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The betrayal of Borisland A year since his resignation, some still pine

(Dan Kitwood/Getty)


July 7, 2023   6 mins

Through massed ranks of Midlanders, I can see Gregg Wallace’s head bobbing up and down. He’s making couscous and frying some sort of meat, cracking jokes about his MasterChef co-presenter’s drinking habit and flexing his biceps for the crowd. Wallace and I are in Worksop, where the North Nottinghamshire Food Festival is kicking off on a blustery Saturday.

Worksop is the largest town in Bassetlaw — the constituency that saw the greatest Labour-to-Conservative migration at the last general election. It’s the heart of Borisland. And now, exactly one year on from his ignominious resignation, many people here remain steadfastly loyal to their populist tribune. This was where the Boris majority was won: where miners, pensioners, Brexiteers and lifelong Labour voters united to stick it to their old party. Other than the brief blip of Malcolm MacDonald (son of the first Labour PM, Ramsay MacDonald) defecting to National Labour in 1929, Labour had held the town since 1929. Brendan Clarke-Smith is the MP who, in 2019, smashed that red record with a stonking 18.4% swing, the greatest, he later assures me, at any general election since the Second World War. (“I think it’s on Wikipedia.”)

When Johnson took the seat, it heralded a new era of Tory politics. A new coalition, forged from the fires of Brexit, stretched from Hampshire to Hartlepool. Like Columbus, he seemed to have landed upon virgin territory ripe for the taking. Labour — cosmopolitan, effete and out of touch — looked sunk. But four years on, the shaggy conqueror is gone, and a string of by-elections threatens to chip away at his majority he built. In Selby, Uxbridge, Mid Bedfordshire, Somerton and now Chris Pincher’s seat of Tamworth, the prognosis is gloomy. So far, the bookies believe every single one will be lost. And Bassetlaw itself, the clearest expression of that much-heralded post-Brexit realignment, is now a harbinger of doom. In March, one poll suggested it, and all the other 44 Red Wall seats won from Labour, will be lost at next year’s general election. What went wrong?

“He’s still hugely popular,” Clarke-Smith tells me. “A lot of people voted for Boris. It wasn’t the only thing — it had been trending our way anyway — but those Brexit Party voters and so on came across, and he was a big part of that.” The big man, he says, has an “aura” about him that helped draw in converts. “You still get voters saying: ‘Oh, I voted for Boris
’”

When I meet the MP, he is wearing a checked suit and has a small ketchup stain at the corner of his mouth. A self-described “libertarian Thatcherite”, he was raised on a Nottingham council estate, trained as a teacher, and worked at a school in Romania before entering politics. He is also, on the day I visit, on the cover of the Worksop Guardian, delivering a sly grin alongside the headline: “MP slammed for ‘vile’ Twitter attack.” It is the outcome of Clarke-Smith’s engagement in the culture wars — he is at the fore of a group of working-class Tories keen to give as good as they get online. A member of the New Conservatives, a collective currently lobbying for tougher action on immigration, he is also part of the Common Sense Group, which has attacked “the woke agenda”.

He says this posture is what the Red Wall wants. “Apart from the obvious stuff about the economy and NHS, what would you guess the main issue is here?” he asks me. “The number one thing I get emailed about, more than Dominic Cummings, more than anything, is small boats. There is very little immigration here — but it’s the number one issue because they linked it to taking back control.”

If true, this harks back to the political energy Boris personified, and which this squad of Red Wall MPs were elected to enact. The highest-profile member of the Nottinghamshire Tory contingent is Lee Anderson, the spiky-haired former miner and ex-Labour councillor who now serves as deputy chairman of the Conservative Party. In a recent segment on his GB News show, which captured much of the banal absurdity of politics in 2023, Anderson fed Clarke-Smith baked beans in a blind taste test to prove that bargain hunting is the solution to the cost-of-living crisis. “Here comes the aeroplane,” he said as he raised the spoon, firmly back in single-dad mode.

It’s perhaps not the most traditionalist-Tory publicity stunt. But, “we’re not in London — there’s no liberal elite here”, his campaign manager assures me. In Bassetlaw now, “the bigger the house and the bigger the gravel driveway, the less chance there is they’ll vote for us”, Clarke-Smith boasts. They claim the realignment is still working.

Worse-off voters were crucial to the Tory success in 2019. In that election, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Labour lost nearly one in three low-income voters who had turned out to vote for them in 2017, while the Conservatives retained 90%. In the Red Wall now, however, the picture is shifting. The same March polling that foresees the Tories losing 45 seats in the North and Midlands shows the party behind in all social groups, from managers to unskilled manual labourers. That 19th-century notion of “working-class Toryism” has proven more elusive than first claimed.

And, away from the bustling high street, signs of discontent lurk. The cabbie who drove me from Retford, the handsome market town that makes up Bassetlaw’s other major population centre, tells me Boris was popular among his clientele in 2019. Now passengers young and old tell him they want a change of government. “My grandad was a well-known cab driver around Retford — he died during Covid. My gran couldn’t get out of her care home to attend the funeral.” It was, he adds dryly, “a bit crap”. He now works part time at Rampton Hospital, on a secure ward, where he helps transport imprisoned psychopaths. “There are cutbacks just like the rest of the NHS,” he says. “It’s much harder to transport patients now we have less staff.”

In Worksop itself, Wallace’s gleaming pate is plastered across town to advertise the food festival. I watch him deliver his own populist punchlines while cooking, laying into “clickbait” news and telling his audience not to trust headlines in the papers. It’s meant as a joke, but it captures the distrustful mood. Lindsay Martin, a Retford resident manning a friend’s market stall nearby, tells me she never fell for Johnson’s charm offensive. “Boris made a lot of false promises that were never delivered on. The country got worse under his leadership.” Asked about levelling-up, that chimera of social transformation, she merely laughs.

This region has always been sceptical of received opinion. The local council’s website grandly claims that “many regard Bassetlaw as the birthplace of the United States of America”. And, while that “many” is doing some heavy lifting, a sizeable chunk of the separatist-nonconformists who could no longer stand the Church of England did hail from the flat fields around here. At the local museum, a study resembling that of Plymouth Colony leader William Brewster is now preserved in aspic. And political dissidence, including to the benefit of the Right, is part of its history, too. During the miners’ strike, Nottinghamshire stuck out when the majority of its miners kept working and thus helped Margaret Thatcher’s government survive the winter of 1984.

Today, though, like much of the rest of the country, dissent has sublimated into a kind of jaded desolation. Others walking up and down the high street are less cynical. Janet, a pensioner in a purple windbreaker, tells me she voted Conservative for the first time in her life because of Boris. “It was his principles,” she says. “He got stuff done. Then he was brought down by other people.” What about the parties? Didn’t he break Covid rules? “It wasn’t his fault,” she tells me, without elaborating. “Rishi turned on him.” She will vote Tory again at the next election.

A middle-aged couple tell me that they, too, voted Conservative for the first time because of Johnson. “I liked Boris at the time,” says the wife. “The slur against him now smells a little of a smear campaign.” Her husband agrees: “I think I’d vote for the Tories again if Boris returned as leader.” “Cameron” will “sell us out” with Europe, he claims, before his wife hurriedly reminds him that the Labour leader is called Keir.

As the food festival winds down, the high street becomes deserted. I walk past Clarke-Smith’s high street office where one window has taken a hit but remains just about intact, bearing a spiralling network of cracks. Retford is similarly quiet. People aren’t interested in talking: a densely bearded man bringing down the shutters on his vape shop tells me he “doesn’t do politics”. I pass the empty headquarters of Jo White, Labour’s chosen candidate and the wife of John Mann, the constituency’s former MP. A sign proclaims that she supports “Traditional Values in a Modern Bassetlaw”. I do not quite understand what this means, but when I email her campaign to ask I do not receive a response.

Johnson, meanwhile, has got his trotters up in Oxfordshire. Throughout his career, the former PM cultivated a set of allies before discarding them and Clark-Smith now faces a potential suspension from Parliament after falling foul of the privileges committee — was it worth it to defend Johnson? “Part of me thinks I owe my position as a member of parliament to Boris,” he says. “Winning that election, and getting Brexit done and everything else. I thought he was doing a good job in difficult circumstances. It wasn’t just loyalty — I was doing what I thought was the right thing to do.”

His words are laced with unwitting irony. Four years ago, victory here seemed to herald the start of a new age. Levelling-up money might reverse economic decline; an end to Brexit psychodrama might let old wounds heal. Perhaps it was hope more than expectation when Bassetlaw, the Red Wall and Brendan Clarke-Smith all tied their fortunes to a New-York-born columnist with a history of disappointing those who trusted him. While some still keep the faith, that realignment seems to have delivered little change to their lives in return. And, beyond tribal loyalties, that was the promise of 2019, broken utterly when Boris resigned last year.

I asked Boris-loyalist Janet if the town had got any better since the election, and I received a simple answer: “No.”


Felix Pope is a reporter based in London.

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David McKee
David McKee
10 months ago

On the doorsteps, people will ask, “How did Brexit make me better off?”, and there’s no answer to give them. Boris was not much interested in producing an answer, so he had to go. Partygate was Westminster froth.

And so Labour will win next year. But Labour is equally clueless about dealing with the country’s problems. The 2029 election is up for grabs. Even in Bassetlaw.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  David McKee

Up for grabs? Not under the left’s migration and naturalisation plans, to say nothing of the continual indoctrination of our young as carried out by “schools” and the contemporary Beeb.
No, I fear that this is it: decline is meeting the point of fall.
Imprisoned by a two party system, a loaded press and their own indifference and ignorance, the electorate will pass from a corrupted, hollowed out Tory party to a truly malignant, globalist Labour party and there’s the end.
The last shreds of the old Britain will be swept away; propaganda and official disinformation – posing as “fact” of course – will rule; such tiny corners of the old style of life will diminish and vanish with frightening speed.
Which is why the only way of delaying the end is to hold your nose and rally to the Tories, idiots though they are. I say this merely as the conclusion to a logical argument and fully aware that there is almost no hope of such a thing coming to pass.
But to all those who say vote Reform, I say look at Reform’s polling for the forth-coming by-elections.
How strange, to have been fascinated all my life with the collapse of Rome and to witness the same process in real time and for the same set of reasons.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

I agree with your view that The Fall – a death spiral – surely is accelerating. With a bankrupt indebted State and all the dynamc countervailing forces – enterprise/captialism/freedom – all crushed & suffocated by the hostile New Order Blair & the EU built, a crash is coming. I only disagree with talk of two parties. A One Party – a Soviet style CCP – of unelected permanent Technocrats Judges and Regulators rule over the hamstrung deliberately weakened Executive. Elections make no difference now. And I fear that Old Britain – its traditions values and ways – have already been erased by the ghastly progressive multicultural super secular statelet erested by Blair and the EU. Gone gone gone from law media culture business and all education of our children. Until we recognise the scale of the revolution imposed by the New Order from 1997 we will never be ready for the next and last fight.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Quite so. The fons et origo of this dreadful state is certainly the appalling governments led by Blair.
However, two points in reply.
First, if we too readily admit the death of our homeland there will be nothing to fight for. It’s still there, much as Catholic England was still there up until the 1580s and probably beyond, in spite of Reformation propaganda.
It was lying in wait for another opportunity, such as the accession of Mary Tudor. It might have been the death of Elizabeth from small pox; it might have been the rising of 1569; it might have been a successful coup in the name of Mary Stuart. In the same way the real Britain, our Britain, lies in wait – which is what the left hates and fears.
Second, the left has succeeded in its aims through abandoning its own central dogmas. They have ignored the working class and sought to indoctrinate the middle, bringing about such a massive “trahison des clercs” that the institutions of a free society are acting in concert like the arms of a totalitarian state without the need for “revolution”.
But this means that they don’t really believe in what they are up to at all. And, as with all totalitarianism, the power which starts with “uplift” and brainwashing rapidly declines into a mere pyramid of terror – terrible but brittle. One major breach in the structure and it will fall. And nobody will mourn it. People will stumble about, blinking in the light, wondering how and why they have slept for so long.

Last edited 10 months ago by Simon Denis
Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Very wise. I think your analysis of the deep weakness of the Left and the hope of a rapid fall is right. I am not pessimistic about the long term. It is just a very hard juncture – a 1940 moment – only there is no Churchill stepping into the breach. We have a Systemic Failure. This is no conspiracy theory. I was fairly relaxed about Blair’s ‘modernisation’ of society at the time. What I failed to see was that the introduction of the permanent unelected technocracy of experts was part of the successful EU mandate to weaken national executive power. And that come a Brexit, we would inherit a hamstrung hostile system of anti government. There are so many Horsemen riding – macro economic horror with QE, end Zero Interest Rate, inflation, broken energy housing labour welfare – the plague of equality/diversity madness in our culture plus the Progressive ideological assault of mass immigration and Net Zero…and finally this systemic crisis of governance. Collectively that all feeds a sense of impending necessary crash.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Very wise. I think your analysis of the deep weakness of the Left and the hope of a rapid fall is right. I am not pessimistic about the long term. It is just a very hard juncture – a 1940 moment – only there is no Churchill stepping into the breach. We have a Systemic Failure. This is no conspiracy theory. I was fairly relaxed about Blair’s ‘modernisation’ of society at the time. What I failed to see was that the introduction of the permanent unelected technocracy of experts was part of the successful EU mandate to weaken national executive power. And that come a Brexit, we would inherit a hamstrung hostile system of anti government. There are so many Horsemen riding – macro economic horror with QE, end Zero Interest Rate, inflation, broken energy housing labour welfare – the plague of equality/diversity madness in our culture plus the Progressive ideological assault of mass immigration and Net Zero…and finally this systemic crisis of governance. Collectively that all feeds a sense of impending necessary crash.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Quite so. The fons et origo of this dreadful state is certainly the appalling governments led by Blair.
However, two points in reply.
First, if we too readily admit the death of our homeland there will be nothing to fight for. It’s still there, much as Catholic England was still there up until the 1580s and probably beyond, in spite of Reformation propaganda.
It was lying in wait for another opportunity, such as the accession of Mary Tudor. It might have been the death of Elizabeth from small pox; it might have been the rising of 1569; it might have been a successful coup in the name of Mary Stuart. In the same way the real Britain, our Britain, lies in wait – which is what the left hates and fears.
Second, the left has succeeded in its aims through abandoning its own central dogmas. They have ignored the working class and sought to indoctrinate the middle, bringing about such a massive “trahison des clercs” that the institutions of a free society are acting in concert like the arms of a totalitarian state without the need for “revolution”.
But this means that they don’t really believe in what they are up to at all. And, as with all totalitarianism, the power which starts with “uplift” and brainwashing rapidly declines into a mere pyramid of terror – terrible but brittle. One major breach in the structure and it will fall. And nobody will mourn it. People will stumble about, blinking in the light, wondering how and why they have slept for so long.

Last edited 10 months ago by Simon Denis
Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

I agree with your view that The Fall – a death spiral – surely is accelerating. With a bankrupt indebted State and all the dynamc countervailing forces – enterprise/captialism/freedom – all crushed & suffocated by the hostile New Order Blair & the EU built, a crash is coming. I only disagree with talk of two parties. A One Party – a Soviet style CCP – of unelected permanent Technocrats Judges and Regulators rule over the hamstrung deliberately weakened Executive. Elections make no difference now. And I fear that Old Britain – its traditions values and ways – have already been erased by the ghastly progressive multicultural super secular statelet erested by Blair and the EU. Gone gone gone from law media culture business and all education of our children. Until we recognise the scale of the revolution imposed by the New Order from 1997 we will never be ready for the next and last fight.

N Satori
N Satori
10 months ago
Reply to  David McKee

Up for grabs by who? Another gathering of political hacks and chancers? Or perhaps a bunch of crazed ideologues who believe chaotic times are a once in a lifetime opportunity to ‘change society’ to something more in line with their moral values?

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  David McKee

Up for grabs? Not under the left’s migration and naturalisation plans, to say nothing of the continual indoctrination of our young as carried out by “schools” and the contemporary Beeb.
No, I fear that this is it: decline is meeting the point of fall.
Imprisoned by a two party system, a loaded press and their own indifference and ignorance, the electorate will pass from a corrupted, hollowed out Tory party to a truly malignant, globalist Labour party and there’s the end.
The last shreds of the old Britain will be swept away; propaganda and official disinformation – posing as “fact” of course – will rule; such tiny corners of the old style of life will diminish and vanish with frightening speed.
Which is why the only way of delaying the end is to hold your nose and rally to the Tories, idiots though they are. I say this merely as the conclusion to a logical argument and fully aware that there is almost no hope of such a thing coming to pass.
But to all those who say vote Reform, I say look at Reform’s polling for the forth-coming by-elections.
How strange, to have been fascinated all my life with the collapse of Rome and to witness the same process in real time and for the same set of reasons.

N Satori
N Satori
10 months ago
Reply to  David McKee

Up for grabs by who? Another gathering of political hacks and chancers? Or perhaps a bunch of crazed ideologues who believe chaotic times are a once in a lifetime opportunity to ‘change society’ to something more in line with their moral values?

David McKee
David McKee
10 months ago

On the doorsteps, people will ask, “How did Brexit make me better off?”, and there’s no answer to give them. Boris was not much interested in producing an answer, so he had to go. Partygate was Westminster froth.

And so Labour will win next year. But Labour is equally clueless about dealing with the country’s problems. The 2029 election is up for grabs. Even in Bassetlaw.

Steve Farrell
Steve Farrell
10 months ago

“It was his principles”
“He got stuff done”

20-odd years in the public eye. BJ has made it abundantly clear that he has no principles. He’s never displayed any propensity for getting things done.

I will never understand how he convinced people otherwise.

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Farrell

Narcissists can be charming – the more confident ones feel free to lobby solely for themselves unhindered by conscience, this can appear winning. I knew a few people who spent much time with him – amongst them it was a open secret that he was actually a nasty s++t.

rigby.kevinp
rigby.kevinp
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Farrell

Well the leave campaign was a masterpiece – manipulating emotions while leaving the remain side labouring under the weight of tiresome facts.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
10 months ago
Reply to  rigby.kevinp

Like how the economy would collapse and an emergency budget would be required in the immediate aftermath of a Leave vote you mean? Strange definition of facts

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
10 months ago
Reply to  rigby.kevinp

Like how the economy would collapse and an emergency budget would be required in the immediate aftermath of a Leave vote you mean? Strange definition of facts

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Farrell

Boris was merely the imperfect messenger, much like Trump in the States. Despite being largely useless candidates, they were the first politicians in a generation who actually put forward policies (clamping down on immigration, levelling up left behind areas etc.) that were supported by the working classes and people voted for them accordingly.
As I say, both were largely useless and did nothing they promised, but that’s a charge that can be levelled at most leaders for as long as most can remember so they’re hardly unique in that front.

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Farrell

Narcissists can be charming – the more confident ones feel free to lobby solely for themselves unhindered by conscience, this can appear winning. I knew a few people who spent much time with him – amongst them it was a open secret that he was actually a nasty s++t.

rigby.kevinp
rigby.kevinp
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Farrell

Well the leave campaign was a masterpiece – manipulating emotions while leaving the remain side labouring under the weight of tiresome facts.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Farrell

Boris was merely the imperfect messenger, much like Trump in the States. Despite being largely useless candidates, they were the first politicians in a generation who actually put forward policies (clamping down on immigration, levelling up left behind areas etc.) that were supported by the working classes and people voted for them accordingly.
As I say, both were largely useless and did nothing they promised, but that’s a charge that can be levelled at most leaders for as long as most can remember so they’re hardly unique in that front.

Steve Farrell
Steve Farrell
10 months ago

“It was his principles”
“He got stuff done”

20-odd years in the public eye. BJ has made it abundantly clear that he has no principles. He’s never displayed any propensity for getting things done.

I will never understand how he convinced people otherwise.

M F
M F
10 months ago

Boris is a great campaigner, but, alas, a terrible manager.

M F
M F
10 months ago

Boris is a great campaigner, but, alas, a terrible manager.

Apsley
Apsley
10 months ago

At least he was a character – not like the political machines that bore the pants off us all!

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Apsley

He was not a character. He was an act. And the true sign of this is that once in power he simply parroted the lines that were fed to him.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Apsley

He was not a character. He was an act. And the true sign of this is that once in power he simply parroted the lines that were fed to him.

Apsley
Apsley
10 months ago

At least he was a character – not like the political machines that bore the pants off us all!

john d rockemella
john d rockemella
10 months ago

All parliaments are run my WEF! No democracy

j watson
j watson
10 months ago

These people got a right to be angry about the broken promises and ineptitude. The huckster from Eton mugged them off, as he did with millions of others. Never had a plan beyond the slogans and was all about himself. All predicted too.
To be fair the alternatives back in 2019 weren’t great. But Corbyn would have had to go some to have us in a worse position 4years later regardless of the pandemic.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

He had a clear plan.
PM speech in Greenwich: 3 February 2020 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
It was derailed by Covid, which gave his opponents in the Tory party the opportunity to undermine him. True, Boris has always needed effective people around him to put his ideas into practice and there is a frightening dearth of talent on both sides of Parliament. Neither was he right about everything – his Net Zero zealotry was hugely damaging, but he’s hardly alone in that.
Frankly, the Tories deserve all they get at the next election. The membership rejected Sunak twice but the parliamentary party put him in No.10 anyway. If Rishi has a plan, he’s keeping very quiet about it.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago

You sadly are far too kind. It was a ghastly mix of muddle, cowardice and rank political opportunism that led Boris to crash the 3 day old Brexit State (he had so bravely helped to create) with a covid lockdown he would enforce for 2 long catastrophic years. Opportunitistic – because he let pollsters convince him aftervthe first panic that the public (driven insane with fear of an ebola contagion by the mendacious BBC) ‘supported’ his lockdown..and that he was a new Churchill winning a ‘war’. Utter tosh. But he naively let this seeming popularity weaken his instinctive sense that the tyranny of lockdown would backfire & was wrong. This was vain and cowardly. He was sloppy in his crass disregard for the health of the already indebted State Finances, exemplified by the madness of Furlough and bailout culture and then his Wokey insane support for Net Zero. With his NHS worship, eco Pol Potism and magic money madness Johnson did not just stifle and constrain Brexit – the one hope of political and econ renewal – at birth. He made the UK a bigger, more Corbyinsta style high tax proto Socialist State. History will damn him for all this. The people bravely defied the Remainiac anti democratic parliamentary/ Blob to win Brexit. He so carelessly jeapordized it for the reasons above – and threatened the wider ideals and appeal of both true conservatism and enterprise in a chaotic downfall has empowered his grubby leftist enemies.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Supremely well said. I find it depressing in the extreme that there are still people out there willing to make excuses for such an abusive, cynical, incompetent waste of space as Johnson. You have summed him up perfectly. In botching Brexit and ruining the finances over a petty ‘flu like disease, he wasted our last opportunity of political and cultural salvation. He is despicable.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Supremely well said. I find it depressing in the extreme that there are still people out there willing to make excuses for such an abusive, cynical, incompetent waste of space as Johnson. You have summed him up perfectly. In botching Brexit and ruining the finances over a petty ‘flu like disease, he wasted our last opportunity of political and cultural salvation. He is despicable.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago

You sadly are far too kind. It was a ghastly mix of muddle, cowardice and rank political opportunism that led Boris to crash the 3 day old Brexit State (he had so bravely helped to create) with a covid lockdown he would enforce for 2 long catastrophic years. Opportunitistic – because he let pollsters convince him aftervthe first panic that the public (driven insane with fear of an ebola contagion by the mendacious BBC) ‘supported’ his lockdown..and that he was a new Churchill winning a ‘war’. Utter tosh. But he naively let this seeming popularity weaken his instinctive sense that the tyranny of lockdown would backfire & was wrong. This was vain and cowardly. He was sloppy in his crass disregard for the health of the already indebted State Finances, exemplified by the madness of Furlough and bailout culture and then his Wokey insane support for Net Zero. With his NHS worship, eco Pol Potism and magic money madness Johnson did not just stifle and constrain Brexit – the one hope of political and econ renewal – at birth. He made the UK a bigger, more Corbyinsta style high tax proto Socialist State. History will damn him for all this. The people bravely defied the Remainiac anti democratic parliamentary/ Blob to win Brexit. He so carelessly jeapordized it for the reasons above – and threatened the wider ideals and appeal of both true conservatism and enterprise in a chaotic downfall has empowered his grubby leftist enemies.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

How many Etonians do you know or have as friends? Boris would be a lazy, lying, self obsessed, ego cum inferiority complex driven piece of dangerous detritus wherever he had been schooled- being a KS not Oppidan at Eton started the inferiority complex ..

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago

Indeed – you can simply add Eton to the list of people and institutions he has failed.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Eton ‘destroyed’ itself nearly two years when it sacked Will Knowland Esq, an English master ( Beak) who made some controversial remarks about the power of the ‘Gynarchy’.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Eton ‘destroyed’ itself nearly two years when it sacked Will Knowland Esq, an English master ( Beak) who made some controversial remarks about the power of the ‘Gynarchy’.

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago

Indeed – you can simply add Eton to the list of people and institutions he has failed.

Rick Lawrence
Rick Lawrence
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

It’s amazing to me that, although almost everyone will say how much the country and indeed the world has suffered because of Covid, so many want to also blame the politicians, for the effect that this financial- and soul- destroying event has had on their own personal situation and whine about broken promises, etc etc. Of course things haven’t appeared to get better since the last election. And they will probably get a lot worse if Starmer gets to have his way.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

He had a clear plan.
PM speech in Greenwich: 3 February 2020 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
It was derailed by Covid, which gave his opponents in the Tory party the opportunity to undermine him. True, Boris has always needed effective people around him to put his ideas into practice and there is a frightening dearth of talent on both sides of Parliament. Neither was he right about everything – his Net Zero zealotry was hugely damaging, but he’s hardly alone in that.
Frankly, the Tories deserve all they get at the next election. The membership rejected Sunak twice but the parliamentary party put him in No.10 anyway. If Rishi has a plan, he’s keeping very quiet about it.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

How many Etonians do you know or have as friends? Boris would be a lazy, lying, self obsessed, ego cum inferiority complex driven piece of dangerous detritus wherever he had been schooled- being a KS not Oppidan at Eton started the inferiority complex ..

Rick Lawrence
Rick Lawrence
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

It’s amazing to me that, although almost everyone will say how much the country and indeed the world has suffered because of Covid, so many want to also blame the politicians, for the effect that this financial- and soul- destroying event has had on their own personal situation and whine about broken promises, etc etc. Of course things haven’t appeared to get better since the last election. And they will probably get a lot worse if Starmer gets to have his way.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago

These people got a right to be angry about the broken promises and ineptitude. The huckster from Eton mugged them off, as he did with millions of others. Never had a plan beyond the slogans and was all about himself. All predicted too.
To be fair the alternatives back in 2019 weren’t great. But Corbyn would have had to go some to have us in a worse position 4years later regardless of the pandemic.