Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The knives are clearly out for Johnson. This week's manufactured media outrage almost rose to the levels reserved for apostates like Jeremy Corbyn.

It was a shame that more than 120,000 people died of Covid unnecessarily. And the PPE supply corruption was similarly unfortunate. But when his girlfriend described the aspirational (John Lewis) furniture choices of the Tory party faithful as a "nightmare" - that was beyond the pale.

Of course it's opportunistic nonsense. But it's also clearly a campaign, with simultaneous synchronised attacks from all sides, many repeating the same talking points.

The Tories can afford to do badly in the local council elections, and poor performance - encouraged by the campaign - is an ideal pretext to remove last year's man.

But to what end? None of the alternative leaders are vote winners who can pander to the Idiot in the Street like Johnson does. Gove is repulsive and literally slimy, Sunak is cheery but brown, Patel is psychotic (and brown, and a woman, although that's not a bad thing if you're a certain kind of Tory), Williamson is slightly less sentient than a sandwich, Raab would do - chin and skin colour tick the right boxes, as does his heritage - but he used to be a lawyer and would fare poorly against Starmer.

There are various possibilities. One is that democracy is over, Gove will be installed as Dictator for Life by Murdoch, and the war on Europe will commence.

The other is that Murdoch is losing it, and he wants to see some changes before he goes. Gove would do, but not for any good strategic reason. Just because.

Another is that Brexit Loyalist Raab is being lined up as front man, and Gove/Cummings will be running things from behind the scenes.

The various Lords who make these decisions were mad enough to push Brexit through. They want someone who is a committed loyalist, not just a narcissistic opportunist like Johnson. Someone fresh would (checks notes..) "restore some gravitas to the role of PM", and would make Brexit seem more like an adult project than a toddler tantrum.

Or so the theory goes. It's not obvious if the plan will work. But either way I would be hugely surprised if Johnson survives the year, never mind makes it to the next GE.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Apr 30th, 2021 at 01:17:33 PM EST
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