Report of Boris Johnson's demise are overexaggerated
The New European
- Credit: PA
Don't expect to see the back of Boris Johnson any time soon, says one reader.
Reports of Johnson’s early political demise may well titillate but I suspect are exaggerated and probably over-hopeful. I would be the first to admit that I read with relish how this most rubbish of prime ministers is on the skids.
The sad thing is that he has proved his critics right, just when the national interest demands strong leadership. As a political commentator said poetically over the weekend: “Who would have thought?”
We always knew that he was not up to the job but, I think, we underestimate him at our peril. Sunak and Gove may well be out on manoeuvres but, perhaps, they should read their history books and learn some lessons from other political assassins.
After Johnson gave cover to the Barnard Castle medical tourist, the “cunning” and “terribly clever” Cummings, it seemed that this new political class govern by entirely different rules. All those opposed to this hopeless and hapless regime should be warned: never underestimate your enemy – there are bear traps everywhere.
By the time we get to the next election, December 2019 will feel like the time of the Pharaohs.
The usual bluff and bluster from Boris Johnson in his speech to the Tory conference. Convenient absence of timescales or where the money’s coming from. No admission of the constant cock-ups on the Covid front.
Building a new Jerusalem? That will be a country where division is bitterly entrenched and a significant proportion are denied their basic human rights, then...
Captain Hindsight? I have to thank Johnson for helping me realise who reminds me of – the blustering, incompetent, pompous and inept leader of Dad’s Army. Yes, Johnson has far more in common with Captain Mainwaring than any competent leader. Maybe he could audition for the remake, to boost his flagging income?
Watching and listening to senior ministers in the past few days has caused me to reflect on what I expect from the people who are currently exercising unconstrained power over us, and what I’m not so bothered about.
- 1 Brexiteer Prue Leith quits Tory Party after government votes down motion to protect UK food standards
- 2 Public slams Brexit Party tweet which shames Tory MPs who voted against free school meals
- 3 Piers Morgan must expose the government's Brexit betrayal
- 4 Group in protest against Tory MPs who voted down free school meals targets offices with empty plates
- 5 Peers set to remove law-breaking sections of Boris Johnson's Brexit bill
- 6 Tory minister blames journalists for NHS Test and Trace failure as he defends Dido Harding
- 7 Michel Barnier postpones Brussels return as Brexit trade talks in London continue
- 8 Brexit shambles: A stress of our own making
- 9 Priti Patel set to hand private firms £28 million in government contracts to deport asylum seekers from UK
- 10 Boris Johnson and Priti Patel urged to end 'attacks' on lawyers in letter by 800 legal professionals
I don’t care what they look like. I don’t care much about their background, though they need to demonstrate that they are in tune with ordinary people. I don’t even care too much about their past – everyone makes mistakes and deserves a second chance, although a background in serial lying automatically makes anyone unelectable for me. I don’t care whether they are frequent smilers or tub-thumpers.
What I do care about is their level of integrity and trustworthiness, their competence in dealing with everyday issues and especially crises, and the values and principles that, as illustrated by their utterances and actions, underpin their decisions. I also expect them to level with us as citizens, to be able to explain and justify their actions, and to tell the truth. I’m not interested in bluster and clever slogans, or in things being world-beating. I don’t want to know that they are making herculean efforts, straining every sinew, working night and day, forging rings of steel or pulling out all the stops. I need them to at the very least know their own policies, even if I disagree with them.
So, I just want them to be competent, show some real leadership and take people with them, make sure things work for everyone’s benefit, protect the most vulnerable and be honest. If there are rules or laws, they have to be seen comply with them, to encourage everyone else.
It’s hard to identify any current senior minister or adviser who meets those criteria. It’s also difficult to escape the conclusion that they are convinced they are a privileged and superior group who are always right, even when initiating and subsequently defending the indefensible.
Dominic Cummings has long protested that he is not a member of the Conservative Party, and I recently read that he has described himself in the past as an anarchist. My first thoughts on reading this were that surely, an anarchist would never work for any government, because an anarchist does not believe in government.
It then occurred to me that if your objective is to break democracy, ruin the economy and dismantle the United Kingdom, where better to place yourself than at the centre of government?
When cases of Covid were first surging in Newcastle and Gateshead I was surprised that the local authorities put the less populous counties of Durham and Northumberland into local lockdown in addition to the metropolitan areas.
That is, until I realised that Dominic Cummings’ parents live just outside Durham and his father-in-law has a castle in Northumberland. Perhaps it was as much a lockout for Dominic as a lockdown?
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