Before Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s approval ratings had dropped to a low. Just twelve percent of the voters remained loyal to the US President. A few days after the Japanese attack, Roosevelt turned to the nation.
His radio address should go down in American history as a speech about the “Day of Shame”. Roosevelt’s rating immediately jumped to 84 percent. Political scientists explained this behavior of the citizens as a “rally ’round the flag” effect: in war and crisis, people flock to a national leader.
This is exactly the effect that Boris Johnson has had since the beginning of the Corona crisis in his country leave. Especially when the prime minister himself fell ill and had to be transferred to the intensive care unit shortly before Easter. Back in Downing Street, the conservative continued to rely on the war metaphors popular with the British.
He conjured up the example of a 100-year-old war veteran who raised donations, as well as the “spirit of the unified”, the “indomitable” nation that would come out of the crisis “more than ever” if it only had the virus, this ” invisible robber ”, wrestles together.
In the eighth week of Lockdowns but the “Rally’ round the flag “effect flattens out. This Wednesday, with slightly loosened corona measures, a new chapter in the fight against the virus is to be opened.
But just at that moment Johnson was no longer able to gather the troops around. A narrow majority of 44 to 43 percent of the British (the rest are undecided) want to continue to apply strict, strict starting rules and thus the standstill of the economy, the opinion institute YouGov has found.
One reason for this may be the latest report that old people infected with Covid-19 were sent back to homes without informing the home management about the disease. According to the latest calculations, up to 40 percent of the British corona deaths died in homes – many all alone, without palliative help. On top of that, the carers used are often neither given adequate protective clothing nor Testing – and carry the virus further into the general population.
In view of the misery, the growing opposition, personified in the new Labor leader Keir Starmer, and even newspapers loyal to the prime minister, such as the “Daily Telegraph”, are shooting at Johnson. “British exceptionalism has brought us extraordinary consequences: a number of avoidable deaths that bring tears to our eyes. And a frightening number of unnecessary economic losses, ”comments the newspaper on Tuesday.
Johnson’s determination to end the crisis “becomes his Churchillian test. But it is not the fight he was expecting and cannot hide the long list of mistakes that led to this situation. ”
When Johnson had to explain the way out of the lockdown in the lower house at the beginning of the week, his usual grip of colored words sometimes seemed helpless. As so often, he raved about the “irrepressible spirit of the British”, about the healthy, “good, solid British common sense”. But the hard facts were already pounding him mercilessly.
The prime minister can attribute the severity of the attacks to himself. Last week, his government had high expectations that curfews that had been in effect since March 23 would be largely lifted this week. “Happy Monday!” Headlined the mass newspaper “The Sun” in anticipation of Johnson’s supposed announcement.
Not only did Johnson rule out quick easing in a television speech on Sunday. His announcements were also so confusing that millions of Englishmen didn’t know which rules were in effect at the start of the new working week. The Prime Minister said on Sunday that anyone who could “should now return to his job”.
But he only meant it this Wednesday. The cabinet confirmed this only on Monday. By that time tens of thousands had already squeezed into the London subway, which was suddenly full again. Many times without mask, because wearing them was not recommended until Monday afternoon in one of the many guidelines that hit the public.
Instead of clarifying, even more confusion
On Monday evening, Johnson then tried to readjust in a one-hour press conference. Half a dozen citizens were allowed to ask the prime minister live questions, some of which only added to the confusion. When asked how parents with children should start work again when the schools only open on June 1st and then only for individual cohorts, the Tory boss could not give a conclusive answer.
The question of how the government could guarantee “Covid-safe” work environments so quickly remained unanswered. Quite apart from the fact that both the test capacities and one that is still in its infancy Tracking system are far from securing themselves a slow exit from the lockdown.
A Scottish caller sprinkled salt in a wound that was particularly sensitive to Johnson: Who should he believe, the British Prime Minister or Prime Minister Nicole Sturgeon? The Scottish woman said on Monday that she had no use for Johnson’s new slogan “Stay alert” and would stick to the “Stay at home” instruction.
Wales has also not followed the British measures. Health is one of the skills that the four nations – including Northern Ireland – manage themselves. Downing Street had been unable to find a uniform Corona route.
Meanwhile, the traumatic effect continues that the country holds the record of the most corona deaths in Europe. A figure that was reached at the beginning of May and had to be revised upwards by more than 10,000 more victims on Tuesday after the national statistics authority also factored in the latest deaths in old people’s homes and nursing homes. According to this, at least 40,033 people in the kingdom have officially died of the Covid 19 virus so far.