Freedom Day confirms Boris Johnson’s status as the next Winston Churchill.
May 8th, 1945. That was the day victory was declared and the Nazis were defeated. World War II was over and Winston Churchill went down as our greatest Prime Minister. A man who consistently boosted the morale of the nation during a time of extreme crisis. July 19th, 2019 has the potential to go down as our new V.E Day.
This is Freedom Day. The day all legal restrictions in England were lifted as we head out of this terrible pandemic. On July 19th, nightclubs were allowed to open, masks are no longer mandatory and there will be no legal obligation to social distance.You can also order at the bar without doing track and trace.If this easing of restrictions sticks, Boris Johnson will use this day to cement his reputation as our next Churchill.
The similarities run rampant in their buffoon image with Churchill’s peace sign and Johnson’s thumbs up. They were both notorious for politically incorrect remarks. Churchill described Gandhi as a “fakir” and Boris said burqa-clad women look like “letterboxes”. But mostly they came to power in a time of crisis and consistently boosted the nation’s morale in our darkest hour.
Johnson knows a lot about this. His clap for carers scheme was a searing indictment of communities uniting and Captain Sir Tom Moore was doubtless inspired by Boris’ words of optimism. We owe it to Johnson that we are coming out of this pandemic alive thanks to the vaccine rollout.
Sebastian Mann, a freelance film critic, sees the similarities between Johnson and Churchill. “They’re both very British characters” he explains.”You know the British bulldog kind of look” he continues. Boris would be over the moon to hear this comparison as Churchill was his greatest idol and inspiration on his Prime Ministerial image.
Without question, Johnson has made mistakes that have cost him his reputation dearly. “Each and every decision was too early or too late” says a former member of the Labour Party. Johnson promised we wouldn’t see a 2nd lockdown only to implement a tier system that was a lockdown in everything, but name and then a 2nd and 3rd lockdown. In hindsight, these decisions could have done with more realism and less optimism. However the vaccine rollout and the cautious, but irreversible success of this roadmap more than makes up for his mistakes. Chris Bright, 62, who voted for Brexit for “spiritual” reasons, agrees with me. “I think he’s done a good job in genuinely difficult circumstances” he tells me.
Johnson has received particular hate for his handling of this pandemic simply because he is a Tory politician. David Cameron and Theresa May would have received as much hate because the Tories are widely considered the “nasty” party - the party that cuts benefits and funding to our healthcare services. Had Keir Starmer been in charge during this pandemic and made as many mistakes, people would be doubtless more sympathetic as Starmer is a Labour politician and Labour are widely considered the “nice” party and defenders of the dispossessed.
Our worst peacetime Prime Minister Gordon Brown, for example, has been consistently heralded a pariah for his handling of the 2008 Financial Crisis because he recapitalised the banks, abolished boom and bust and saved the world. Ironic when it was Labour’s overspending and system of regulation that helped cause the financial crisis.
90% of adults have received their first dose and 77% received their second. The number of patients in hospital are stable and no longer rising in many areas. Public Health England estimate that the UK vaccination programme has prevented nearly 85,000 deaths and more than 23 million infections up to August 6th.
These are all extraordinary results. Whenever Johnson receives flack for his handling of this pandemic, we must look at these figures. We may not be out the woods yet, but we are well on our way out of them and coming out of this pandemic will be the greatest success of Johnson’s Prime Ministerial career which he will surely achieve within the next few months.
Freedom Day is Boris’ V.E Day and cements his status as a very modern Winston Churchill.