I Want To Believe Boris Johnson.
Updated: Mar 7
I want to believe Boris Johnson. I want to believe that he is going to "get Brexit done", and that he can and will negotiate a genuinely lucrative deal that will boost our economy and strengthen our trading ties.
I want to believe that he is serious about funding the NHS, employing thousands more nurses and building 40 new hospitals, and, most importantly, ensuring that our NHS is not on the table in any negotiations with anyone.
I want to believe that he is going to commit to introducing 20,000 more police officers onto the streets of the UK.
I want to believe that he genuinely wants to invest in our public services and infrastructure. He promises an "infrastructure revolution for this country", citing that "now is the time to invest in our Northern Powerhouse Rail, and the Midlands Rail Hub, and so many more projects".
Unfortunately, all the evidence I have seen thus far points to the contrary, on almost every one of this man's pledges. He failed to meet the October 31st Brexit deadline, instead requesting a further delay, something he repeatedly said would not happen, stating that he would rather be dead in a ditch than agree to a Brexit extension. As it stands, our deadline for Brexit is January 31st - I just hope that this is enough time.
On the subject of the NHS, there is no denying that it has been run into the ground over the course of the past 9 years of Conservative power. There are almost 100,000 vacancies in our NHS that desperately need filling, and more than 17,000 fewer hospital beds available than in 2010. A&E wait times are up to the worst they've ever been, and a 451-page document reveals trade talks that have occurred over the past two years which detail discussions between the UK and US regarding the NHS. Johnson's claim of delivering 50,000 nurses includes 19,000 who are already employed under the NHS, and the Conservatives' promise to build 40 new hospitals appears to be uncosted, and concrete plans currently only exist to reconfigure just six.
The 20,000 police officers that Boris Johnson has committed to is fewer than the 21,500 which were cut under a Conservative government under Theresa May. Policing in the UK has hit catastrophically dangerous levels, to the point where 'bobbies on the beat' are almost non-existent, and figures such as 40% of reported crimes not being responded to in cities such as Manchester showcase that additional funding and staff are absolutely vital. 20,000 more police officers is a step in the right direction for sure, but the cuts should never have been made in the first place, and there is an inevitable human cost that has come with these cuts.
Rail fares rose again by 2.7% this year, with an additional 2.8% rise coming into place next year. Rail passengers have lost 4 million hours in delays in this year alone, with over 80 trains every day that were more than half an hour behind schedule. Our rail system is an embarrassment compared with the efficiency of services running in Europe, and the combination of rising prices and poorer service certainly leaves a lot to be desired. All of these changes have happened under a Conservative government - if they were committed to improving infrastructure and public services, why let it come to this?
I want to believe Boris Johnson, but his consistency when it comes to dishonesty is astounding. He was frequently seen campaigning in front of the infamous £350 million a week Brexit bus and has since admitted that the claim was wrong. He was fired from his position at The Times for fabricating quotes in his first front page story. He was fired as Shadows Arts Minister under the Tories for lying about an extra-marital affair. As Mayor of London he promised to eradicate rough sleeping in the streets, but under his leadership the number of rough sleepers doubled.
I want to believe Boris Johnson, but it has been proven time and time again that he is dishonest, and I truly fear for the future of this nation under a government led by this man. Now, I'm off to hide in a fridge for the next five years.