It’s all over the news and the culmination of several days of mass ministerial resignations on the top of months and years of scandal after scandal.
Here’s the thing though. I’m seeing a lot of social media posts, from usually reputable sources or groups, declaiming Boris as an immoral narcissist, for example:
Now, I am ABSOLUTELY NOT defending Johnson (aka “Boris the Numpty” in this house), but he didn’t get to be prime minister on his own. The responsibility for his position lies much more widely.
His party elected him as leader. They can’t have been oblivious to his idiocy; remember his antics as mayor of London? His credentials for chief slime ball were already well-established. But they still chose him.
We, the British people, re-elected the Conservative party with him as leader in December 2019. It’s our fault he has been prime minister. It’s my fault, I voted elsewhere but I could surely have done more to encourage others to do likewise. It’s your fault too, maybe for the same reason or maybe because you chose to vote for his party.
Why? Why did we do or not do those things? Don’t we know better than to elect a party led by an utter buffoon with known racist, sexist, misogynist behaviours? How on earth did we think we could trust him and his party?
Moving forwards from the time of his election, I found it almost funny when Sunak and Javid started the avalanche of resignations early this week. They really felt that this latest indictment of Johnson’s morals (over Chris Pincher’s sexual misconduct) was so much more serious than all the other crap he’s done?
All the lies and misdirection? Ah, but it’s Boris being Boris.
Breaking lockdown rules? Meh, not worth resigning over.
Sexy antics in the foreign office? Ah, whatever.
Stealing a phone and hiding in a fridge? Naaa, that’s fine.
Maybe his own brother quitting means something? Oh, but brothers always fall out.
Fakes his near-death COVID experience, only to be contradicted by medics? Oh, but he was definitely quite poorly, so that’s OK.
Jennifer Accuri? But she’s very pretty.
All the myriad other stupid things, dishonest things, immoral, undemocratic, disrespectful things? It’s Boris being Boris.
Poll reports 70% of the electorate dissatisfied? Oh quick, get out of his shadow and make a stand so that you have a chance to be his successor and you can establish yourself as unconnected with his misconduct!
Am I being cynical here? It really struck me earlier this week that the most recent revelation (about Chris Pincher grabbing mens’ arses and Johnson knowing that when he appointed Pincher as Government Deputy Chief Whip), while certainly important and I don’t want to trivialise it, seems less significant than putting himself above the law. Why were the people resigning really doing it now? It it truly because they’re taking a stand on this issue? Or is it because they felt that the time is right for them to topple Johnson and have a chance of leadership themselves? In which case, would we really want to elect someone who does the right thing (eventually) but for very selfish reasons? Maybe Sunak or Javid and others would do a better job than Johnson, and it’s not as though any politician is blameless or free of mistakes, so maybe we should expect them all to be untrustworthy to some extent.
So while I count myself happy that Boris the Numpty is going. I remain unsure about the future, who will come next? Will they reset the tone for respectful and moral politics? Or will Johnson’s abasement of standards result in a reduced quality of behaviour of those in the government and parliament in general? Has he done irreparable damage? Have we, by electing him in the first place?