The political fallout over the question of the parties in Downing Street has been re-ignited this week with several members of the government being issued with Fixed Penalty Notices for having broken the law concerning covid lockdowns: one of which is the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the other of which is the Prime Minister himself.
The public response in surveys and polls is clear – the Prime Minister should resign: 54% of people polled by IPSOS think he should go, and 57% in a YouGov survey think he should go too. Yet despite this, he has not resigned, and he is being supported in this by a number of his close colleagues. The fact that the Prime Minister is still receiving support is not in itself a surprise perhaps when we examine today’s political environments, where the drive stay in power is paramount. What is interesting however, is the sheer stupidity of the reasons being put forward – which only goes to prove this notion of cult over reason…
Edwina Currie, an ex-Conservative MP and cabinet minister appeared on the Good Morning Britain television programme last week to defend Boris Johnson’s decision not to resign; her reason: changing the Prime Minister would destabilise the country. Edwina went on to say that this would be a bad thing because of the war in Ukraine. She was shortly followed on the same programme by Grant Shapps, who said that is was important to consider people’s motives and to see if someone “set out to do something in malice”, going on to say that he felt that the Prime Minister should be judged “in the whole”, saying that we should not “just look at this specific thing, its actually what he was doing at the time” the inference being that we should overlook this criminal offence because the Prime Minister helped the UK to be the first country in the world to start vaccinating people. And then we have Jacob Rees-Mogg, who on Talk Radio indicated that he felt Boris Johnson should not resign because he is “an extremely effective leader, who gets the big decisions consistently right”. He then went on to say that anyone else would be a “worse leader” than Boris Johnson and that this all happened 2 years ago.
(Warning: listening to the Talk Radio interview with Jacob Rees-Mogg is likely to cause serious damage to your sanity – as well as your electrical device when you hurl it at the wall in stupefaction at the utterly disingenuous twaddle that he spouts.)
So let’s take these excuses one by one…
Changing Prime Minister would Destabilise the Country
If changing a Prime Minister destabilises a country, then why on earth does any country have any elections at all? Is this destabilisation limited to just the Prime Minister, or does it apply to all cabinet Ministers? If this is the case why would the Conservative Party have a process which allows for a party leader to be removed from office by Conservative MPs? Why is this is true did the Conservative Party oust Margaret Thatcher, or Theresa May? Prime Ministers are not omnipotent beings without whom the country would fall apart – they are in fact supported by a legion of civil servants who guide them in the day-to-day running of the country.
The War in Ukraine
The war in Ukraine is just that, IN UKRAINE. The British government and armies have no involvement in the war whatsoever – and any government imposed sanctions are public knowledge which can be carried over by the ext Prime Minister. If this is a valid reason, why have the French not suspended their Presidential Elections?
Judge him in the Whole
Really? So previous good actions act as a sort of ‘carte blanche’ for later missteps do they? IN which case, doctors, nurses and firefighters should be able to get away with murder (literally) after their careers then… But OK – let’s go with this anyway… he has lied to parliament, he illegally prorogued parliament, he advocated the breaking of international law in a “limited and specific way”, he presided over the unlawful awarding of contracts during the pandemic, he lied about who paid for the refurbishment of his flat… and this is just since 2019. Let’s not forget the lies he published as a journalist and the fact that he conspired to have one beaten up!
Anyone Else Would be Worse
Other than the fact this this is subjective (and clearly bollocks – see above), even were it true, does this really represent a valid reason for allowing someone to show a complete disregard for the rules and yet to retain the ‘confidence’ of the parliament to lead? If so, what does this say about the abilities and competence of the rest of the government ministers – that they are all worse than a lying criminal… ouch! At what point should the line be drawn on criminality? Is Boris Johnson allowed to smoke cannabis in the office – because anyone else would be worse? Are we to allow him to bully and harass people in the office like the Home Secretary…. oh hang on…
These so-called justifications clearly demonstrate that this is not a government who’s objective is the betterment of society. This is a cult, the objective of which is to gain and retain power – and this particular cult is headed by Boris Johnson. These politicians clearly believe that the public will either believe this hogwash, will not care sufficiently to or simply cannot do anything about it. There is no longer any pretence of principle or ideology, their role has become nothing more than defending the party – in whatever form that is required.
When prominent members of the government are prepared to publicly declare that they feel that the country should be run by a proven liar who has broken the law, then perhaps it is time that we admit that the system is well and truly broken.