Boris Johnson hace ‘reset’

Chaos theory applied to nature: a butterfly flaps its wings in the jungle of Borneo and makes a hurricane sweep the coast of the Carolinas, an elephant sneezes in the desert of Kalahari and an earthquake ends up in California. Chaos theory applied to politics: Joe Biden wins the North American elections and Boris Johnson distances itself from Donald Trump and dispenses with the ayatollahs of the Brexi hard on Downing Street.

The victory of the democrat is not even official when the British Prime Minister, smelling that the winds change direction, has decided to press the button. reset . The future is different with Biden than with Trump in the White House. With the imminent prospect of a vaccine than without the prospect of it. With negotiations with Europe for a trade agreement in the decisive phase that with all the time of the world ahead.

The voters of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona Y Georgia they have not only taken Trump away, but also Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s right arm, ya Lee Cain, Downing Street communications officer, who had been offered the post of chief of staff only on Tuesday by the prime minister. But the impact of what was happening in United States it was devastating. The center of gravity changed in a moment. Two women –Carrie Symonds, the prime minister’s girlfriend, and Allegra Stratton, the spokeswoman who has not yet been released in office – encouraged the rebellion.

Symonds has become a factual power at number 10. She is not a progressive (or liberal as they say in America), but she was responsible for the Conservative Party’s public relations apparatus, and has convinced her fiancé (with whom she has a son, Wilfred) that the image given by his Administration and himself was a disaster, to the point of speculation that it would not last long and would be replaced by the Minister of Economy, Rishi Sunak. The impression that the Government has given since the beginning of the pandemic is one of total disorder, an uninterrupted succession of backward marches, whether at the time of imposing confinements, extending ERTEs or deciding whether the State paid for school meals for children more poor.

The prime minister wants to be much more conciliatory and less fuel the culture war

Symonds – difficult, passionate, volatile, manipulative, idealistic – had influence with Johnson but was alone until she managed to place her friend Stratton as an American-style spokesperson, and the two together quickly created a core of power capable of rivaling that of Cummings and the architects of the Leave (exit from EU). After a series of behind-the-scenes battles, marked by leaks to the press, the conflict broke out over the appointment of a chief of staff. When the position was offered to Lee Cain, the prime minister’s girlfriend was furious. The cards began to fall like a house of cards. Boris backed off. Cain resigned. Cummings went after him.

What kind of prime minister do you want to be? Symonds might have asked Johnson, a Trumpist without Trump, his physical and emotional clone as Biden says, patriarch of the extreme right, advocate of the culture war, who breaks the bridges with Europe, who attacks immigrants and applicants for political asylum, to the BBC, to judges and officials, who wants to destroy the institutions because that is the crusade of a guy (Cummings) who is not even a member of the Conservative Party, ultimately responsible for Scotland leaving and breaking the United Kingdom? Or a consensus leader, less dogmatic and confrontational, disciplined, with an articulate and coherent message, who leads the country with serenity in the turbulent waters of the pandemic and the economy?

That the government did not work was a fact. Johnson, an indecisive politician who is bored with day-to-day management, had put himself in the hands of Cumings, who had his brains swallowed up. He was his hostage and his instrument, a dependency relationship from which Biden has freed him.

A butterfly flutters in the White House and a psychodrama ensues in Downing Street. A new season of The crown , and also of the soap opera of British politics.

What impact will Cummings’ exit have on Brexit?

Downing Street has ensured that the personnel changes and the purge of the campaign leaders of the Leave It will not affect the Brexit negotiations, about to be concluded, that Johnson will not bow to the demands of the EU and will only sign an agreement if it respects the sovereignty of the United Kingdom. But the truth is that Cummings insisted that London have a free hand to grant subsidies to their companies, especially in the technology sector, and was opposed to equating the British regulations on labor, environment and state aid to that of Brussels. “We have not done Brexit to continue as before,” he said. You will continue to collect until mid-December, but working from home. Johnson is afraid of him, and fears that he will rant against an eventual commitment to the European Union. But with Joseph Biden (friend of Ireland and a staunch defender of the Good Friday accords) in the White House, the inclination to make the necessary concessions and present them as a victory is stronger than ever. If not, goodbye to that trade pact that Trump offered him and that he longs for to alleviate the negative impact of Brexit a bit. Cummings was not a partisan of half-attempts or hostage-taking; his was total ideological warfare, the clash of cultures, with human shields instead of smoke screens. His abrasive style pitted him against most of the conservative parliamentary group, who have celebrated his fall from grace with champagne. Energetic, impatient, mean, bigoted, intimidating, poisonous (David cameron defined him as “a professional psychopath”), he has not had time to carry out the radical reform of the civil service and the Tory party that he intended. But he has left behind a trail of destruction and bad vibes. Brexit is largely his great work. The end of the story is just around the corner, and the political environment in London, between that and the pandemic, resembles that of the last days of Pompeii.

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