When a person first gets elected as a President or Prime Minister it is very common for them to be assessed as though the first 100 days of their new role will demonstrate how effective they are. However when the Tory Party got re-elected back on 12th December, the first 125 days of Johnsons Prime Minister-ship were already passed and it is now well over 150 days since he became our Prime Minister. There will no doubt be some interesting things that will emerge over the next week or two and indeed as he stated in his New Year statement “Of course the first item on my agenda is to fulfil the will of the electorate and take us out of the European Union …. we’ll get Brexit done before the end of this month. That oven-ready deal I talked about so much during the election campaign has already had its plastic covering pierced and been placed in the microwave.” which is perhaps a slightly disturbing way of expressing matters given how diverse this nation is both in terms of Brexit and in terms of the use of plastic being a concern for many, the availability of food to people dependent on foodbanks and at the other end of the spectrum the alternatives to microwave food production.
However as our Prime Minister returns from his first holiday of 2020, no sooner is he out of the plane, he will have to begin to deal with matters that he has failed to deal with in the last five months.
The most high profile of these is the chaos and potential war caused by Donald Trump with Iran. There is a huge difference between the way Blair and Bush dealt with Iraq from the very beginning and how Johnson and Trump have been dealing with Iran over the last five and a half months (or perhaps not dealing with it at all). The rather unexpected action by Trump is of course a straw that could easily break the back of a number of camels. Indeed since I wrote yesterday of my own thoughts, the idea has emerged on social media of how this could be an attempt to divert the impeachment. Whatever the reason, the fact is that our relationship with the USA is very different to how Trump appeared to relate to May and certainly how Obama dealt with Cameron.
A second theme which has emerged today thanks to the Sunday Times is how Johnson made a series of claims when he was first appointed as Prime Minister back at the end of July last year. One of these was very clear and as Andrew Gregory has pointed out in this article, the promise he made in July that patients would not have to wait 3 weeks to see their GP’s has emerged as being denied to 11million patients over the last 4 months and indeed over half (5.6m) have actually waited over 4 weeks during that same period.
Clearly these two issues will take much longer than the end of this month to resolve, but by the end of this month there could be some additional issues emerging for Johnson to have to deal with as he begins to celebrate for his departure from the EU.