Boris Johnson is making the UK a laughing stock
- Credit: PA
The electorate may still view Boris Johnson favourably, but the prime minister may not get the same reception internationally.
Current reporting would suggest that a large proportion of the electorate is not too concerned about Boris Johnson’s competence or character, as long as they believe that the country is being tolerably well run – vaccination programme included.
This is understandable, and the same could doubtless be said about many previous prime ministers.
What should seriously concern us is how Johnson is regarded by the rest of the world, and how his abilities could be exposed when greater freedom to travel enables him to perform more foreign engagements in person, lining up with other leaders in the glare of the world’s media. G7 in Cornwall next month should give us a flavour of this.
Many people mocked the last president of the United States for his supposed ignorance of world affairs, and it would be shameful if the UK became the object of similar ridicule. But then being ashamed is something we are all increasingly having to confront.
The polls seem to show that this government’s cavalier approach to honesty and probity is not cutting through with the public. How long will it be before, as a nation, we become institutionally corrupt? As a school governor I am obliged to sign up to the Nolan Principles and declare any conflicts of interest that may exist or potentially occur. How many of the millions of holders of public office will take the view that if standards don’t matter anymore to our national leaders, why should they bother? David Roberts Lancashire
Sebastian Monblat predicts that Boris Johnson’s disgraceful behaviour will come back to bite him (Letters #241). This is unlikely as most people seem either not to care or accept that is how he is.
The danger is that many others will be emboldened by the prime minister’s example to see nothing wrong in cheating and lying to their compatriots – bringing about Britain’s moral decline to the detriment of everyone.
Roger Hinds, Surrey
Boris Johnson has now decided that only he can determine whether his ‘independent’ ethics adviser – appointed by himself – should even investigate any possible breaches of the ministerial code.
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That in itself beggars belief. It’s no good being inwardly outraged, who or what is going to stop him? Apparently Tory MPs aren’t getting much flak over any of this, the quotes about bodies piling high or the flat refurbishment scandal.
Write to your MP to express your outrage. Get your friends to do the same.
What’s the point in having standards in public life if the prime minister, their ultimate arbiter, can himself flaunt them with impunity?
Though the Conservative Party is mired in sleaze, let us not forget that this is a cross-party pastime. Remember Harold Wilson and his adventures with Lord Kagan and Marcia Falkender? Or the sleaze of the New Labour years? Party politics is dirty all round. No one has a monopoly.
Andrew Vermes, Hassocks, West Sussex
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