Prime Minister Boris Johnson tries to lead the UK

Starmer’s going to have a period in which internal party management issues need to be dealt with, plus it’s by no means clear (in relation to CV19) where to strike the balance between working with the government, constructive opposition, and the politics-as-usual that the government’s handling of it offers. It will be some time before there’s a clear field in which he can cut through and establish a distinct identity and message.

Boris has been admitted to the hospital

I would guess is more than a “precautionary step”, but not being British and not understanding the nuances of language used there, how is this interpreted in Britain?

No-one knows. Then again, the “Guardian” did say last week that unnamed sources had told them that Johnson was more unwell than was being officially stated.

He’ll have been admitted to hospital for either tests or treatment that he couldn’t have at home, or as an outpatient.

Since - especially if you’re the PM - you can have most tests either at home or as an outpatient, I think this probably points him being pretty sick.

He was quoted as saying a couple of days ago that he felt fine but was staying in isolation because he still had a high temperature. But to what extent that was his usual tendency to put an optimistic gloss on an awkward situation, and this official announcement is playing down something more serious, who knows?

They gave him oxygen, apparently. According to “The Times”,

He did well in Parliament (apparently his legal background helps with that) and is generally moderate and responsible. He came up with ten pledges, which is probably three too many, but he didn’t produce a ridiculously long list of “priorities” the way the Corbyn campaign did. I fear there’s enough Corbyn backers in the “back offices” that could cause him trouble. I am happy to note that the newest Labour members (people who paid really small fees to join) voted for him. I was afraid those voters would be Corbyn supporters (who would have voted for Ms. Long-Bailey).

Starmer did say he would try to bring back free EU movement and vaguely mused about cancelling Brexit. The first is not great politics (UK is not part of the EU anymore) and the latter could spark fury, but I get the impression he isn’t serious about cancelling Brexit. I suspect every Labour politician would say something similar, though.

He’s in the ICU, now, apparently.

So after almost a year of Brexit, elections and political crises, this is what we’ve come to. Seriously. Who here had money on “Boris Johnson incapacitated by plague”?

Something interesting about Johnson from the Telegraph:

So he’s never really been ill in his life. He’s intolerant of illness and “doesn’t believe in it”. Presumably he thought up to now that it was only weak people malingering and making a fuss about nothing. Sometimes people are stranger and more ignorant than you would have imagined.

I think it’s a general problem with many of the 1% - they’ve lived in a protected bubble their whole lives and have never been exposed to reality.

Gawd, sounds just like Trump – the healthiest man in the world!

Shouldn’t the healthiest have their vital fluids drained to inoculate and save sick folks? Spread the immunity for the sake of the community, right.


Didn’t every British MP learn to avoid this kind of issue a few years ago?

And see:

The flat renovation thing is different, in that it’s not about taxpayer-funded expenses; but to the extent that it is about putting himself in hock to people with their own interests to promote, and playing fast and loose with the rules on party financing to disguise the fact - yes, that much is similar.

And then there’s the spectacle of Cummings turning on him and spilling the beans (maybe slightly embroidered?) - hell hath no fury like an autodidactic nerd scorned - and the prospect of sundry unnamed disgruntled colleagues piling on with sundry gossip, compounded with (apparently) BJ himself phoning editors to pour bile on Cummings… well, it’s enough to make a cat laugh.

Joe and Boris get to know each other: