While the whole country is on its knees, the leadership clashes
For building a house that could resist at quakes and storms, you need to set up a solid base. This is also very true when it comes to human relationships, at work or home. Without this support, a strong shake could wipe out the balance amongst participants.
It is probably a premonition or just a humorous coincidence that No.10 Downing Street itself had been cheaply built on top of a poor system of foundations, as its history teaches. Well, judging by the departure catwalks witnessed last week, so was the government’s internal cohesion.
The cracks amongst Boris Johnson’s circle were first revealed to the public on Wednesday, when Lee Cain announced his resignation from his role as director of communications. However, this was just the beginning of the tragicomic show of power struggle and tensions that lash the Conservative party.
Two days after, it was the turn of Dominic Cummings to follow his ally. With a big box grasped in his hands, Mr Johnson’s top adviser crossed the infamous black door on Friday. Probably for good, it could be said.
Something is changing inside No.10. The equilibrium among the Brexit Boys seems to be falling into pieces. But, what are the causes behind these unexpected administrative changes?
The first genuine question that probably popped up in the mind of many are: who is precisely Lee Cain? And, what is his relationship with Mr Cummings?
With a background as a journalist, Cain started is political career in 2016 working as head of broadcast for the successful Brexit campaign. It was precisely in that situation that Cain and Cummings, who was the strategic director, began to work closely.
As The New York Times pointed out, they represented the “best side” of Mr Johnson. The PM’s indecision and disorganisation towards some key issues was always backed-up by his advisors. Indeed, after December’s election they became extremely relevant within Downing Street matters.
Almost a year after, this rosy scenario has mutated. A global pandemic happened, for example. The time for reaching a Brexit deal is about to end. Plus, new players appear to have entered into the game.
Before deciding to quit, Cain was actually meant to be promoted as chief of staff. However, not everybody in the press office was happy with this decision.
As The Independent reported in July, women have been completely left out from important decision-making committee. Especially, government key roles appear to be extremely delimited to an impenetrable inner boys circle.
By CHIARA CASTRO: POLITICS EDITOR
At the head of the contesters was said to be Carrie Symonds, press officer and former fiancee of Mr Johnson. Her concerns against Cain was apparently linked to these accusations. Yet, the two were also sharing different views of how to improve the government’s public image.
Allegra Stratton, the face of the new No.10 news channel that will delight our nights from the next year, was sharing the same preoccupations. She also represented the first little victory for Symonds against Cain, who had better preferred other candidates for covering the role.
It is not clear wether Mr Cain voluntary decided to quit or was asked to do so. Neither is for Cummings’ departure. Although, it would be difficult that someone will miss the gang.
After his 264 miles road trip during the first national lockdown, the government credibility and legitimacy have suffered a severe blow. Then there were the A-levels fiasco and disorganised COVID restrictions to intensify the fall. For not talking about the new internal market bill that will de facto infringe international law. In that occasion it was Jonathan Jones, head of the Government Legal Service, to leave his seat.
Seconds out….Round two
The heavy air throughout No.10 corridors may have been cleared up a bit. Some senior Tories think that could be a chance for a reset, change of approach. Without Cummings, the worrying perspective of leaving EU with no deal is certainly less likely to happen.
Although, others argue that last week events could negatively affect the government. Indeed, the loyal comradeship among Vote Leave members could potentially leading to new internal tensions.
Where is the leadership’s accountability, sense of responsibility? Especially now, during such a delicate moment that we are all going trough. Leaders at No.10 seems busier playing games of paybacks and squabbles rather than managing the health pandemic. Nor the most important trade negotiations in years. Or, getting ready for the economy recession that will mark the post-COVID era.
Who knows if the new squad will be enough for fixing the mistakes of the past months. Neither wether they would be the right characters for securing BoJo his place as prime minister on the next elections. The clock is tickling, though. Britons need trustfully responses. There is no more time for rows over.
MACKAYAN: wHAT’S GOING ON AT NUMBER 10Tweet