Culture wars can’t save Boris Johnson.
Trying to drive a wedge using cultural or social issues is a lot trickier when there’s immediate economic devastation and material needs.
No matter how much Boris Johnson and has cabinet (and party) of ideological, power hungry charlatans try to dress up denying kids food as a play in the culture war against virtue-signalling elites, a solid majority of people won’t be convinced. Even the majority of Tory voters won’t be convinced. All the arguments they’ve laid forward certainly gain traction with a hefty minority of people, but not to the degree these out of touch elitists think.
Culture wars to drive parts of Labour’s traditional base away from their own economic interests due to social issues is all well and good in times of stability; but now the jobs are going, the calamity is setting in, and people are feeling a sense of genuine solidarity and community for the first time in decades, the seductive pull of the culture war has lost its appeal somewhat. Of course, it’s far too early to read the political ramification of the global realignment coronavirus is going to trigger, and it could well turbocharge the radical right even further than 2008 did, but right now people aren’t buying it for the most part. Rightwing Twitter isn’t the real world.
Boris Johnson is trying to save a premiership (and almost guaranteed 10 years in power) he’s come close to eviscerating and squandering for himself and his party by pure god awful decision making and political tone deafness. His immediate instinct is to seize onto the culture war; the thing that made people in the post-industrialised towns of the north feel comfortable voting Tory, often for the first time in their lives. The sad fact for Johnson is, as of now, that isn’t going to fly with the majority of the British public.