The lockdown-breaking antics of chief Downing Street polecat Dominic Cummings refuse to be pushed off the news agenda. Try as he might, the man ultimately responsible for this, alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, cannot influence matters. His attempt to deflect attention away, on to the possible reopening of non-essential shops sometime next month, was lost in the mayhem. And then it got worse.
As the Independent has reported, “Boris Johnson’s approval rating has plunged by 20 points in four days, amid the ongoing Dominic Cummings scandal, according to new polling … Public opinion on both the prime minister and his government has turned rapidly after Mr Cummings admitted to having driven to Durham despite the coronavirus lockdown”. And it wasn’t just his personal approval rating.
“Overall government approval turned negative, to -2 per cent, according to data from polling group Savanta ComRes. That represents a drop of 16 points in just a single day”. How bad is it? “Mr Johnson’s approval also turned negative as the scandal continued. it dropped from +19 per cent to -1 per cent since Friday, the same data showed … Public opinion of individual ministers such as Matt Hancock, the health secretary, and chancellor Rishi Sunak also fell. Both ministers publicly backed Mr Cummings over the weekend”.
The New European had results from an Opinium poll: “47% of people surveyed by Opinium now approve of Labour’s leader, an increase of five points, compared to 17% disapproving (down one point). By contrast 45% of those surveyed approve of Boris Johnson, down one point, compared to 39% that disapprove of Johnson (up three points) … [Starmer] is on +30 points whereas Johnson is on +6 points in the net approval ratings”.
Bozo wants more than anything else to be loved, despite much of his behaviour precipitating rather different emotions in those who interact with him. But his problem is twofold: Polecat Dom is central to his Downing Street operation and the PM cannot countenance losing him. But if he fails to lose him, and soon, voters will cease to love him, perhaps permanently. They have made sacrifices; Bozo and his pals don’t have to.
And all the while, a succession of Tory MPs joins the growing list of those dissenting from the Polecat fan club. That revolt, and public dissent, could be headed off by simply bowing to the inevitable and sacking the SOB. But he has to not only do it, but do it soon.
Otherwise he’s just another lame duck PM, sitting there and waiting for electoral defeat.