When I look at the fate that has befallen the former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, I feel obliged to see it through two separate lenses: firstly my own, and then that of the millions of other voters who elected the Conservatives with an 80-seat majority back in 2019. The reason I wish to make this dichotomy is an exhaustion with the stale media analysis that decrees those who are deeply uncomfortable with the way Boris was ousted are unquestionable devotees of his premiership and his legacy. I am neither. I did vote him into office nearly 4 years ago because I was naively optimistic that he would be the man to deliver on the 2016 Brexit referendum result in full and steer the party away from the Cameronian liberalism that had been in the ascendancy for the previous 14 years. Instead, he allowed himself to be hoodwinked over the position of Northern Ireland; went native with his wife’s obsession with all things ‘green’; was fully complicit in removing our freedoms under the guise of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic; presided over a steep increase in immigration; did nothing to begin reversing the infestation of Leftism in many of our civic institutions; and blustered over the ongoing illegal invasion of unwelcome migrants on our country’s southern shore. So before I move on to express my deep unease and displeasure at his downfall, I’ll stress that I won’t be doing so because I want him to be still occupying Number 10. For me, Boris Johnson was a giant disappointment: at heart a liberal who had the knack of presenting himself as a Right-wing populist. I certainly wouldn’t want him back in the highest political position in the Kingdom. I’d prefer a genuine article.
That said, I am annoyed and very uneasy at the way his exit from Parliamentary life has manifested itself. When I was the official Staff Representative in a former company I worked for, I always used the courtroom analogy to assess whether a disciplinary or evidential process cut the mustard. In short, if it wasn’t acceptable in front of a judge then it wasn’t acceptable to me. I certainly won more cases than I lost because, on many occasions, the company concerned hadn’t followed procedure during a particular investigation, or else had relied on conflicting accounts from so-called ‘witnesses’ to specific incidents. If you don’t follow a certain standard when attempting to assess a person’s innocence or guilt – no matter the circumstances – then you bring the essential ingredients of honesty and integrity into disrepute.
Can anyone really look at the Privileges Committee examining the conduct of Boris Johnson over the ‘Partygate’ controversy and say it would be an acceptable method of jury trial in court, or even a suitable body to adjudicate in a workplace disciplinary? It’s a kangaroo court to such a degree, Skippy and his relatives wouldn’t look misplaced dressed in the prosecutor’s robes! But this is where we are in the Britain of 2023. As Brendan O’Neill opines in Spiked Online (https://www.spiked-online.com/2023/06/10/the-outrageous-ousting-of-boris-johnson/):
‘A country where a supposedly fair committee on whether a PM lied can be overseen by someone who publicly shared the view that he had; that he ‘built lie upon lie upon lie’ and then ‘dragooned’ his minions to ‘go out and lie for the liars’. Oh, and Harman was only appointed to lead the probe because her fellow Labour MP, Chris Bryant, had to recuse himself, having openly decreed that Boris was – you guessed it – a ‘proven liar’.
‘You don’t have to be a member of the BoJo fanclub to think this affair stinks. It’s an affair that has scalped Boris’s political career. It cost him his premiership, and now it’s cost him his seat in the Commons.’
As with Donald Trump in the United States (who’s been indicted for nothing more than incumbent, Joe Biden, was himself found guilty of in November last year) what we are seeing is two former citadels of Western democracy – the UK and the United States – being undermined by their respective Establishments (or ‘Blobs’) through the distorting of rules with the objective of driving two prominent figures from public life who enrage the authoritarian globalist gentry. It matters not one jot that Boris Johnson isn’t really a Right-wing populist. What matters is how he is PERCEIVED by many politicians, large sections of the media and those such as Sue Gray, who is to impartiality what Bonnie and Clyde were to friendly banking. Boris Johnson is the man who, however clumsily and imperfectly, secured our exit from the European Union. From that moment he was in the cross hairs of many powerful and influential people. If it hadn’t been ‘Partygate’ trust me, it would have been something else. The same forces apply against Trump. In his case it’s actually worse! For unlike Boris Johnson, Donald Trump is a GENUINE Right-wing populist. Therefore not only must he be denied the possibility of ever running for the White House again, he must be incarcerated for the rest of his life to ensure the ‘safety’ of the United States and its voters.
Today’s arrest of Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s former First Minister, helps to highlight my point (https://twitter.com/danwootton/status/1667892266378178560). Unless she is convicted of grand larceny, human trafficking on an industrial scale, throwing horse manure at the Pope and streaking through Glasgow Central station, she will never earn the opprobrium from the liberal media salons in London that Boris Johnson has. The MSM’s resurrection of Alistair Campbell provides the comeback template to redemptive publicity she will possibly follow. Because you can be a person who lies about Iraq’s combative potency and condemn hundreds of soldiers to die on the back of it; or someone who presides over significant financial impropriety. But as long as you’re hailed by the Blob as the harbinger of all things ‘progressive’, you’ll get far more leniency and far more opportunities to ‘rehabilitate’ yourself than someone who formally delivered on the 2016 mandate of 17.4 million voters, or who appeals to a certain type of class and ethnic demographic.
Boris has disappeared from political life. However, the underlying issues that caused so many voters to gravitate to his message (and that of Farage el al) in 2016 and 2019 have far from evaporated. They are as real now as they were in 2016. You see, the big mistake so many in politics, the media and academia have made is to think Boris Johnson was instrumental in helping to create a culture of Right-wing populism. Wrong! He was merely a symptom of it, and where Boris has failed others will inevitably try to succeed.