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Boris and the world’s worst birthday party Britain can't even do Watergate properly

'Happy birthday to me...' (Christopher Furlong - WPA Pool /Getty Images)

'Happy birthday to me...' (Christopher Furlong - WPA Pool /Getty Images)


March 22, 2023   4 mins

“No cake was eaten, and no-one even sang happy birthday.” As parties go, it was a miserable one; as scandals go, however, it was more than enough. Amid all the political kerfuffle over his appearance at the Standards and Privileges Committee today, it’s easy to overlook the full, knuckle-biting absurdity of Boris Johnson’s fall from power. The publication of his evidence to the committee yesterday, however, was a jolting reminder of it all; like a painful stab of hangxiety the morning after the night before. Did that really happen? Yes, yes it did.

Here we have a real sentence in a real dossier handed over to a real committee of MPs sitting in judgement of a real former prime minister of the United Kingdom. This, we should remind ourselves, is the most significant political scandal in recent British history; our very own Watergate. Welcome to this great stage of fools that we call British politics.

As easy as it is to mock this farcical episode, there are serious issues at stake. It is important, and reassuring, that there are consequences for MPs — even former prime ministers — when they lie to the House of Commons. Whether Johnson realised he was breaking his own rules or not, he clearly did break them — and now admits as such. “It is now clear that over a number of days, there were gatherings at No. 10 that, however they began, went past the point where they could be said to have been reasonably necessary for work purposes,” Johnson writes, admitting his guilt.

The issue now is whether Johnson knowingly misled parliament about his rule breaking. His hopes of a political comeback are said to rest on the answer. If the committee of MPs conclude Johnson misled the House “recklessly” or “intentionally”, they will recommend he be sanctioned. This could come in the form of an apology: embarrassing, but hardly fatal. Or he could be suspended from parliament. If this is for more than 10 days, it will trigger a recall petition in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency, which could lead to a by-election. This is what Johnson is fighting to avoid.

It’s the sheer idiocy of Johnson’s fall that is most striking. Less than two years ago, it was Labour, not the Tories, who were in disarray and Keir Starmer, not Johnson, was fighting for his political life. Starmer had lost a by-election to Johnson’s Tories in Hartlepool and was facing defeat in Batley and Spen. Had he done so, Starmer faced the real prospect of a leadership challenge. This, remember, was barely 18 months after Johnson had redrawn the electoral map with a landslide victory, winning an 80-seat majority and a new coalition of voters which should have kept him in power for at least another decade.

But Johnson blew it. And for what? It wasn’t for drawing a trade border down the middle of his own country or for his handling of the pandemic. It wasn’t for some mishandled foreign intervention or government failure, policy difference or act of sleaze. Johnson was dragged from power by a rebellion of his own party because they had become so exasperated by his dishonesty and chaotic inability to do the job. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” Even Johnson must know this deep down.

And yet, his return to the spotlight today shouldn’t just be a reminder of the farcical final months of his premiership, but also of the precarious instability of British politics today. Barely six weeks after leaving office, Johnson came close to regaining power. After Liz Truss caused a financial crisis in her first act as prime minister and was forced to resign 44 days after taking charge, Johnson staged an extraordinary attempt to claw back the crown. Flying back from holiday in the Caribbean, he somehow secured enough nominations from Conservative MPs to make it onto a ballot of party members who would probably have chosen him over Sunak had they been given the chance. Having failed to persuade Sunak to stand aside, only then did Johnson drop out of the race, rather than inherit a parliamentary party still largely opposed to his return. This was five months ago.

On the surface, British politics has calmed down since Johnson’s defeat to Sunak in October. There have been no self-inflicted financial crises or dramatic bust-ups with Brussels. A budget has come and gone. The polls are once again closing between Labour and the Tories, prompting speculation that the next election might, in fact, be closer than many had imagined. Sunak is safe and secure — for now.

But let’s be honest. There is every chance that the Tory party will be looking for a new leader within the next two years. That choice will ultimately fall to party members — most of whom still like Johnson. And Johnson will certainly not give up. As the Italian historian Francesco Guicciardini, a contemporary of Macchiavelli, warned, people who say they are happy out of power should never be believed. “As soon as they are offered the chance to return to their previous position, they will seize it with the intensity that a fire seizes dry wood.” Johnson will today desperately try to keep the flame of his political career alive. If he didn’t have that in mind, he would care a lot less about his defence.

Meanwhile, the riptides which took Britain out of the EU and swept Johnson into power have not disappeared either. Britain is stuck. Its economy is poor. The country is divided. Almost half of Scottish voters want to secede. Northern Ireland is in a mess. It takes decades to build anything of any importance — and when it happens, the project is inevitably overtime and over-budget. People’s living standards are falling, public services are getting worse and neither of the main political parties seems to have any good ideas about how to fix any of it. Populist anger at this status quo remains real — and, what’s more, reasonable.

Reflecting on the fall of the Roman Empire, Montesquieu wrote that “if the chance of one battle — that is, a particular cause — has brought a state to ruin, some general cause made it necessary for that state to perish from a single battle”. This observation also applies to the British state. If Johnson’s battle highlights its ruin, this is only because some general cause had weakened it in the first place.


Tom McTague is UnHerd’s Political Editor. He is the author of Betting The House: The Inside Story of the 2017 Election.

TomMcTague

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Paul MacDonnell
Paul MacDonnell
1 year ago

He campaigned as Winston Churchill and governed as Gavin Newsom.
Even if they weren’t the reason, the lockdowns were more than enough reason to be rid of him.
The parties at No. 10 don’t prove that he was a hypocrite who governed in chaos – though he was this – they prove that he shared with Hancock the knowledge that the measures were unnecessary but imposing them made for good photo ops and so were too compelling.
People commenting on this thread suggesting the he was a great leader brought down by lesser people are living in a fantasy world. Johnson was fundamentally of weak character. He threw the country under the lockdown bus, and ignited the greatest inflation since the 1970s, because…well…because doing anything else was too much like work.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul MacDonnell
JĂŒrg Gassmann
JĂŒrg Gassmann
1 year ago

Agree – the true scandal is that the government deliberately induced fear and panic in the people, and used the most sophisticated psyops resources available to it to do so, in the full knowledge that the danger was wildly overblown. Not just BoJo, but the whole passel of rogues needs to be held to account.

Vici C
Vici C
1 year ago

Who threw all the other countries under the lockdown bus? Who that’s who.

Paul MacDonnell
Paul MacDonnell
1 year ago
Reply to  Vici C

Other people doing dumb things doesn’t make your thing any less dumb.

Paul MacDonnell
Paul MacDonnell
1 year ago
Reply to  Vici C

But, since you ask, I believe lists are being drawn up as we speak.

Paul MacDonnell
Paul MacDonnell
1 year ago
Reply to  Vici C

Other people doing dumb things doesn’t make your thing any less dumb.

Paul MacDonnell
Paul MacDonnell
1 year ago
Reply to  Vici C

But, since you ask, I believe lists are being drawn up as we speak.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago

The point is he should have been voted out by the electorate.
Not removed by lynch mob over some cake. It’s absolutely ridiculous.
He did not solely on his own, ignite inflation. I have already been over this with you. Qe did not help but the chaos from covid and sanctions related to ukraine certainly didn’t help either. By the time we shut down china and most of Europe had already or was entering their own lockdowns, so supply chains would have been disrupted anyway.

Matthew Salter
Matthew Salter
1 year ago

I am no fan of Johnson but your whole “lockdown bus” line is plain stupid. Perhaps you’d have preferred thousands more to have died from COVID?

Jim Allen
Jim Allen
1 year ago

Stitched up and stabbed in the back by staff at no10 and his Conservative associated

JĂŒrg Gassmann
JĂŒrg Gassmann
1 year ago

Agree – the true scandal is that the government deliberately induced fear and panic in the people, and used the most sophisticated psyops resources available to it to do so, in the full knowledge that the danger was wildly overblown. Not just BoJo, but the whole passel of rogues needs to be held to account.

Vici C
Vici C
1 year ago

Who threw all the other countries under the lockdown bus? Who that’s who.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago

The point is he should have been voted out by the electorate.
Not removed by lynch mob over some cake. It’s absolutely ridiculous.
He did not solely on his own, ignite inflation. I have already been over this with you. Qe did not help but the chaos from covid and sanctions related to ukraine certainly didn’t help either. By the time we shut down china and most of Europe had already or was entering their own lockdowns, so supply chains would have been disrupted anyway.

Matthew Salter
Matthew Salter
1 year ago

I am no fan of Johnson but your whole “lockdown bus” line is plain stupid. Perhaps you’d have preferred thousands more to have died from COVID?

Jim Allen
Jim Allen
1 year ago

Stitched up and stabbed in the back by staff at no10 and his Conservative associated

Paul MacDonnell
Paul MacDonnell
1 year ago

He campaigned as Winston Churchill and governed as Gavin Newsom.
Even if they weren’t the reason, the lockdowns were more than enough reason to be rid of him.
The parties at No. 10 don’t prove that he was a hypocrite who governed in chaos – though he was this – they prove that he shared with Hancock the knowledge that the measures were unnecessary but imposing them made for good photo ops and so were too compelling.
People commenting on this thread suggesting the he was a great leader brought down by lesser people are living in a fantasy world. Johnson was fundamentally of weak character. He threw the country under the lockdown bus, and ignited the greatest inflation since the 1970s, because…well…because doing anything else was too much like work.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul MacDonnell
R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

“Johnson was dragged from power by a rebellion of his own party because they had become so exasperated by his dishonesty and chaotic inability to do the job”

I doubt it. He was dragged from power because he was the arch-Brexiteer and most of the party despised him for that class betrayal. Given their own manifest incompetence, I doubt it was his ability that drove them to backstab him. It should have been his moral weakness over Covid lockdowns that got Boris turfed out. Instead it was nothing but pathetic, shameless political intriguing. Now we have a coalition of WEF stooges and technocrats ruling over us just as the Blob and international markets wished. The only positive that will emerge now is the kneecapping of the Tory party.

Last edited 1 year ago by robertdkwright
Jim Denham
Jim Denham
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

As soon as I read the initials “WEF” I know I’m dealing with a conspiracy-nut.

Andy Iddon
Andy Iddon
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Denham

You don’t believe in the WEF? That’s not conspiracy, that’s ignorance

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy Iddon

That’s not his point, and I share the weary feeling that when ‘WEF’ or ‘WHO’ appear inconsequentially in an UnHerd comment, we’re about to drop down that rabbit hole again.

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy Iddon

That’s not his point, and I share the weary feeling that when ‘WEF’ or ‘WHO’ appear inconsequentially in an UnHerd comment, we’re about to drop down that rabbit hole again.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Denham

WEF is shorthand for the emergence of a global superclass that is attempting to co-ordinate the policies of all governments towards a set of goals that are not supported by their electorates. If you can’t see that then you’re not paying attention.

Andy Iddon
Andy Iddon
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Denham

You don’t believe in the WEF? That’s not conspiracy, that’s ignorance

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Denham

WEF is shorthand for the emergence of a global superclass that is attempting to co-ordinate the policies of all governments towards a set of goals that are not supported by their electorates. If you can’t see that then you’re not paying attention.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

I agree – although I suspect there were more reasons to make him go than keep him.
I general terms he was a machine politician – but an unreliable one. He had to go.
In a similar vein Theresa May started well but was captured by the machine early on but couldn’t reverse Brexit. Liz Truss was not devoted to the machine and was bounced out before she had even started. David Cameron was just a figurehead so safe enough until he agreed to the Brexit Referendum.
On the other side Tony Blair was an excellent machine politician, Brown unreliable and Corbyn dangerous. Starmer would probably freeze, motionless, if he became PM, so I guess that makes him acceptable to the machine.

Jim Denham
Jim Denham
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

As soon as I read the initials “WEF” I know I’m dealing with a conspiracy-nut.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

I agree – although I suspect there were more reasons to make him go than keep him.
I general terms he was a machine politician – but an unreliable one. He had to go.
In a similar vein Theresa May started well but was captured by the machine early on but couldn’t reverse Brexit. Liz Truss was not devoted to the machine and was bounced out before she had even started. David Cameron was just a figurehead so safe enough until he agreed to the Brexit Referendum.
On the other side Tony Blair was an excellent machine politician, Brown unreliable and Corbyn dangerous. Starmer would probably freeze, motionless, if he became PM, so I guess that makes him acceptable to the machine.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

“Johnson was dragged from power by a rebellion of his own party because they had become so exasperated by his dishonesty and chaotic inability to do the job”

I doubt it. He was dragged from power because he was the arch-Brexiteer and most of the party despised him for that class betrayal. Given their own manifest incompetence, I doubt it was his ability that drove them to backstab him. It should have been his moral weakness over Covid lockdowns that got Boris turfed out. Instead it was nothing but pathetic, shameless political intriguing. Now we have a coalition of WEF stooges and technocrats ruling over us just as the Blob and international markets wished. The only positive that will emerge now is the kneecapping of the Tory party.

Last edited 1 year ago by robertdkwright
William Shaw
William Shaw
1 year ago

“Its economy is poor
. People’s living standards are falling, public services are getting worse”
So, not so different from many western countries at the moment.
The real tragedy of Boris Johnson’s reign as PM is that he totally wasted an 80 seat majority; a majority with which he could have implemented institutional and constitutional changes.

Last edited 1 year ago by William Shaw
Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago
Reply to  William Shaw

That 80 seat majority was a chimaera. More than half the Tory MPs hate Boris and hate Brexit. Once the GE momentum was halted by Covid it was just a matter of time before they engineered Boris’s downfall.

George Venning
George Venning
1 year ago
Reply to  William Shaw

No, MUCH worse than other countries. Since the financial crisis average earrings have risen by >30, in Germany the figure is a little under 30%. In the UK, the figure is, I believe minus 2%.

The gulf in GDP isn’t as great but that’s the problem. The rich are getting richer and everyone else is going backwards.

That is not the case across the board.

Conservative Government since 2010 has been characterized by austerity, short-termism and willful blindness. If effing partygate is the only thing that sticks, so be it.

The tragedy is that all of them weren’t brought to this pass over any of a thousand much greater transgressions.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago
Reply to  William Shaw

That 80 seat majority was a chimaera. More than half the Tory MPs hate Boris and hate Brexit. Once the GE momentum was halted by Covid it was just a matter of time before they engineered Boris’s downfall.

George Venning
George Venning
1 year ago
Reply to  William Shaw

No, MUCH worse than other countries. Since the financial crisis average earrings have risen by >30, in Germany the figure is a little under 30%. In the UK, the figure is, I believe minus 2%.

The gulf in GDP isn’t as great but that’s the problem. The rich are getting richer and everyone else is going backwards.

That is not the case across the board.

Conservative Government since 2010 has been characterized by austerity, short-termism and willful blindness. If effing partygate is the only thing that sticks, so be it.

The tragedy is that all of them weren’t brought to this pass over any of a thousand much greater transgressions.

William Shaw
William Shaw
1 year ago

“Its economy is poor
. People’s living standards are falling, public services are getting worse”
So, not so different from many western countries at the moment.
The real tragedy of Boris Johnson’s reign as PM is that he totally wasted an 80 seat majority; a majority with which he could have implemented institutional and constitutional changes.

Last edited 1 year ago by William Shaw
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Thank you for that synopsis of what is turning out to be the most ridiculous charade come show trial, let alone waste of public money, since the Trial of Warren Hastings.

However no doubt it serves to divert attention from the far, far more serious business of the Great COVID Scam.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago

Actually, Charles, the blob is using it to divert attention from the far, far more serious business of the Windsor Framework scam.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Thank you, I had almost forgotten that.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Thank you, I had almost forgotten that.

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
1 year ago

Yes I am aware of that Charles when Andrew Bridgen stood up in parliament again recently to deliver statistics on the number of people suffering from mrna vaccine damage. The few Tories that were there and in particular one of them crossed over to the few labour MPs whispered into their ears and then they all walked out. These disgusting people who should represent us in Parliament should be banned. I cannot believe our Parliament has lowered itself to this degree.

Matthew Salter
Matthew Salter
1 year ago

Rubbish. He’s a serial liar and charlatan who is finally being banged to rights. For the first time in his life he’s feeling the consequences of his selfish and arrogant actions.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago

Actually, Charles, the blob is using it to divert attention from the far, far more serious business of the Windsor Framework scam.

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
1 year ago

Yes I am aware of that Charles when Andrew Bridgen stood up in parliament again recently to deliver statistics on the number of people suffering from mrna vaccine damage. The few Tories that were there and in particular one of them crossed over to the few labour MPs whispered into their ears and then they all walked out. These disgusting people who should represent us in Parliament should be banned. I cannot believe our Parliament has lowered itself to this degree.

Matthew Salter
Matthew Salter
1 year ago

Rubbish. He’s a serial liar and charlatan who is finally being banged to rights. For the first time in his life he’s feeling the consequences of his selfish and arrogant actions.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Thank you for that synopsis of what is turning out to be the most ridiculous charade come show trial, let alone waste of public money, since the Trial of Warren Hastings.

However no doubt it serves to divert attention from the far, far more serious business of the Great COVID Scam.

Emmanuel MARTIN
Emmanuel MARTIN
1 year ago

For all his “dishonesty”, BoJo said that Brexit would be done and did it.He may have buffonish aspects, a lack of decorum and an unpleasant taste for privilege (such as partying during a lockdown). Yet he’s not applying to be your spiritual leader or to marry your daughter.
For all his flaws, he somehow governed in line with what he promised and what his voters wanted. Despite overwhelmeing pressures to betray. For the first time in last decades, a democratic statesman delivered the public a policy choice what the public asked for, despite rabid opposition from the “respectable” upper classes
Long live BoJo !.

Last edited 1 year ago by Emmanuel MARTIN
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

He promised we would have our cake and eat it. He promised there would be no border in the Irish sea. He promised UK-EU would be the worlds easiest trade deal, and that the already had it oven-ready. And, of course, he promised the EU he would abide by the withdrawal agreement, Did he deliver any of those?

Paul T
Paul T
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Did people like you let him?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul T

Oh, I did not have the vote. And ‘people like me’ voted Remain anyway. You cannot blame me if people are smart enough to trust Boris Johnson.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul T

Oh, I did not have the vote. And ‘people like me’ voted Remain anyway. You cannot blame me if people are smart enough to trust Boris Johnson.

DenialARiverIn Islington
DenialARiverIn Islington
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

That’s not what he was fired for. He was fired over a piece of cake. Everyone involved who thought that was a good idea, is a numbskull. In no other country on the entire planet would such an abject case of plain self-entitled, needy stupidity ever have been allowed to take place. Johnson’s removal from power over nothing in particular is entirely shameful and shows a system of politics which has descended into pure farce.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

You obviously missed all the Democratic politicians who routinely flouted lockdown rules

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

He was fired because he introduced some strict rules and then blatantly ignored them and even more blatantly lied about it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Rasmus Fogh
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

You obviously missed all the Democratic politicians who routinely flouted lockdown rules

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

He was fired because he introduced some strict rules and then blatantly ignored them and even more blatantly lied about it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Rasmus Fogh
Mr Bellisarius
Mr Bellisarius
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

He actually said deal or deal. The UK would leave the EU regardless of the state of, or even the existence of a deal.
The border in the North Sea represents the first time the entire British political class have rallied behind a DUP war cry.

John Huddart
John Huddart
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Remember this would be Winnie Churchill also promised ’40 new hospitals’ any sign of them?
Boris Johnson the prophet of the lie, lies again and again and again, who’d a thunk it eh?

Paul T
Paul T
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Did people like you let him?

DenialARiverIn Islington
DenialARiverIn Islington
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

That’s not what he was fired for. He was fired over a piece of cake. Everyone involved who thought that was a good idea, is a numbskull. In no other country on the entire planet would such an abject case of plain self-entitled, needy stupidity ever have been allowed to take place. Johnson’s removal from power over nothing in particular is entirely shameful and shows a system of politics which has descended into pure farce.

Mr Bellisarius
Mr Bellisarius
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

He actually said deal or deal. The UK would leave the EU regardless of the state of, or even the existence of a deal.
The border in the North Sea represents the first time the entire British political class have rallied behind a DUP war cry.

John Huddart
John Huddart
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Remember this would be Winnie Churchill also promised ’40 new hospitals’ any sign of them?
Boris Johnson the prophet of the lie, lies again and again and again, who’d a thunk it eh?

Rebirth Radio
Rebirth Radio
1 year ago

He misjudged the Red Wall totally by banging on about Net Zero, and the use of the Democrat slogan Build Back Better was again a massive blunder, in terms of keeping the support of those he’d need to fight his corner. It made people distrust him. Had he fought back against the excesses of the Net Zero agenda two years ago, he’d have been really ahead-of-the-curve. Instead he sacrificed grass roots support on a fool’s mission to curry favour with Biden’s Democrats. Boris could have, and should have been the man to put a stop to this ULEZ nonsense once and for all. But he chose to embrace the exact opposite, and that’s what did for him IMO.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Rebirth Radio

Exactly, well said but this Parliamentary Show Trial is completely unnecessary and an expensive farce.

He is already “dead in water “ due to his own ineptitude as you have so succinctly stated.

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
1 year ago

Unfortunately “justice” also needs to be seen to be done, hence the show-trial: a pointless and expensive waste of time, with Johnson at centre-stage, just as he likes it.

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
1 year ago

Unfortunately “justice” also needs to be seen to be done, hence the show-trial: a pointless and expensive waste of time, with Johnson at centre-stage, just as he likes it.

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Rebirth Radio

Apart from having his brain in another part of his body for most of the time, his biggest mistake was to enact his wife as pseudo PM who then resided over the chaos of appointments at 10 Downing Street until Lord Frost put an end to it. Wives or Husbands support but not dictate. It was she that changed him from being a Climate sceptic into a Net Zero evangelist. And he like all those MP Net Zero fanatics had not the slightest clue as to its eventual cost (I do bankruptcy) just as he didn’t have the slightest idea of how he was going to pay for his wife’s very expensive tastes in Upholstery. For ULEZ and its subsidiaries we have another useless Tory? MP Grant Shapps to thank who gave ÂŁ250 million to Left wing Councils to create chaos and division among the communities. As a past tory voter I’m bemused by the shenanigans and strife that is destroying that party and bringing Johnson back won’t solve that.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Martin

Consummatum est!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Martin

Consummatum est!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Rebirth Radio

Exactly, well said but this Parliamentary Show Trial is completely unnecessary and an expensive farce.

He is already “dead in water “ due to his own ineptitude as you have so succinctly stated.

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Rebirth Radio

Apart from having his brain in another part of his body for most of the time, his biggest mistake was to enact his wife as pseudo PM who then resided over the chaos of appointments at 10 Downing Street until Lord Frost put an end to it. Wives or Husbands support but not dictate. It was she that changed him from being a Climate sceptic into a Net Zero evangelist. And he like all those MP Net Zero fanatics had not the slightest clue as to its eventual cost (I do bankruptcy) just as he didn’t have the slightest idea of how he was going to pay for his wife’s very expensive tastes in Upholstery. For ULEZ and its subsidiaries we have another useless Tory? MP Grant Shapps to thank who gave ÂŁ250 million to Left wing Councils to create chaos and division among the communities. As a past tory voter I’m bemused by the shenanigans and strife that is destroying that party and bringing Johnson back won’t solve that.

William Jackson
William Jackson
1 year ago

Brexshit and the untold damage it has and continues to do the Union, to our trade, our finances, our world standing, the perception others have of the British as smashed by ‘the Johnson of all johnsons. Long live BoJo you say, are you taking the right medication and in the right quantity?

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

I think you misspelt Brexit

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago

No he didn’t

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

No he definitely did

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

No he definitely did

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago

No he didn’t

Andy Iddon
Andy Iddon
1 year ago

Your exaggerated concern about the opinions of others says a lot about you

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

You destroyed your credibility right at the outset there by using childish language, I’m afraid.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

I think you misspelt Brexit

Andy Iddon
Andy Iddon
1 year ago

Your exaggerated concern about the opinions of others says a lot about you

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

You destroyed your credibility right at the outset there by using childish language, I’m afraid.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

He promised we would have our cake and eat it. He promised there would be no border in the Irish sea. He promised UK-EU would be the worlds easiest trade deal, and that the already had it oven-ready. And, of course, he promised the EU he would abide by the withdrawal agreement, Did he deliver any of those?

Rebirth Radio
Rebirth Radio
1 year ago

He misjudged the Red Wall totally by banging on about Net Zero, and the use of the Democrat slogan Build Back Better was again a massive blunder, in terms of keeping the support of those he’d need to fight his corner. It made people distrust him. Had he fought back against the excesses of the Net Zero agenda two years ago, he’d have been really ahead-of-the-curve. Instead he sacrificed grass roots support on a fool’s mission to curry favour with Biden’s Democrats. Boris could have, and should have been the man to put a stop to this ULEZ nonsense once and for all. But he chose to embrace the exact opposite, and that’s what did for him IMO.

William Jackson
William Jackson
1 year ago

Brexshit and the untold damage it has and continues to do the Union, to our trade, our finances, our world standing, the perception others have of the British as smashed by ‘the Johnson of all johnsons. Long live BoJo you say, are you taking the right medication and in the right quantity?

Emmanuel MARTIN
Emmanuel MARTIN
1 year ago

For all his “dishonesty”, BoJo said that Brexit would be done and did it.He may have buffonish aspects, a lack of decorum and an unpleasant taste for privilege (such as partying during a lockdown). Yet he’s not applying to be your spiritual leader or to marry your daughter.
For all his flaws, he somehow governed in line with what he promised and what his voters wanted. Despite overwhelmeing pressures to betray. For the first time in last decades, a democratic statesman delivered the public a policy choice what the public asked for, despite rabid opposition from the “respectable” upper classes
Long live BoJo !.

Last edited 1 year ago by Emmanuel MARTIN
DenialARiverIn Islington
DenialARiverIn Islington
1 year ago

The whole thing is an absurdity concocted and prosecuted by an embittered Remain Establishment hell-bent on getting Johnson at all costs. The spectacle of dragging a sitting Prime Minister with an 80-seat majority from his job at the top over a piece of cake; is as asinine and plain silly as it is possible to be. Everyone wringing their hands and clenching their buttocks over this “terrible” incident should hang their heads in shame. They really have behaved in an appallingly needy and self-entitled manner. Childish, beyond belief.

DenialARiverIn Islington
DenialARiverIn Islington
1 year ago

The whole thing is an absurdity concocted and prosecuted by an embittered Remain Establishment hell-bent on getting Johnson at all costs. The spectacle of dragging a sitting Prime Minister with an 80-seat majority from his job at the top over a piece of cake; is as asinine and plain silly as it is possible to be. Everyone wringing their hands and clenching their buttocks over this “terrible” incident should hang their heads in shame. They really have behaved in an appallingly needy and self-entitled manner. Childish, beyond belief.

Vici C
Vici C
1 year ago

It is correct to say that Johnson is but a symbol of our times. Years and years of cheap money and cheap labour have left the UK weak, lazy and complacent. Given the attention afforded to cake this goes for the populace too. Lost all sense of proportion and cannot see the real danger: our imminent digital enslavement with the green agenda being the trojan horse. We need a leader who will fight for our freedoms.

Last edited 1 year ago by Vici C
Vici C
Vici C
1 year ago

It is correct to say that Johnson is but a symbol of our times. Years and years of cheap money and cheap labour have left the UK weak, lazy and complacent. Given the attention afforded to cake this goes for the populace too. Lost all sense of proportion and cannot see the real danger: our imminent digital enslavement with the green agenda being the trojan horse. We need a leader who will fight for our freedoms.

Last edited 1 year ago by Vici C
Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
1 year ago

The hearing today should not be happening. Boris Johnson should have resigned as an MP when he was removed in disgrace from the Premiership. By not doing so and by continuing to defend the indefensible – that is his negligent disregard of the lockdown regulations which his Government created and used to scare and bully the population into submission – Boris Johnson only makes matters worse for himself and this country. Be gone man.

tom j
tom j
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

The problem you’ve got is that Boris was by instinct the least pro-lockdown politican we had. Nobody at all believes Starmer would have been less keen on lockdowns, indeed he was calling for them in the summer of 2021. Let alone all the hysterical scientists. What you call ‘negligent disregard’ is consistent with his instinct that lockdown was an over-reaction. After the initial period of Covid when we didn’t know how harmless it was to most people, many if not most people disregarded what where obviously arbitrary and excessive lockdown rules when it suited us (including even Starmer!), as convenient as it might be to pretend otherwise as we work up righteous indignation.

Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
1 year ago
Reply to  tom j

Tom, the problem is not mine but BoJos. If that is what the least lockdown minded of politicians does when put under pressure then God help us.
It also doesn’t matter what others might have done . What matters is what he did. Furthermore if he approved those awful laws knowing them to be an over- reaction then surely it’s even worse.

Mr Bellisarius
Mr Bellisarius
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

Cast your mind back to that first Covid press conference, and the hysterical coverage in the media that followed.
The media have a lost to answer for. They deliberately mis reresented Covid, just as they did partygate. And as they did with project fear.

Mr Bellisarius
Mr Bellisarius
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

Cast your mind back to that first Covid press conference, and the hysterical coverage in the media that followed.
The media have a lost to answer for. They deliberately mis reresented Covid, just as they did partygate. And as they did with project fear.

Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
1 year ago
Reply to  tom j

Tom, the problem is not mine but BoJos. If that is what the least lockdown minded of politicians does when put under pressure then God help us.
It also doesn’t matter what others might have done . What matters is what he did. Furthermore if he approved those awful laws knowing them to be an over- reaction then surely it’s even worse.

DenialARiverIn Islington
DenialARiverIn Islington
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

Oh, do give us a break Malcolm. Anyone with half a brain can see that the entire charade was a stitch-up from beginning to end. There is no need to add further to the absurdity of removing a sitting Prime Minister over a piece of cake by pretending that it was a “disgrace”. All that shows is that you have no true comprehension of what a proper disgrace looks like. Massively childish, dim-witted nonsense has occurred here and it will not serve to pretend otherwise.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

Here in the US we have an occasionally reanimated corpse taking bribes in the millions from China, and impeach a president – twice – for not committing the crimes his opponent was herself guilty of. This cake thing – I don’t know how anyone can even talk about it with a straight face.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago

That’s bullshit including what I presume is a typo.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago

That’s bullshit including what I presume is a typo.

Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
1 year ago

Sorry DenialARiverIn Islington ( why not use your real name?) but it isn’t about a piece of cake. It’s about a chap who presided over a Government which designed and implemented the worst suspension of personal freedom imposed on U.K. citizens in modern times – and then had a laugh and did his own thing in contravention of the rules his administration had imposed – and as a result of which, people were persecuted and fined and stopped from seeing their loved ones. It was much more than a silly piece of cake. It truly was a disgrace – and continues to be such.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

Sorry, Malcolm, despite what you might wish, today’s hearing is all about cake and nothing to do with personal freedom. Note that the Met identified 8 gatherings that they concluded broke the rules and Johnson was involved in just one of them.
Most of these gatherings seem to have been on Friday nights when the PM was at Chequers. Some Spads and civil servants, including some very senior ones, broke the rules. They have suffered remarkably little detriment, indeed the Cabinet Secretary is incredibly still in post despite going home one night with a cheery ” Don’t wreck my office”, showing he knew exactly what was about to happen.
Johnson was not the No 10 office manager. You should direct your anger towards those senior civil servants who were complicit.

Mr Bellisarius
Mr Bellisarius
1 year ago

Don’t forget that the biggest party in Downing street, held when Johnson was out of town, was held in the press office for a journalist, by journalists. The celebrant was the deputy editor of The Sun, a paper joined the chorus in the misleading accounts.
The press used their own events as an example of what went on, without pointing out they were in the press office, or who was there.
And the location is consistently referred to as being in the No10 press office, also in the Gray report, despite its actual location being in a basement between No11 and No12.
The privileges committee are using a witness that claims Johnson must have know what was going on there because he could have seen through the window when his car turned at the end of the street.

Mr Bellisarius
Mr Bellisarius
1 year ago

Don’t forget that the biggest party in Downing street, held when Johnson was out of town, was held in the press office for a journalist, by journalists. The celebrant was the deputy editor of The Sun, a paper joined the chorus in the misleading accounts.
The press used their own events as an example of what went on, without pointing out they were in the press office, or who was there.
And the location is consistently referred to as being in the No10 press office, also in the Gray report, despite its actual location being in a basement between No11 and No12.
The privileges committee are using a witness that claims Johnson must have know what was going on there because he could have seen through the window when his car turned at the end of the street.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

Sorry, Malcolm, despite what you might wish, today’s hearing is all about cake and nothing to do with personal freedom. Note that the Met identified 8 gatherings that they concluded broke the rules and Johnson was involved in just one of them.
Most of these gatherings seem to have been on Friday nights when the PM was at Chequers. Some Spads and civil servants, including some very senior ones, broke the rules. They have suffered remarkably little detriment, indeed the Cabinet Secretary is incredibly still in post despite going home one night with a cheery ” Don’t wreck my office”, showing he knew exactly what was about to happen.
Johnson was not the No 10 office manager. You should direct your anger towards those senior civil servants who were complicit.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

Here in the US we have an occasionally reanimated corpse taking bribes in the millions from China, and impeach a president – twice – for not committing the crimes his opponent was herself guilty of. This cake thing – I don’t know how anyone can even talk about it with a straight face.

Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
1 year ago

Sorry DenialARiverIn Islington ( why not use your real name?) but it isn’t about a piece of cake. It’s about a chap who presided over a Government which designed and implemented the worst suspension of personal freedom imposed on U.K. citizens in modern times – and then had a laugh and did his own thing in contravention of the rules his administration had imposed – and as a result of which, people were persecuted and fined and stopped from seeing their loved ones. It was much more than a silly piece of cake. It truly was a disgrace – and continues to be such.

tom j
tom j
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

The problem you’ve got is that Boris was by instinct the least pro-lockdown politican we had. Nobody at all believes Starmer would have been less keen on lockdowns, indeed he was calling for them in the summer of 2021. Let alone all the hysterical scientists. What you call ‘negligent disregard’ is consistent with his instinct that lockdown was an over-reaction. After the initial period of Covid when we didn’t know how harmless it was to most people, many if not most people disregarded what where obviously arbitrary and excessive lockdown rules when it suited us (including even Starmer!), as convenient as it might be to pretend otherwise as we work up righteous indignation.

DenialARiverIn Islington
DenialARiverIn Islington
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

Oh, do give us a break Malcolm. Anyone with half a brain can see that the entire charade was a stitch-up from beginning to end. There is no need to add further to the absurdity of removing a sitting Prime Minister over a piece of cake by pretending that it was a “disgrace”. All that shows is that you have no true comprehension of what a proper disgrace looks like. Massively childish, dim-witted nonsense has occurred here and it will not serve to pretend otherwise.

Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
1 year ago

The hearing today should not be happening. Boris Johnson should have resigned as an MP when he was removed in disgrace from the Premiership. By not doing so and by continuing to defend the indefensible – that is his negligent disregard of the lockdown regulations which his Government created and used to scare and bully the population into submission – Boris Johnson only makes matters worse for himself and this country. Be gone man.

Paul T
Paul T
1 year ago

When Boris Johnson was Mayor of London he got endless headlines for the Met Police and its various failings. Responsibility for everything at the time was laid squarely at his feet; every single issue was made out to be his personal fault.

How is it that Sadiq Khan isn’t now getting the same level of intense scrutiny that Johnson got for arguably significantly worse outcomes across the board? His time as mayor has been scandalously bad yet the press have given him a very very wide berth.

It does seem to be that everything Johnson does or says is immediately conflated to the level of war crime or genocide for things that others are permitted to sidestep. Why?

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul T
Paul Curtin
Paul Curtin
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul T

Correct. No one on here seems to mention that we have had a coup live and on real time TV in your living room folks.
He got Brexit initiated and that was his sin so regardless he had to go. Anything would do and eating a piece of cake was the means of doing it. The hyperboles in this farce would be comical on stage, you wouldn’t see this happening in Macrons France, it would be dismissed out of hand.
We then had two minutes of Truss, voted in by Conservative members to do something like true conservative economics. That was the wrong result for the bankers who’d like a return to the pre-Brexit cozy making money hand over fist setup and so surprise, surprise their ex-banker pal got his pals to line up the ducks in a row to then slip in without either rather awkward Conservative Party members say or nasty old electorate getting involved. It’s even funnier that her policies were proven to be the right direction recently post her political assassination with 1 month in office.
Rishi had the slick election video done and ready to go before Truss even stood up at the dispatch box. Unreal.
Boom. Suddenly, we now have a ex-banker elite type in charge approved by the top 1% and willing to sellout anything for the quiet life, things have got signed on that basis recently with the EU and we’re back to good-old-PRE-nasty-Brexit-days when nobody rocked the boat or asked awkward questions.
There is no difference between Starmer and Rishi, the 1% want either amenable or malleable – not independent or a wildcard. Boris is a very, very deeply flawed person but this is about how they got rid of someone not who they got rid of – that is the issue.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul Curtin
Paul Curtin
Paul Curtin
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul T

Correct. No one on here seems to mention that we have had a coup live and on real time TV in your living room folks.
He got Brexit initiated and that was his sin so regardless he had to go. Anything would do and eating a piece of cake was the means of doing it. The hyperboles in this farce would be comical on stage, you wouldn’t see this happening in Macrons France, it would be dismissed out of hand.
We then had two minutes of Truss, voted in by Conservative members to do something like true conservative economics. That was the wrong result for the bankers who’d like a return to the pre-Brexit cozy making money hand over fist setup and so surprise, surprise their ex-banker pal got his pals to line up the ducks in a row to then slip in without either rather awkward Conservative Party members say or nasty old electorate getting involved. It’s even funnier that her policies were proven to be the right direction recently post her political assassination with 1 month in office.
Rishi had the slick election video done and ready to go before Truss even stood up at the dispatch box. Unreal.
Boom. Suddenly, we now have a ex-banker elite type in charge approved by the top 1% and willing to sellout anything for the quiet life, things have got signed on that basis recently with the EU and we’re back to good-old-PRE-nasty-Brexit-days when nobody rocked the boat or asked awkward questions.
There is no difference between Starmer and Rishi, the 1% want either amenable or malleable – not independent or a wildcard. Boris is a very, very deeply flawed person but this is about how they got rid of someone not who they got rid of – that is the issue.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul Curtin
Paul T
Paul T
1 year ago

When Boris Johnson was Mayor of London he got endless headlines for the Met Police and its various failings. Responsibility for everything at the time was laid squarely at his feet; every single issue was made out to be his personal fault.

How is it that Sadiq Khan isn’t now getting the same level of intense scrutiny that Johnson got for arguably significantly worse outcomes across the board? His time as mayor has been scandalously bad yet the press have given him a very very wide berth.

It does seem to be that everything Johnson does or says is immediately conflated to the level of war crime or genocide for things that others are permitted to sidestep. Why?

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul T
JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago

It does occur to me that it would not be that bad for Boris to loose in front of the Committee of Terror, and then be unseated at Uxbridge. He can then take up his preferred role as the outsider, the populist hero, the unjustly attacked, the wrongly condemned, be selected for a much safer seat (outside the south-east for preference); win it on a wave of sympathy, anger at the Splodge ganging him on him, and humour; be one of the much smaller opposition Conservative group in the Commons after the 2024 election and be back in the cabinet, maybe as PM if he has learnt from his mistakes.
And the reconstruction of England, or perhaps the UK, can begin in earnest.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago

It does occur to me that it would not be that bad for Boris to loose in front of the Committee of Terror, and then be unseated at Uxbridge. He can then take up his preferred role as the outsider, the populist hero, the unjustly attacked, the wrongly condemned, be selected for a much safer seat (outside the south-east for preference); win it on a wave of sympathy, anger at the Splodge ganging him on him, and humour; be one of the much smaller opposition Conservative group in the Commons after the 2024 election and be back in the cabinet, maybe as PM if he has learnt from his mistakes.
And the reconstruction of England, or perhaps the UK, can begin in earnest.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago

I’d like to see some justification for the sweeping statement “
 every chance that the Tory party will be looking for a new leader in the next two years 
. “.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

I don’t see why this is necessary at all. It has become the fashion for party leaders to automatically resign after an election defeat. Perhaps the last not to do so was Neil Kinnock in 1987. Before that, it seems to have been the exception rather than the rule – Heath and Wilson did not resign after first being defeated. And whjy should they ?
This is just one of many gross assumptions stated as facts in this piece. Including the perpetual “Almost half of Scottish voters want to secede”. I concluded over a year ago that Scottish independence isn’t happening any time soon. Yet mainstream media continues to pump this line – and even after the current SNP meltdown. They seem unable to filter out short term noise and see the big picture.
I suggest equally that the doom mongering about Britain is misplaced. The country is not actually broken or divided. The government side of things certainly is dysfunctional. But this is all fixable. We can start by stopping paying hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of people in government and quangos doing stupid and value destroying jobs stopping people doing things and deliberately increasing the cost of everyday goods and services for no reason (like energy costs). A lot of the reason stuff takes so long to do is a bad planning regime where protestors (whether inside government or outside) have too much power to delay and add cost to necessary projects. You see the same inefficiencies with the Home Office and immigration and asylum.
Back to the article: Johnson has resigned. At this point, shouldn’t we be focusing on the Covid enquiry rather that this party stuff ? Where is the sense of priorities in government and the media ?

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Agree with everything you say Peter. Additionally, I had forgotten that the GE falls just within the next 2 years, so a quick Leadership contest might actually occur therein.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Barton
Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Agree with everything you say Peter. Additionally, I had forgotten that the GE falls just within the next 2 years, so a quick Leadership contest might actually occur therein.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Barton
Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

I don’t see why this is necessary at all. It has become the fashion for party leaders to automatically resign after an election defeat. Perhaps the last not to do so was Neil Kinnock in 1987. Before that, it seems to have been the exception rather than the rule – Heath and Wilson did not resign after first being defeated. And whjy should they ?
This is just one of many gross assumptions stated as facts in this piece. Including the perpetual “Almost half of Scottish voters want to secede”. I concluded over a year ago that Scottish independence isn’t happening any time soon. Yet mainstream media continues to pump this line – and even after the current SNP meltdown. They seem unable to filter out short term noise and see the big picture.
I suggest equally that the doom mongering about Britain is misplaced. The country is not actually broken or divided. The government side of things certainly is dysfunctional. But this is all fixable. We can start by stopping paying hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of people in government and quangos doing stupid and value destroying jobs stopping people doing things and deliberately increasing the cost of everyday goods and services for no reason (like energy costs). A lot of the reason stuff takes so long to do is a bad planning regime where protestors (whether inside government or outside) have too much power to delay and add cost to necessary projects. You see the same inefficiencies with the Home Office and immigration and asylum.
Back to the article: Johnson has resigned. At this point, shouldn’t we be focusing on the Covid enquiry rather that this party stuff ? Where is the sense of priorities in government and the media ?

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago

I’d like to see some justification for the sweeping statement “
 every chance that the Tory party will be looking for a new leader in the next two years 
. “.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

Bojo had track record of mendacity and deception that had resulted in previous job sackings, so really nobody should be surprised it ended how it has. The irritation is that many of us pointed this out but the bluster and the schtick overrode so many folks good sense for some time. We could all really do with moving on from these theatrics now couldn’t we.
More importantly and as the article I think tries to convey we need to ask ourselves why are we prey to such Populists with their bag of snake oil? Populists can win elections promising the impossible, but then predictably fail. Not because of some conspiracy blocking them, although they’ll use that playbook, but because their prospectus was full of contradictions that would inevitably unravel at some point. The problem though is it compounds the public perception democracy can’t deliver and just fuels the desire for yet more Populism.
Major effective change takes time and patience. It takes honesty about choices, and then a laser focus on effective good governance and delivery. Eventually folks ‘get it’. We’re not daft for ever. But we are prey to some snake oil when the going gets tough.

Last edited 1 year ago by j watson
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Everybody knew that Johnson was an incredibly flawed individual, however they were willing to look past that as he was the only one that promised to respect the result of the referendum. When 2/3 of constituencies voted Leave it was always going to be a vote winner

Dominic Murray
Dominic Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Yes, and Corbyn as the alternative.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Yes to some degree Voters just wanted an end to the Brexit psycho-drama and Bojo promised that. Albeit as we now know that was just another deception. But one also suspects the Corbyn factor and Bojo’s general schtick and boosterism played major roles too. Nonetheless worth bearing in mind he may have got an 80 majority but he only got just over 1% more of the vote than May did in 2017. That’s not quite the ringing endorsement it’s characterised and remember he was up against Corbyn so had a wonderful bit of good fortune. What that suggests is that the majority were/are quite sceptical of his character and prospectus, and as things have played out were quite correct in that analysis too.

Dominic Murray
Dominic Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Yes, and Corbyn as the alternative.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Yes to some degree Voters just wanted an end to the Brexit psycho-drama and Bojo promised that. Albeit as we now know that was just another deception. But one also suspects the Corbyn factor and Bojo’s general schtick and boosterism played major roles too. Nonetheless worth bearing in mind he may have got an 80 majority but he only got just over 1% more of the vote than May did in 2017. That’s not quite the ringing endorsement it’s characterised and remember he was up against Corbyn so had a wonderful bit of good fortune. What that suggests is that the majority were/are quite sceptical of his character and prospectus, and as things have played out were quite correct in that analysis too.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

You are clearly partisan in this argument and if you think that Britain’s problems are simply due to ‘populists’ you are deluding yourself. A bit like those people who blame Trump without any consideration of why he was elected on the first place.

I will put to you that nice mainstream ‘non-populist’ politicians have been fundamentally dishonest with the British electorate over major issues for decades. These include the always fundamentally political aspect of the EEC / EU (“it’s just a trading block”) right from the outset. Then we have the scale and pace of mass immigration which have completely transformed cities like London. Every single indication of public opinion shows major concern over this for decades. But the essentially open borders Left and the free market Right both like it.

There may well be other examples; in any case the fact that the people have so little control on major issues affecting the country hardly builds trust in the democratic process.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Fisher
Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Agree. The one before was a dithering, pathetic Teresa May. The people had voted for Brexit and they wanted Brexit. Trump would have delivered as well. If delivering on a referendum against the bile of moaning Remainers was considered to be a failure – then the Remainers will continue to drag us down.
BJ delivered. But he was not the Steady-Eddy type to carry on with committees and day-to-day politics. Same with Trump. You get what you see.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

May tried to get the hardest Brexit possible without splitting the UK. The Boris promised an even harder Brexit without splitting the UK, made a deal that put a border in the Irish Sea, and then immediately reneged on it. Call that deliver?

May did her best in an impossible situation. Boris just blagged his way through which is why his ‘solution’ never worked and Sunak had to redo the deal.

If that is what you mean by ‘deliver’, I can deliver a fire-engine-red Ferrari to you next month. Just do not expect the engine to start or the plywood to be waterproof.

Last edited 1 year ago by Rasmus Fogh
JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

If May did her best I am even more grateful for her early defenestration

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Very well put. Alas the UK press will urge us all to order that Ferrari yet again, come the next election, the alternatives all being too complicated to think about.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

If May did her best I am even more grateful for her early defenestration

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Very well put. Alas the UK press will urge us all to order that Ferrari yet again, come the next election, the alternatives all being too complicated to think about.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Unfortunately.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

May tried to get the hardest Brexit possible without splitting the UK. The Boris promised an even harder Brexit without splitting the UK, made a deal that put a border in the Irish Sea, and then immediately reneged on it. Call that deliver?

May did her best in an impossible situation. Boris just blagged his way through which is why his ‘solution’ never worked and Sunak had to redo the deal.

If that is what you mean by ‘deliver’, I can deliver a fire-engine-red Ferrari to you next month. Just do not expect the engine to start or the plywood to be waterproof.

Last edited 1 year ago by Rasmus Fogh
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Unfortunately.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

No not quite AF. I wouldn’t blame Populists for everything. They are in part a symptom, but an almost self-perpetuating symptom. They certainly do not offer credible solutions.
As regards the 30yr back story regarding the EU – we’d disagree I’m sure. For me the whole anti-EU stuff was an example of where we began to be more prey to Populist rhetoric and playbook, find a bogeyman (foreign if poss) to blame for our woes etc, without a proper adult conversation about the EU, what reforms we did need to push for (EU needed reform for sure) and what benefits we gained. But that never happened and Populist over-simplification won out leaving us in a right muddle now.
As regards immigration – I’d agree we’ve failed to have an adult national conversation about it’s role and related issues of fairness. In part though that is because Populists continually outflank the sensible conversation with sloganeering devoid of clarity on how one will actually deliver and clear what trade offs are necessary. At some point I think we all hope the conversation can be conducted more maturely as there is much we need to do better and it undoubtedly is an issue Voters want better managed. On that I’m sure we’d agree.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Who are these ‘populists’ you are so keen to vilify? Surely not the old ‘bourgeoisie’ your predecessors used to rant about, before committing classicide on an industrial scale?

Incidentally both Benn and Powell carried out a very adult debate on the then Common Market, though no doubt you also would despise them as ‘populists’.

As for immigration, that has been the greatest confidence trick perpetrated on the the British people since the Resurrection, and has been source of animated debate since 1948, although sadly to no avail.
We have yet to “reap the whirlwind”* here!

(*Hosea 8:7.)

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Who are these ‘populists’ you are so keen to vilify? Surely not the old ‘bourgeoisie’ your predecessors used to rant about, before committing classicide on an industrial scale?

Incidentally both Benn and Powell carried out a very adult debate on the then Common Market, though no doubt you also would despise them as ‘populists’.

As for immigration, that has been the greatest confidence trick perpetrated on the the British people since the Resurrection, and has been source of animated debate since 1948, although sadly to no avail.
We have yet to “reap the whirlwind”* here!

(*Hosea 8:7.)

Emmanuel MARTIN
Emmanuel MARTIN
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Spot on

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Agree. The one before was a dithering, pathetic Teresa May. The people had voted for Brexit and they wanted Brexit. Trump would have delivered as well. If delivering on a referendum against the bile of moaning Remainers was considered to be a failure – then the Remainers will continue to drag us down.
BJ delivered. But he was not the Steady-Eddy type to carry on with committees and day-to-day politics. Same with Trump. You get what you see.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

No not quite AF. I wouldn’t blame Populists for everything. They are in part a symptom, but an almost self-perpetuating symptom. They certainly do not offer credible solutions.
As regards the 30yr back story regarding the EU – we’d disagree I’m sure. For me the whole anti-EU stuff was an example of where we began to be more prey to Populist rhetoric and playbook, find a bogeyman (foreign if poss) to blame for our woes etc, without a proper adult conversation about the EU, what reforms we did need to push for (EU needed reform for sure) and what benefits we gained. But that never happened and Populist over-simplification won out leaving us in a right muddle now.
As regards immigration – I’d agree we’ve failed to have an adult national conversation about it’s role and related issues of fairness. In part though that is because Populists continually outflank the sensible conversation with sloganeering devoid of clarity on how one will actually deliver and clear what trade offs are necessary. At some point I think we all hope the conversation can be conducted more maturely as there is much we need to do better and it undoubtedly is an issue Voters want better managed. On that I’m sure we’d agree.

Emmanuel MARTIN
Emmanuel MARTIN
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Spot on

Guy Haynes
Guy Haynes
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

This is a constant recurring theme in your posts JW. Populists are bad, and the solutions they provide don’t work, you say.

I’m not saying you’re wrong – though the US pre-pandemic economic performance and the Abraham Accords were certainly big wins for Trump in spite of his obvious personality peccadillioes.

The problem is as follows:

1. By your own admission, populists are symptoms and not causes.

2. Under normal circumstances, populists do not gain power but play a valuable role in ensuring that those who do gain power better reflect the needs of the populace.

3. The problem here, by logical conclusion, is that the established politicians have largely ignored the general populace, to the point that people would rather vote for a populist in the knowledge that it’ll probably go wrong, because it’s the only way to get the establishment to listen.

The only solution I hear you suggesting is that people should just be happy with being ignored and go back to the tried and tested. Perhaps you like the tried and tested, which is fine – problem is, most of the country don’t.

Maybe I’m being unfair to you. But all of this does beg the question – what’s your solution?

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Guy Haynes

I have to say, these constant references to Trump’s “peccadilloes” are tedious and obviously the result of non-stop negative media characterization. Who on this Earth doesn’t have flaws, habits, traits, idiosyncrasies others find off-putting? Let’s be honest: if Trump had been a Democrat, he’d be hailed like Caesar. Just look at what is being done to Ron DeSantis.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Guy Haynes

Solution – listen more carefully and assess whether what you are being told is just ‘playing you’. Insist on more honest debate and that you want to hear the pros and cons of Policy choices. Avoid drifting into yah-boo tribalism. Read media you wouldn’t usually and seek out opposing views. Appreciate all Policy has to be practical and implementable or it’s just a student Debating society.
If that’s ‘tried and tested’ then yes all for it.
But I suspect you were looking to attach a tribal badge and missing my point. Populists can come from Left or Right and use pretty much the same techniques.
Not easy though, but if we get into a spiral of Populists it could quite likely lead to more problems than solutions.

Guy Haynes
Guy Haynes
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Not sure I am missing your point. You think populists are snake oil salesmen, to be avoided at all costs.

As I’ve said, I’m not saying you’re wrong about that.

What I am asking is what’s the solution when the “tried and tested” are so far removed from, and in many cases so hostile to, large swathes of the general population? Which they most certainly are at the moment. When people would literally give any old shyster a go rather than go with the proven failure that is the status quo?

I don’t see anything in there that answers this (admittedly difficult) question.

Guy Haynes
Guy Haynes
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Not sure I am missing your point. You think populists are snake oil salesmen, to be avoided at all costs.

As I’ve said, I’m not saying you’re wrong about that.

What I am asking is what’s the solution when the “tried and tested” are so far removed from, and in many cases so hostile to, large swathes of the general population? Which they most certainly are at the moment. When people would literally give any old shyster a go rather than go with the proven failure that is the status quo?

I don’t see anything in there that answers this (admittedly difficult) question.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Guy Haynes

I have to say, these constant references to Trump’s “peccadilloes” are tedious and obviously the result of non-stop negative media characterization. Who on this Earth doesn’t have flaws, habits, traits, idiosyncrasies others find off-putting? Let’s be honest: if Trump had been a Democrat, he’d be hailed like Caesar. Just look at what is being done to Ron DeSantis.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Guy Haynes

Solution – listen more carefully and assess whether what you are being told is just ‘playing you’. Insist on more honest debate and that you want to hear the pros and cons of Policy choices. Avoid drifting into yah-boo tribalism. Read media you wouldn’t usually and seek out opposing views. Appreciate all Policy has to be practical and implementable or it’s just a student Debating society.
If that’s ‘tried and tested’ then yes all for it.
But I suspect you were looking to attach a tribal badge and missing my point. Populists can come from Left or Right and use pretty much the same techniques.
Not easy though, but if we get into a spiral of Populists it could quite likely lead to more problems than solutions.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Everybody knew that Johnson was an incredibly flawed individual, however they were willing to look past that as he was the only one that promised to respect the result of the referendum. When 2/3 of constituencies voted Leave it was always going to be a vote winner

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

You are clearly partisan in this argument and if you think that Britain’s problems are simply due to ‘populists’ you are deluding yourself. A bit like those people who blame Trump without any consideration of why he was elected on the first place.

I will put to you that nice mainstream ‘non-populist’ politicians have been fundamentally dishonest with the British electorate over major issues for decades. These include the always fundamentally political aspect of the EEC / EU (“it’s just a trading block”) right from the outset. Then we have the scale and pace of mass immigration which have completely transformed cities like London. Every single indication of public opinion shows major concern over this for decades. But the essentially open borders Left and the free market Right both like it.

There may well be other examples; in any case the fact that the people have so little control on major issues affecting the country hardly builds trust in the democratic process.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Fisher
Guy Haynes
Guy Haynes
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

This is a constant recurring theme in your posts JW. Populists are bad, and the solutions they provide don’t work, you say.

I’m not saying you’re wrong – though the US pre-pandemic economic performance and the Abraham Accords were certainly big wins for Trump in spite of his obvious personality peccadillioes.

The problem is as follows:

1. By your own admission, populists are symptoms and not causes.

2. Under normal circumstances, populists do not gain power but play a valuable role in ensuring that those who do gain power better reflect the needs of the populace.

3. The problem here, by logical conclusion, is that the established politicians have largely ignored the general populace, to the point that people would rather vote for a populist in the knowledge that it’ll probably go wrong, because it’s the only way to get the establishment to listen.

The only solution I hear you suggesting is that people should just be happy with being ignored and go back to the tried and tested. Perhaps you like the tried and tested, which is fine – problem is, most of the country don’t.

Maybe I’m being unfair to you. But all of this does beg the question – what’s your solution?

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

Bojo had track record of mendacity and deception that had resulted in previous job sackings, so really nobody should be surprised it ended how it has. The irritation is that many of us pointed this out but the bluster and the schtick overrode so many folks good sense for some time. We could all really do with moving on from these theatrics now couldn’t we.
More importantly and as the article I think tries to convey we need to ask ourselves why are we prey to such Populists with their bag of snake oil? Populists can win elections promising the impossible, but then predictably fail. Not because of some conspiracy blocking them, although they’ll use that playbook, but because their prospectus was full of contradictions that would inevitably unravel at some point. The problem though is it compounds the public perception democracy can’t deliver and just fuels the desire for yet more Populism.
Major effective change takes time and patience. It takes honesty about choices, and then a laser focus on effective good governance and delivery. Eventually folks ‘get it’. We’re not daft for ever. But we are prey to some snake oil when the going gets tough.

Last edited 1 year ago by j watson
Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
1 year ago

Never mind misleading parliament, he misled the country with the promise of getting us out of the EU.

Mr Bellisarius
Mr Bellisarius
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Don’t know if you noticed but the UK is no longer in the EU.

Mr Bellisarius
Mr Bellisarius
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Don’t know if you noticed but the UK is no longer in the EU.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
1 year ago

Never mind misleading parliament, he misled the country with the promise of getting us out of the EU.

Reginald Duquesnoy
Reginald Duquesnoy
1 year ago

The end is always farcical and gory.

Reginald Duquesnoy
Reginald Duquesnoy
1 year ago

The end is always farcical and gory.

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
1 year ago

There is no way that a House of Commons more than half the members of which had to answer to constituency Conservative associations is ever going to accept any report other than Boris Johnson’s full exoneration, so this is all a waste of time.

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
1 year ago

There is no way that a House of Commons more than half the members of which had to answer to constituency Conservative associations is ever going to accept any report other than Boris Johnson’s full exoneration, so this is all a waste of time.