The dramatic U-turn by Boris on Saturday and the travel ban that many countries have now imposed on the UK will make uncomfortable reading for the PM and his team at Number 10 this morning. Probably the most powerful is the one linked to in the Tweet above in the Times because it comes from a close aide to Boris who knows him well and highlights what she regards as a central weakness – his desire to be liked and and to be over-optimistic. She writes:
I worked with Johnson for years. I don’t believe he sets out to be duplicitous or to mislead. He is just desperate to be liked, a trait which is desperately incompatible with leading a country through such a time. The weekend’s mother of all U-turns must prompt him and those around him to reject their approach to date. In the days and weeks ahead, sober caution must win out over reckless optimism. Instead of cheery promises and cheerleading about Britain’s greatness we need the government to think pessimistically, act early and act decisively. For once, it must get ahead of events…
On the Brexit transition she notes:
..the government must get ahead of events on Brexit and seek to extend the transition period. This is not the demented attempt of a remoaner to cling on to the EU; that ship has sailed. But it is madness to charge ahead to a no-deal situation at this already perilous time and to place further pressure on our major supply route through Kent — a county that is not, at present, England’s garden but its Petri dish for the new coronavirus strain.
Whether Johnson can change I very much doubt. This is how he is and one of the reasons why in less challenging times against a poor Opposition leader he led his party to a big election victory a year ago.
On the betting markets its a 38% chance that Boris won’t survive 2021.