COVID-19 isn’t the only challenge for Johnson. The British PM needs to resolve trade talks with the European Union
Barely three weeks ago, when the cruel Coronavirus had infected British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, threatening his life and putting the entire country, its people and the Government on tenterhooks, none had expected that he would bounce back. But he did. And now he is proud father of a boy with his partner, Carrie Symonds. All this must have surely made him forget the rollercoaster ride he had to go through last month in hospital, only three months after he secured a resounding personal mandate from a Brexit-weary electorate. Johnson, though, is not the first PM to have a child while in office; his predecessors David Cameron and Tony Blair, too, experienced fatherhood while being in the chair. May be Johnson will need to borrow paternity drills from their book. Like them, he, too, would find it difficult to achieve a balance between work and family life, especially in these tough times when the world, as also his country, is facing the darkest moment in history. It’s another matter that both Cameron and Blair were able to compartmentalise their familial and official duties. But the same cannot be said of Johnson. What do we do with his undeniable vigour and energy which define most of his political identity and appeal? Though he has made it clear that he would be postponing the paternity leave until the end of the year, for that to happen, the rules need to be bent for the Prime Minister as official codes call for the leave to end within 56 days of childbirth.
Officials commitments aside, though Johnson has been around the fatherhood course many times — maybe five, six or even more — to expect that any aspect of his life will be normal, even fatherhood, in these times, is irrational. Over 26,000 Britons have died due to the COVID pandemic, thanks to the Government’s early dilly-dallying approach and “herd immunity” experiments. Even now, it is feared that Britain may face the second wave of the disease and account for the worst fatality rate in Europe. COVID-19 isn’t the only challenge for Johnson. Even as the Government is currently fighting the most pressing crisis, there are the faltering trade talks with the European Union that need resolution. The Brexit ghost will come to haunt him once again. Father and Prime Minister Johnson has a tough job ahead.
(Courtesy: The Pioneer)