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Johnson Slams Sunak’s “Absolutely Nuts” Nanny-State Crackdown


Sunak Humiliated By Johnson

Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson just ripped into Rishi Sunak over his newest nanny-state bill, calling the controversial legislation “absolutely nuts.”

The Tory heavyweight’s unrestrained attack confirms Sunak’s latest big policy push is headed for embarrassing failure.

A desperate Sunak has proposed yet another heavy-handed ban in hopes of reviving his cratering popularity. But the move has already sparked outrage across Britain.

Now Boris Johnson has emerged to light up Sunak’s looming policy disaster as a ludicrous affront to core conservative values. Johnson slammed Sunak’s “mad” prohibition plan in a fiery speech, making clear that even Tories recognize the bill is doomed.

The escalating rift between Johnson and the embattled Sunak lays bare the bitter divisions still threatening to tear the Conservatives apart amid constant policy flops.

But Johnson’s forceful denunciation leaves no doubt that Sunak’s newest nanny-state crackdown is destined for a humiliating repeal. When top Tories call your big policy “nuts,” it’s clear your bill is headed off a cliff.

Yet the floundering Sunak seems determined to ignore the writing on the wall and march ahead with his latest failure-in-waiting.

Can Sunak wake up and smell the dismal polling before ramming through another disastrous bill? Or will he foolishly ignore Boris and subject Brits to yet another guaranteed government overreach heading for swift rejection?

Sunak’s Latest Smoking Ban Sparks Fury From Johnson

Boris Johnson recently slammed Rishi Sunak’s plan to ban smoking, calling it “absolutely nuts.” Johnson made the comments during a panel appearance at the Canada Strong and Free conference in Ottawa.

Johnson pulled no punches in attacking the proposed smoking ban, which would prevent anyone born after 2009 from ever being able to legally purchase tobacco products. The policy is part of Sunak’s larger plan to phase out smoking in the UK entirely.

Johnson said: “When I look at some of the things we are doing now, or that are being done in the name of conservatism, I think they’re absolutely nuts.”

He also added: “We’re banning cigars. What is the point of banning – the party of Winston Churchill wants to ban cigars … Donnez moi un break, as they say in Quebec. It’s just mad.”

Johnson went on to question the conservative principles behind Sunak’s nanny-state approach to public health policy. He expressed a preference for personal freedom over government control.

Johnson said: “The difference between us conservatives and our opponents is that every time, their instincts are always about control and exploitation and coercion, and taking your money and spending it on your behalf and regulating your life – and we are, on the whole, in favor of freedom.”

“It’s that single Anglo-Saxon idea of freedom that I think unites conservatives – or should unite conservatives.”

Ever since taking office, Rishi Sunak has continued the string of ineffective policies and misguided bills that came to define the final years of Conservative rule. The smoking ban is merely the latest in a series of badly conceived ideas that expose Sunak’s lack of vision and rudderless leadership.

Sunak has doubled down on the same aimless governance and fiscal recklessness that voters have grown tired of after 14 years of Tory control. The smoking ban does nothing to address pressing issues like the cost-of-living crisis or restoring trust in the competence of the government.

And Johnson was right to see the ban as an affront to personal liberty. He longs for the Conservative Party to return to its roots as the champion of freedom against the paternalistic overreach of the nanny-state.

A similar smoking ban in New Zealand was set to take effect in July. But the new Labour coalition government repealed the law in February, heeding criticism that prohibition would unfairly impact low-income communities.

Sunak has framed the smoking ban as a legacy-defining achievement for his premiership. He argues that eliminating smoking will save lives and reduce the financial burden on the NHS.

Sunak said last month: “If we want to build a better future for our children we need to tackle the single biggest entirely preventable cause of ill-health, disability and death: smoking.”

But Johnson believes Sunak has overreached in his zeal for reform. At the Ottawa conference, Johnson touted the resurgence of conservatism in Canada under Pierre Poilievre’s leadership. He lamented that the Conservative Party in Britain seems to lack dynamism by comparison.

Johnson’s right condemnation of the smoking ban reveals widening divisions within the Conservative Party.

Tories Hit Rock Bottom in Polls Under Sunak

The latest polling numbers deliver yet another blow to Rishi Sunak’s troubled premiership. A new Ipsos survey puts support for the Conservatives at just 19% – the lowest ever recorded for the party in Ipsos’ 45-year history of political polling going back to 1978.

At 19%, the Conservatives have dropped 6 points since the last election. Even more alarming for Sunak, the Tories now trail the opposition Labour Party by a whopping 25 points. Labour stands at 44% support in the new Ipsos poll.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak records a statement on the Iranian attacks on Israel overnight, inside 10 Downing Street in central London, Britain, April 14, 2024. BENJAMIN CREMEL/Pool via REUTERS

If an election were held today, these numbers indicate Labour would triumph in a massive landslide victory. The Conservatives would suffer their worst electoral defeat in decades.

Sunak assumed the premiership after Liz Truss’ short 50 days disastrous tenure as a prime minister but he has been unable to reverse Conservative fortunes.

The Ipsos survey shows Sunak’s personal approval rating has plunged to -59. This ties the worst ever rating for a sitting Prime Minister in Ipsos’ data. The only other leader to hit -59 was John Major in 1994, prior to Tony Blair’s first landslide Labour victory.

In more bad news for Sunak, the Ipsos poll found the right-wing Reform UK party polling at 13% – just 6 points behind the Conservatives. Reform UK, founded in 2020 by Nigel Farage after his departure from UKIP, appears to be siphoning votes from the Tories’ libertarian wing.

The survey points to voter fatigue after 14 years of Conservative rule. 84% say they are dissatisfied with the government’s performance, while just 10% are satisfied.

The Conservatives last enjoyed a positive net satisfaction rating back in February 2020, just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sunak has been unable to revive his party’s fortunes since becoming the first British Asian Prime Minister. His premiership has been beset by a cost-of-living crisis, labor unrest, ethics scandals, and bitter infighting among Conservatives.

Voters view Sunak as an ineffective leader unable to address Britain’s mounting problems.

A dismal 22% say Sunak would make the best Prime Minister, compared to 44% for Labour’s Keir Starmer. Among 2019 Conservative voters, Sunak leads Starmer just 49% to 20%, indicating diminished enthusiasm.

Starmer’s own net satisfaction rating has fallen to -31 in the Ipsos poll, his lowest ever. But the Labour leader still appears a safer choice in voters’ minds than the embattled Sunak.

None of the mooted alternatives to Sunak seem likely to revive Tory fortunes if given the top job. When tested head-to-head against Starmer, figures like Grant Shapps and Kemi Badenoch do no better than Sunak. The Conservative brand has been broadly damaged under Sunak’s watch.

Yet there is little appetite within the party for another messy Tory leadership race. But Ousting Sunak now would again project an image of chaos and disarray.

Boris Johnson himself seems disenchanted with the party’s direction under Sunak.

At the conference in Canada, Johnson slammed Sunak’s plan to incrementally ban smoking as “absolutely nuts.” He lamented that the party of Winston Churchill is now “banning cigars” in a nanny-state crusade.

Sunak’s push to ban smoking shows a paternalistic streak that concerns Tory libertarians like Johnson.

The rift symbolizes a deeper ideological divide. Sunak represents a technocratic brand of big-government conservatism worlds apart from Johnson’s pro-Brexit populism. The Tories’ existential tensions remain unresolved.

Voters have also lost trust in the Conservatives’ reputation for fiscal responsibility after the Truss debacle. Sunak is failing to provide a coherent vision to counter Labour’s momentum. The Tories appear tired, divided and bereft of fresh ideas.

As the Ipsos poll confirms, the Conservatives are becoming accustomed to record unpopularity under Sunak. Barring a major political realignment, they seem destined for a crushing defeat in the next elections.

Sunak may cling to power as the voters’ dissatisfaction mounts. But another landslide victory for Labour looms. The Ipsos figures suggest the Conservatives are running out of time to avert an electoral disaster.

Sunak Latest £2m Scheme Exposed

Perhaps most disturbingly, this latest scandal involves revelations that Sunak commissioned expensive taxpayer-funded focus groups as Chancellor to craft the marketing for his ill-fated ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme in 2020.

Documents obtained by freedom of information requests show Sunak’s Treasury hired private contractors to conduct at least 184 focus groups at a cost of over £2 million. The research aimed to perfect Sunak’s messaging around initiatives like ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ rather than study their public health or economic impacts.

Sunak relied extensively on polling and focus groups to boost his own popularity during the pandemic. But he failed to consult scientific advisors before launching the £850 million dining subsidy program.

Multiple studies have since found ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ directly increased COVID transmission while delivering only short-term economic benefits. Senior scientists referred to Sunak as “Dr. Death” for recklessly pushing ahead without heeding their warnings.

The focus group revelations underscore accusations that Sunak cared more about his image than responsible policymaking as Chancellor. He curried favor with Tory MPs and the public through splashy giveaways like ‘Eat Out to Help Out’, despite risks that advisers made clear.

Opposition leaders have blasted Sunak for misusing taxpayer funds on vanity projects. Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner said Sunak “could not have cared less what [the scheme] would do to COVID infection rates.” The focus groups allowed him to perfect his communications for maximum political advantage.

The ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ research is just the latest controversy to tarnish Sunak’s tenure as Prime Minister. His popularity has plunged thanks to a series of missteps and scandals involving ethics, judgment, and public spending.

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