A Winter of Discontent?

Boris Johnson; clown, genius, Brexit mastermind, liar, cartoonish and most importantly Prime Minister. These are all words that have been used to describe Boris over the last few months during his time as our leader.

He’s a divisive character, not only to his electorate, the British public, but also to his own supporters and party. It’s hard to keep up with what he’s doing daily at the minute, with numerous photo opportunities, interviews and visits to various institutions all scheduled.

He’s been heckled out of Leeds Town centre, my hometown, something which has made me proud of a city that I often forget about since leaving it at the age of 7. He’s been heckled in NHS hospitals, by a father of a sick child, who saw his visit as nothing more than a glorified posing photo opportunity, given that he is still overseeing the largest part privatisation of the NHS in its history. And to continue the theme of heckling, he’s been heckled that badly in Luxembourg he had to cancel an entire Press conference to bypass any more humiliation.

Historically, the last time we saw the country so polarised and ready for protest was during the 1970s, just before the rise of Thatcher, leading to the Winter of Discontent. For those of you unfamiliar with this point of history, it was a time of hardships; Enforced power cuts leading to candle only light in the evenings, a 3 day working week lowering the pay of workers due to businesses being unable to function and the lack of heating leading to an increase in the number deaths. Most of all was the uncertainty and bad feeling towards the government and those in charge. Are we about to retrace those steps?

We are certainly poised to be in a similar position of uncertainty due to Brexit and we seem to be in the midst of incredible mistrust and resentment towards the government and our elected representatives. Female MPs are already warning of the rise of inflammatory language that led to the tragic death of MP Jo Cox in 2016, which the PM refuses to heed, saying that words such as ‘surrender’ and ‘betrayal’ do nothing to incite aggressive and violent behaviour in the public.

With a government that seems to have no clear leader, given that Johnson seems to be being defeated every other week in the Commons, a different protest every morning and afternoon outside Westminster and the genuine fear of the unknown from the British public, could we be heading for the Abyss?

Its been 40 years since the Winter of Discontent, are we having an impromptu anniversary by reliving the hardships this coming Winter? Who knows. The uncertainty that we face in events, leaders and climate make it impossible to predict. But I hope for all our sakes, we don’t have to relive what our grandparents did, once is more than enough for them!

With regards to Boris? Whatever you think of the man, he has the hide of a Rhino to continue weathering the storm that his Premiership has created. He may be seen as a bumbling buffoon by many, but he is truly a political lion when it comes to roaring against the criticism and controversy.

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