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Onus on Johnson to repay trust put in him

27th Dec 2019
Onus on Johnson to repay trust put in him

(Credit: Annika Haas (EU2017EE)/WikiCommons)

Boris Johnson has a responsibility to repay entrusted mandate to the electorate as he begins his new premiership. The sheer size of his 80-strong Parliamentary majority gives him ample opportunity and flexibility to drive through his legislative programme.

His majority is bigger than David Cameron’s for his coalition Government in 2010, bigger than Tony Blair’s in his third Labour term and the largest for any Conservative Prime Minister since Margaret Thatcher.

The landslide victory was the result of a restricted yet targeted election campaign based on the shallow slogan, ‘Get Brexit Done.’ In the run-up to the poll, Johnson also stage-managed his appearances, even withdrawing from several events where there were protesters. Journalists were denied access to question him.

Under Johnson, the political map is being partly rewritten. Like his American counterpart Donald Trump, he heavily relies on a tried and tested brand of populism. The United Kingdom seems all but certain to leave the European Union on January 31, an issue that has unnecessarily caused such deep divisions within society.

In the background, both Labour and the Liberal Democrats have been left leaderless and at an ideological crossroads. Jeremy Corbyn has been highly criticised for failing to adequately present his party’s left-wing agenda across to the electorate, yet the media has played its part in making him so toxic that he became unelectable. The election perhaps came too early for newly elected Liberal Democrats Leader, Jo Swinson, who humiliatingly lost her seat.

Her inexperience was apparent in her misjudged campaign, in which she declared she was a candidate for Prime Minster and pursued a controversial flagship policy to revoke Brexit. With the resurgence in the Scottish Nationalists and uncertainty about the position of Northern Ireland, alarm is being expressed about the future unity of the United Kingdom.

Next year is one of the most critical in history; it will set the course of the country for generations to come, with our vital relationship with Europe at its heart. All eyes will be on Johnson and his pledge to repay the trust of the electorate in Labour strongholds.

His majority affords him the flexibility he did not previously have in making Brexit much more palatable for remainers. There are many excesses of the past nine years of Conservativr rule that he could also start to reverse including the worst effects of austerity measures. The choice is his.

For Muslims in particular, the Muslim Council of Britain has already expressed what it has called a “palpable sense of fear amongst Muslim communities” following the election result. There have been longstanding concerns expressed about bigotry in general in British politics and the governing party in particular.

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