Governance deficits forced Johnson out of office
Scandals may have been the straws that broke the camel's back. But what really brought the curtain down on Boris Johnson as prime minister of the United Kingdom is the economic woes the country has experienced under his government over the past three years.
According to the World Bank, although the UK's gross domestic product surged over 7 percent last year, it was due to the low base in 2020, during which the country's GDP contracted about 9 percent. The International Monetary Fund projects that the UK's real GDP growth might be only 1.2 percent next year.
The UK's manufacturing purchasing managers' index has continued to decline since January this year, dropping to 52.8 in June from 63.9 in the same month last year. The service sector's PMI has also slumped, falling since March to 54.3 in June, down from 62.4 of the same month a year earlier.
And inflation remains stubbornly high. In the face of high inflation, the UK's Gfk Consumer Confidence Barometer index recorded its lowest reading on record in June, although it has been negative monthly since January 2021. While the latest inflation figures are not yet available, the UK's consumer price index hit 9.1 percent in May, up from 5.5 percent in January.
The rising cost of living is no doubt a major factor in Johnson's loss of popularity. That partly explains why 70 percent of the people want him out of office today, compared with his approval rate of 70 percent when he was first elected.
It can be said that a combination of factors has severely dampened confidence in the UK's economic recovery. But the Johnson administration's inability to solve the problems has directly shaken the foundation of its governance. In the face of its governance deficits, the economic recovery curve of the UK is still to appear.
In fact, considering the hardships people have faced because of his laissez-faire approach to domestic economic and social development, it is not surprising that Johnson is out of office today. This also shows once again that a country doing its own thing well is more important than anything else.