U-turns have kept the Tories in power, but eventually they'll run out of road | Andy Beckett


Boris Johnson’s dizzying list of policy changes is a way of keeping his party in office, not making British life better

The news that the Conservatives intend to undo their own elaborate NHS reforms could be seen as yet another sign of how badly they’ve governed. It could also be taken as a reminder of how bafflingly long they have been in office, given their record. The original legislation setting out their reforms to the NHS was passed nine years and three general elections ago.

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During that time the Tories have reversed their policies, or significantly changed their message, in many other crucial areas: among them the role of the state, EU membership, the north-south divide, the relationship between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, and the balance between economic growth and public safety during a pandemic. Sometimes since Boris Johnson became prime minister in 2019 he and his ministers have failed to keep to a consistent line for the duration of a sentence.

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