This post is going to be folded into a Meerkat Muse, but how could I pass up the opportunity to mention the news that Boris Johnson, one of the worst PMs in British history, is resigning! Let’s be real, he should have resigned a long time ago, for a host of reasons, but let’s take what we can get!
Well well well, it seems sex and politics continue to make strange bedfellows. A Tory MP by the name of Chris Pincher (I know, it writes itself) was subject to a formal complaint about misconduct (drunkenly groping people at a party) back in 2019. Boris Johnson was made of aware of this complaint at the time. Despite knowing of the procedure against Pincher, Johnson still appointed the man to the role of deputy chief whip of the Tory party (whips are usually crucial in shepherding MPs to vote along certain lines) in February of this year. Johnson initially denied knowing of the specifics, but it turns out he was aware of more than he admitted. In other words, this is yet another example of Johnson lying.
Only this time, it seems there are more consequences than usual. Both Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid have resigned, along with a handful of junior ministers. Other important officials have been outspoken and fiery on the subject of yet another demonstration of Johnson’s dishonesty.
Somehow, people are still speaking out in support of this dire PM. There are people who believe he has gotten Brexit done, and been a super PM. These people probably believe in the Tooth Fairy.
Johnson’s government has been cruel to refugees, overseen a care home disaster that risked lives during the pandemic, cost lives during the pandemic by being more concerned with money than with protecting people, permitted water companies to dump sewage in our rivers, partied illegally during lockdowns, and overseen a crippling cost of living problem, because they won’t raise taxes on businesses and the wealthy. There is nothing successful about Brexit, which was a terrible idea, and then badly executed by Johnson. Remind me again, how exactly has he been a good PM?
He’s obviously a failure, and now he’s failed epically. After 57 resignations, Johnson finally agreed to resign! His announcement, after much hand-wringing (and even saying his enemies would have to drag him out of No.10 with their hands dipped in blood), was a much-needed tonic for a beleaguered country. Johnson will remain as PM until the autumn, and in the meantime, we’ll get a Tory leadership contest. Hopefully we’ll then get a general election, and we can boot out the whole rotten lot of them.
Mind you, Johnson’s resignation speech wasn’t so much as a resignation speech (and at the time of writing this, he hasn’t been to formally tender his resignation to the Queen, as protocol demands (however anachronistic that might be, it’s an important symbolic moment). He predictably did his best to shift blame for his chronic failures to handle yet another scandal, and bemoaned how his exit is the ‘will’ of Tory MPs. However, his party can see the writing on the wall, what with Johnson overseeing a ten-point deficit in the polls to Labour, something that would see Labour win a general election if one were to happen right now. Clearly, the public has no faith in him, and his wish to continue as caretaker PM until possibly October, is a deeply unpopular move within his own party.
Johnson cannot ignore that even among Brexiteers, he is unpopular, with more pollsters saying he’s been doing a bad job, rather than a good job, even in that category. Among young people aged 18-24, 76% think Johnson is doing a bad job, and whilst he is more support among older voters, every age range is more inclined to say he’s doing poorly rather than well.
None of that will matter to Johnson, who is far too egotistical to admit he has failed. It is never his fault, and he never needs to take responsibility.
Social media has gone nuts with all this. GB News ‘journalists’ are moaning about how Tory MPs are ignoring the mandate granted to Johnson – except, Johnson wasn’t granted the mandate, the Tory party was. GB News are also curiously silent about the polling and surveys that suggest Johnson will comfortably lose the next election, had he remained in charge. There are a number of commentators who are suggesting that if Johnson goes, Brexit goes too, as though this is some kind of danger. I say, great! Reversing Brexit would only be a good move, but, in the interests of fairness, it should be put to the British people to decide. We have new information and new facts, and it is only right that we get another opportunity to choose. GB News won’t like that, for much of their rank and file have pinned their hopes on this.
Time will tell if Johnson does or does not do anything stupid in the meantime.