Downing Street was built by a dodgy speculative builder called George Downing who Samuel Pepys – the famous diarist – described as a “perfidious rogue”, deceitful and untrustworthy.
Downing built the terrace of houses on soft soil with shallow, rotten foundations – which fits with Downing Street’s current tenants.
The foundations of the Government’s credibility have been undermined by empty promises, many made just to grab newspaper headlines and conceal government incompetence and mismanagement: the of PPE, the highest Cornavirus death toll in Europe, the shambolic ‘track-and-trace’ scheme, and the recent exam fiasco, are just a few examples.
In just eight months, eight U-turns or more reveal a lazy Prime Minister with a short attention span, who can only cope with limited, rudimentary briefings on proposed government policy. It seems he has no real understanding of what such proposals involve – when reality hits, and experts start flagging up the shortcomings in proposals, then there is yet another U-turn. So the Government’s credibility is still further eroded.
The corruption of Dominic Cummings echoes the rotting foundations of Downing Street itself, as he hands out government contracts to his Brexit-Leave cronies without competitive tendering.
Meanwhile, the out-of-touch Etonian Johnson’s arrogant misjudgments adds sleaze to the public perception of government, as he buries his head in the sand, refusing to sack incompetent, often corrupt ministers and advisers, and refusing to answer questions.
Integrity and accountability make for the solid foundations of government. Credibility is crucial, especially when faced by the ongoing Coronavirus crisis: public health and safety depend upon on a trustworthy, truthful government. The vulnerable are at risk, and – increasingly – so are we all.
If Boris Johnson is not up to the job, the Tory Party must replace him!
Andrew Milroy, Trowbridge