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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

And did those feet…

BORIS JOHNSON was once the darling of Tory Party conference. He was the conference star who could pack halls with cheering delegates who believed that peppering his speech with school-boy Latin quotes put him in the same league as Cicero or Cato the Younger. Now Boris stands in front of a camera drivelling on about building a “New Jerusalem” with opportunities for all whilst his government staggers into another coronavirus crisis that could have been avoided if the lockdown had been maintained.

COVID-19 is now spreading like the plague in all our universities that were prematurely re-opened last month. It is also returning with a vengeance across Scotland and large parts of northern England. The updated test, track and trace system is faltering, and there is confusion on how to use the NHS smart phone app that’s supposed to warn you of risk of infection.

Whilst the Government has taken some steps such as the belated order to make face masks mandatory in public spaces that clearly are helpful, there is confusion over the local lockdowns as well as outright opposition from the publicans and the rest of the ‘hospitality’ trade over the 10pm curfews which, they say, will destroy their industry.

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has yet to unveil his post-furlough plan to subsidise jobs over the coming coronavirus winter. But it’s clear that Sunak’s second phase will be a much more limited exercise and that millions of workers could lose their jobs in the coming months.

“I can’t pretend that everyone can do exactly the same job that they were doing at the beginning of this crisis. That’s why we’ve put a lot of resource into trying to create new opportunities,” he says. He says that whilst the Government is “trying to do everything we can to protect as many jobs as possible”, unemployment is “likely to increase”.

What exactly are these “new opportunities”? Well, Johnson talks about developing offshore wind power that would power every home in the country within 10 years, along with some mortgage reform designed to lure people back into the property market and some waffle about fixing “the injustice of care home funding” by “bringing the magic of averages to the rescue of millions”.

And there is the “New Jerusalem”, the “bright future”, which Boris says will follow the end of the coronavirus crisis. We’ll see. The Puritans fought a civil war to build a new Jerusalem in 17th Century England. Things didn’t turn out quite the way they planned. Although they did get rid of a king their utopia lasted little beyond the death of their leader, Oliver Cromwell.

Boris Johnson is no Cromwell and all his talk about a “world-beating” future to come is just more guff from a man who has clearly failed, even by the dismal standards of the Conservative & Unionist Party, to deal with the deadly crisis we are all in.

Johnson’s vacuous promises barely inspired his own followers. He talked in front of a camera to a nation that was not listening. No one cheered. No one cared.