Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s vote of censure on Monday night brings the UK back to an internal political struggle after a decidedly apolitical weekend, when the British celebrated Queen Elizabeth’s platinum jubilee and her role unifier as a popular and symbolic head of state.
But during the four days of the Queen’s 70th birthday, Mr. Johnson showed himself fully, highlighting national discontent with the Prime Minister and highlighting his public figure with that of the Queen.
Throughout the weekend, while Mr. Johnson participated in the jubilee celebrations, and members of the public — and even the participants — expressed their contempt.
Mr. Johnson and his wife, Carrie Johnson, were booed as they climbed the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral on Friday before a Thanksgiving service. Videos circulated showing a similar response when attending a Saturday night concert outside Buckingham Palace. And during the concert, two actors, Lee Mack and Stephen Fry, excavated Mr. Johnson on the national stage.
But it was the partygoers who crowded the streets of London over the long weekend who commented, unsolicited and often, on their distrust of the government, even as they reflected on their admiration for the queen, providing an insight into how the general public viewed her leader. .
Marian Argent, 77, who had gathered with three generations of her family at the mall outside Buckingham Palace for the Trooping the Color parade on Thursday, remarked that the queen was a unifying force, “unlike of politicians “.
He rolled his eyes as he commented on “Boris,” with a sigh, before quickly re-focusing on the festivities.
On Friday in Hyde Park, Marina Burns, 60, said of the Queen’s celebrations: “Everything is apolitical, that’s why it’s so unifying.”
“Politics, meanwhile, is a disaster,” Burns added. “It’s absolutely terrible at the moment with Boris and Partygate.”
He said he viewed the jubilee celebrations as one of the first post-Covid moments when the nation could find joy, amid the “perdition and sadness” of failed leaders, economic hardship and pandemic losses.
A few benches in the park, Erwin Kunnen, 60, who was visiting from the Netherlands and hoping to leave for his flight home, also pointed to the “mess with the Prime Minister” as one of the many difficulties. which Britain faced, and why. so many people were thrilled with the positivity of the jubilee.
Catherine Cooke, 48, who works for the National Health Service, also included an exasperated comment about the government’s failures in an otherwise brilliant account of the holidays.
Mrs Cooke, when reflecting on the Queen’s “great respect” for her sense of duty to the country, added: “Our politicians, like Boris, not so much.”
Comments on the streets of London may be indicative of greater national sentiment, with the approval rating of Mr. Johnson in a YouGov poll dropping to 26 percent in early May. Following Sue Gray’s report late last month, which highlighted the failure of government leadership during coronavirus blockages, 60 percent of YouGov respondents said Mr Johnson should no longer to be the leader of the Conservative Party.
A quick opinion poll by Opinium on Monday morning, hours after the announcement of the vote, found that 28 percent of voters think Conservative lawmakers should vote to keep Mr. Johnson, while 59 percent believed they should vote to remove him.