British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has wanted to be “king of the world” since he was a small child. But after a turbulent 2020, the adage “be careful what you wish for” may have crossed the mind even of someone so famed for his ambition.
Many of his erstwhile supporters may be thinking the same thing.
Despite clinching a trade deal with the European Union at the last possible moment on Christmas Eve, and in spite of Britain’s achievement in starting mass vaccination against COVID-19 faster than other countries, Johnson’s future is clouded in doubt.
A little over a year ago, he was hailed as a conquering hero by his Conservative Party after winning the biggest election victory since their hero Margaret Thatcher in 1987. In characteristic language, he called the 80-seat majority a “stonking mandate.”
Then came the COVID-19 pandemic, destroying Johnson’s dreams almost as comprehensively as those of his ally and fellow performative populist, U.S. President Donald Trump. As the months passed, Johnson has looked more and more gloomy and harassed.