Boris Johnson is stepping out of the frying pan, into the fire

The leadership qualities needed in times like these include a fine sense of diplomacy, a natural talent for prioritising, and a flair for the bigger picture. It is not clear that he has any of them, writes Marie Le Conte

Tuesday 11 January 2022 14:28
<p>Governments rarely want to end up being remembered for the few large crises they were blighted with</p>

Governments rarely want to end up being remembered for the few large crises they were blighted with

There is no greater betrayal than falling ill on your first day off work. You spend endless weeks at your desk dreaming of free time and, the second you escape, your body collapses. It can be a cold or unexpected headaches; a perplexing rash or sinuses going wild. You thought you were in for a good time but it turns out, your need to focus and be productive was the only thing keeping you together.

It is not something that has happened to me in a long time – who even remembers holidays? – but it is a dynamic I keep being drawn to when looking at British politics. As I see it, there are currently two strands of stories coming out of Westminster.

On one side, there are increasingly optimistic noises being made about the pandemic. The government refused to introduce stringent restrictions in England and, somehow, the gamble paid off; Omicron really is milder than previous variants, and cases are already going down in several parts of the country. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it is getting brighter.

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