DOWNING Street was built by a dodgy speculative builder called George Downing who Samuel Pepys, the famous diarist, described as a “perfidious rogue”, deceitful and untrustworthy.

Downing built the terrace of houses on soft soil with shallow, rotten foundations.

This fits with Downing Street’s current tenants. The foundations of the government’s credibility have been undermined by empty promises, many made just to grab newspaper headlines and conceal government incompetences and mismanagement - lack of PPE, highest Cornavirus death toll in Europe, the shambolic Track and Trace and the recent exam fiasco are just a few examples.

In just eight months, eight u-turns or more reveal a lazy Prime Minister with a short attention span who can only cope with limited, rudimentary briefings on proposed government policy.

Therefore he has no real understanding of what such proposals involve. When reality hits, and experts start flagging up the shortcomings in the proposals, then there is yet another u-turn. And the government’s credibility is still further eroded.

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The corruption of Dominic Cummings echoes the rotting foundations of Downing Street, handing out fat government contracts to his Brexit cronies without competitive tendering.

Out-of-touch Etonian Johnson’s arrogant misjudgements add sleaze to the public perception of government, burying his head in the sand, refusing to sack incompetent, often corrupt ministers and advisers, refusing to answer questions.

Integrity and accountability make for solid foundations for government. Credibility is crucial, especially when faced by the ongoing Coronavirus crisis. Public health and safety depends on a trustworthy, truthful government. The vulnerable are at risk, increasingly, so are we all.

If Boris Johnson is not up to the job, the Tory Party must replace him!