It’s hard not to agree with those who believe that Boris Johnson, forced into the second Covid-19 lockdown, did say the words: ‘No more fucking lockdowns – let the bodies pile high in their thousands.’
The allegation seems particularly convincing because it was reported in the Daily Mail, whose political team is one of the most plugged in to goings-on at the top of government, the civil service and the Conservative party.
I am convinced, too, because it sounds all too plausible. Before entering Downing Street, the Prime Minister made a career as a polemicist and public speaker out of incendiary comments. It fits, also, with his professed sympathy with Larry Vaughn, the mayor in Jaws who keeps the beaches open despite evidence of a Great White shark because he figures a few chewed-up paddlers is a price worth paying for Amity’s tourist economy to coin it in over the 4 July weekend.
But in spite of the fact these allegations against Boris are probably true, I’m not sure any of this really matters. Westminster, the media, the infinite outrage-generator that is Twitter — all have been going into overdrive about the Prime Minister’s remarks. But will any of it cut through?
Support for Boris seems to be baked in the way support for Sturgeon is in Scotland, or for Donald Trump during the Republican primaries for the 2016 election. The Prime Minister has a large constituency of backers who appear willing to forgive or simply ignore statements and actions that would carry serious consequences for other politicians. I would even venture that some slice of this constituency revels in its hero’s facility for triggering the libs. It’s one of his selling points for them.