In a normal, well run country, any Prime Minister would have sacked Matt Hancock for the scandal of his extra marital affair and his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. But this is not a normal, well run country and we have Boris Johnson as our Prime Minister so it was bound to be chaos.
But there is one primary reason why Johnson failed to sack Hancock, and that is for the sake of his own preservation.
If Johnson had shown any leadership ability, and fired Hancock it would have meant that he too would have to resign, after all how could he remain in public office having had numerous extra marital affairs of his own and after having given one of his mistresses in excess of £100,000 in public money for alleged ‘IT Services’. No if he had sacked Hancock he would have also have had to have resigned and give up the only thing in life he holds dear, power.
Also if he had sacked Hancock he would have to retrospectively sack Priti Patel for her breaking of the ministerial code when she was found guilty of bullying Home Office staff, Gavin Williamson for his shambolic handling of the A-Level and GCSE marking affair, and Housing Minister Robert Jenrick for his shady dealings in a £1bn development project proposed by a Tory donor. And if we were to get really picky the entire cabinet would have to vacate their offices after, not once, but twice voting to allow children to starve to death rather than actually feed them.
As for his own mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic, well he would have to damn himself into at least the seventh circle of hell for that one. PPE contracts handed to friends without efficient Parliamentary oversight, the setting up, shutting down and then panic setting up again of a Track and Trace system which has proven time and again to be woefully inadequate and run by a woman who is best known for overseeing the loss of personal data of thousands of Talk Talk customers and who has once again seen data lost from the Track and Trace system. He has not once, but THREE times failed to heed scientific advice and locked down the country too late causing avoidable spikes in COVID-19 waves, the last of which the Delta variant become the dominant strain in the UK after he failed to close UK to India flight paths quickly enough.
The problem with Johnson is that he is a populist in every sense of the word, he wants to be the popular kid in school, he only wants to give good news, and I’m sorry but as a Prime Minister of a world leading nation you have to give bad news, its unavoidable, you have to be the kid in the class that goes “well actually” when a really bad but popular idea is proposed. Leading a nation means actually leading a nation in both good times and bad and he has shown he is not up to the job, not just in the Hancock affair but throughout the course of his Premiership.
Johnson is a man who is not brave enough to do the right thing, he runs away at the first sign of trouble, he has others try and sweep it under the carpet for him or pass off blame onto someone else, he wants to be nothing more than a good time Prime Minister and yet we are living through some of the worst times humanity has faces in living memory. He is not up to the job and putting is simply, Johnson is a coward and will remain so while he fails to lead and keep his cabinet disciplined.