Boris’s energetic optimism will be vital to our post-Corona recovery



It’s hard to believe that the General Election was only five months ago. Boris Johnson rode into Downing Street on a wave of optimism, his new Conservative majority government was all set to get Brexit done and move us forward, ‘levelling up’ across the whole country. 

Just a month after that momentous election result, Brexit was delivered, as promised. The nation breathed a collective sigh of relief as the new Parliament did what the last failed to and honoured the democratic mandate of the EU referendum. For some, Friday 31st January 2020 was an ecstatic celebration, for others it drew a line, for all it was supposed to be the moment the nation moved on. 

Fast forward a few months, and there is a new reality. A nation in lockdown, battling a global pandemic. Coronavirus is an immense challenge, with so many unknowns, which has not only cost thousands of lives but delivered a hard and unexpected blow to our previously thriving economy.  

Although the Treasury Team has done all they can to weather the storm taking unprecedented action, to help protect British jobs and business, the past weeks have been tough and the weeks and months ahead are not going to be easy. Our country needs inspiring leadership and vision to steer us through this time, ensuring when it is over we are stronger and more united.  

Boris Johnson’s spirit of optimism is more important than ever, particularly in light of the negative and unbalanced tone of the new Leader of the Opposition, who is being cheered on by his acolytes in the media. This isn’t a time for point scoring but coming together. Now Boris is back at the helm, following his own battle with the disease, it is encouraging to see him to look to the future – with a clear message – ‘We’ll get through it!’.  

The recent Conservative manifesto provided an ambitious post-Brexit road map. A positive plan for the whole nation – investing in public services and infrastructure. In the era of COVID recovery, whilst we must be realistic and adapt, we should not stray too far off track. In the coming weeks we should attempt to revive the momentum which was driving the country forward before the virus hit. 

We must keep faith with those who voted for us and not lose sight of the levelling up agenda.  The recent weeks have proven that this agenda is right and set out why we must continue to pursue it, with the most vulnerable in our society often disproportionately affected by COVID. 

There is no simple solution to managing the inevitable coronavirus economic downturn. That being said, it would be unwise to break our contract and lose the borrowed votes which delivered the Conservative majority by introducing tax hikes for ordinary working people. This Government must stay true to its free-market instincts and seek an innovative solution, cultivating a competitive economy for an independent Britain, set for the modern world.

One silver lining from the coronavirus crisis is that the nation seems to be more united than ever.  This must continue for our economic recovery; there must be a collective national effort. British values of hard work and entrepreneurship will be central to this. It will take time but we will recover and our great nation will thrive once more. In the General Election, Boris demonstrated that he was leading a party that believes in Britain and its people. The national COVID recovery will see this belief translated into reality. 

As we move out of lockdown and start returning to some sense of normalcy, the Prime Minister’s brand of positivity politics is what is needed to lead us through the next stage of the crisis: rebuilding our economy and unleashing Britain’s potential. Whilst the critics and doomsayers may accuse us of wishful thinking, the nation’s spirits must be lifted, which requires vision, ambition and a clear sense of direction. 

Boris has beaten the odds time and time again. Now it’s time to back Boris, to give the nation a sense of hope for a better tomorrow and successfully deliver a UK-wide recovery which sets the foundations for the future. 

Holly Whitbread is the Deputy Chair, Political of Epping Forest Conservatives and the Deputy Chair of Conservative Young Women. As a District Councillor, she is the Cabinet member for Housing. Follow her on twitter: @HollyLWhitbread