose between Amersi and CMEC Director Charlotte Leslie. This conflict did not seem important at first. However, this was exacerbated by investigative journalists Tom Burgis of the Financial Times and Gabriel Pogrund of the Sunday Times. Both reporters carefully covered the role of Ben Elliott, who was chosen by Boris Johnson as the Chairman of the Tory Party and was a supporter of the internal conservatives, Amersi, and COMENA. Elliott, like many other figures around Johnson, needs an explanation.
At first glance, the 45-year-old businessman looks like a textbook Conservative. He was educated at Eton and is the nephew of the Duchess of Cornwall who is married to Prince Charles, and the son of Simon Elliott, the great landowner of Dorset. Four years ago, then-Prime Minister Theresa May appointed him to the board of directors of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Tory leaders are usually powerful politicians with deep roots in the Conservative Party. Theresa May, Norman Tebbit, William Whitelaw, and Peter Carrington, are among Elliott’s predecessors. These people have been very impressive by any standard you can consider.
The role of the Conservative Party leaders, from Carrington to May, was to represent the popular views of the Tory Party and to explain the actions of their leadership.
There is no doubt, however, that Elliott has a strong presence in the hearts of those around Johnson and will continue to do so. Obviously, he is not there to represent the people or take care of their issues; his role is to manage the finances. Therefore, it is better for him to be the treasurer of the Tory Party than the chairman.
Johnson probably values his communication. Elliott is the co-founder of the Quintessentially Group, a company that provides services to the very wealthy. Using Elliott’s family relationships with the Prince of Wales, the company pays rich people to lead intelligent communities and introduce them to the elite community.
One of Quintessentially’s longtime clients is Mohamed Amersi, with whom he worked for years before Elliott was elected chairman of the Tory Party. When the Sunday Times asked Amersi if Elliott would pay a ransom to stay in the game, he replied in surprise: “You call it pay-to-play, I call it access capitalism.” The truth is that you say the same thing, only the name is different, you receive invitations when you have access, if you are part of the system and contribute financially somewhere to be part of that system, you get privileged relationships. The question arises as to whether Elliott uses Quintessentially’s advanced methodology in his role as party chairman. It is interesting to note that Amersi was a client of the company under Elliott long before he was in the Tory Party.
Johnson was elected prime minister by working-class voters. However, his government is more and more like a private club for the rich. Elliott seems to have helped Amersi become a trustworthy person with her aunt’s husband, Prince Charles, heir to the British throne. Now, Elliott has brought Amersi to the heart of the Conservative Party. Most donors to the net in Amersi’s position are usually silent. But he has spoken openly and extensively, shedding light on a usually hidden world for us.
Johnson’s government is more and more like a private club for the rich. In a party accused of working solely for the benefit of its supporters, Boris Johnson appears to be running Britain in the Ben Elliott style. His failure in fulfilling his promises during the elections, increasing taxes, poor control of Covid-19 in the UK, failure in Afghanistan, and growing unpopularity among the British nation and parliament have put him on the verge of resignation from office.