Across the board journalists are turning on the Prime Minister. The BBC is doing it, Nick Robinson and Laura Kuenssberg included. Gary Gibbon did it for Channel 4 last night, getting pretty stroppy in the process. So did STV, where Kathryn Samson did a great job. And now the Daily Mail is decidedly unimpressed by the flippant tweets Johnson has been putting out in the face of real crises.
As I noted on Twitter last night, the media always know that a Prime Minister’s days are numbered well before that PM does. I very strongly suspect that not only are the media now reflecting an anger in the country about what is happening, and Johnson’s lame indifference to it, but that at least some of them are also reflecting what they are hearing in the Conservative Party.
Like all Tory Prime Ministers, Johnson will have the complete support of all Tory MPs until the very moment he hasn’t got it, when it will vapourise with staggering speed. My suspicion is that the media sense that disappearing trick is going to be happening soon, hence their change of sentiment.
And if I am wrong? Well, he is in for the most awful winter in that case, facing hostility on all fronts. But so too, come to that, will any successor be similarly encumbered. It is now very clear that a party that was both in office and dedicated to Brexit should have anticipated almost all the problems now arising. They were all in the Operation Yellowhammer briefing, after all. But it failed to do so. Unless the successor had, by good fortune, been out of office during the Johnson years (and there are such candidates) then they share the responsibility for the mess we are in now. Even then, it is very hard to see how the Tories can credibly avoid either denouncing Brexit or at the very least denouncing all Johnson has done about it if they are to recover from this mess.
We are in for interesting days to come. And unless Johnson does something quite extraordinary in his conference speech, which would be wholly out of character with the rest of this dismal Tory party conference, I suspect he is now going to be the victim of ‘events’, as Harold MacMillan might have put it, none of which are flowing in his favour.