Magazine
Latest Issue

Johnson’s tragic fate: to have taken the throne only to be robbed of all power

The prime minister got what he always wanted. Now, as the pandemic and its aftermath unfold, he is impotent to guide events

By Rafael Behr  

WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto/PA Images

The way Britain’s constitution is set up, not much can get in the way of a prime minister in full command of parliament. The system was famously described as “elective dictatorship” by Lord Hailsham in the 1960s (although the term was not his original coinage). That power is now in Boris Johnson’s hands. What is he doing with it all?

The prime minister’s party is subserviently grateful for its 80-seat majority. Tory MPs elected last December in former Labour strongholds attribute their victories to the…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect