QED

What Really Sealed Boris Johnson’s Fate

You would have thought that winning elections is the key to longevity for prime ministers. Not so, obviously, as Rudd, Gillard, Abbott and Turnbull, and now Boris Johnson, might attest. In fact, your perceived chances, as incumbent, of winning the next election is far more important in the eyes of your loyal parliamentary colleagues than are past triumphs. They freeze in panic at the hint of losing their cushy seats. Regroup, reconsider polices? Nah! Chop off the leader’s head.

We must face up to the fact that politicians, forever promoting their tdevotion to public service, are (with few exceptions) the most self-serving weasels that our Lord God put on this earth. Once that unpalatable fact is faced all becomes more understandable.

Why then was Boris dumped? It wasn’t, as I read one commentator aver, because he upset the establishment by getting Brexit done. And let’s stop there, pro tem. Cometh the moment cometh the man. Perhaps nobody else could have done it when surrounded, as he was, by unprincipled ‘remainer’ backsliders. He ferried through one of the most far-reaching constitutional changes in British history. He freed the UK from a sclerotic bunch of European bureaucrats, who could give politicians a run for their money in the Execrable Stakes. To many, that built him a lot of credit in the bank. But that proved worthless when politicians see a future in which they are on the streets and applying for real jobs.

The only reason Boris was dumped? The polls had gotten bad and by-elections in “safe’ Tory seats had been lost. The omens for the next election look grim. Take that prospect away and Partygate and Pinchergate would have lost traction.

Consider Partygate. Conservative Party staff had numbers of drinking dos after work. Boris called in at some of them. At the time the UK was in lockdown. Not a good look. But the real crime was the lockdowns. It’s said by the press that the British public are disgusted with the antics at Number 10. Maybe. What they should be disgusted about is their own subservience to, and in the case of the press its cheerleading of, useless and destructive lockdowns.

What exactly was Boris to do? Yes, I was terribly wrong in allowing these parties to go on and I will tender my resignation forthwith to the Queen. Hardly. He obfuscated, squirmed, fibbed a bit. Being the very same Boris, recall, who had led the Conservatives to a sweeping victory in 2019 and the UK out of the EU. Nelson did win at Trafalgar but you know, unsound chap, he was caught, pants down, with Mrs Hamilton.

Then comes Pinchergate. Apparently, so it’s said, Mr Pincher has a track record of inappropriate behaviour around men. Not young women mind. Call me sexist if you like, but I need to know more before condemning Pincher to the Phantom Zone. According to the BBC, “Mr Pincher, 52, quit as Tory deputy chief whip on Thursday after allegedly groping two men at the Carlton Club in London on Wednesday evening [and there are] six new claims of inappropriate behaviour … the fresh allegations stretch back over several years.”

At question is what Boris knew before elevating Pincher to his position. His disgruntled former chief aide, Dominic Cummings, claimed that “the PM referred to the former deputy chief whip as ‘Pincher by name, pincher by nature’ before appointing him.” A claim denied by Boris & Co, who counterclaim that they had not been aware of “specific allegations” against him at the time of the appointment. Does it matter? No, it doesn’t. It’s a beat-up. Touching up men; if that is all there is to it. Give me break. What kind of men are these who complained, rather than simply telling Pincher to piss-off? They’re the ones who need help.

My first job, aged sixteen coming on seventeen, and before I knew it, the office manager’s hand was on my upper thigh. I wasn’t alone. It was a cause of mild amusement among us lads. No heartaches, no complaints, no recriminations, no weeping, no residual need of psychological support. No lives ruined. Just got on with it. It’s called life.

Boris may again have indulged in a bit of dissembling about his state of knowledge when appointing Pincher. I don’t know. People, even prime ministers, can have imperfect recall. In any event, it’s a complete stretch to say that he lied, as some commentators charge. Bombastic Piers Morgan, for example, saw the Pincher affair as being a culmination of a catalogue of lying on the part of Boris. Really? Save us from holier-than-thou commentators. Lying is a manifestation of evil. It doesn’t fit here.

We’re led to understand that Pinchergate was the final straw that caused government ministers to bolt for the exit. What a pathetic and odious bunch. Now, if they’d resigned en masse because of BoJo’s mad embrace of net zero, that would be understandable. Magnificent even. For all of the madness you’re imposing on the British people, in the name of God go. But, of course, they’re all complicit in imposing the madness.

14 comments
  • Peter Marriott

    Sound reasoning Peter.
    Main thing now is for the conservatives to be able to pick a leader who can represent the majority in England and not a minority, plus is a Brexiteer and a climate change sceptic or at least has a modicum of it, particular the impossibility of genuine net zero and the need for cheap power meaning coal / gas and nuclear.
    Is there anyone applying for the job with this capacity…I ask myself ?

  • Solo

    I think the most unfortunate thing about Boris is that he suddenly found (green) religion. Prior to his new girlfriend coming along I don’t know that he was much a believer. After that point it seemed he like many conservative leaders at the moment, abandoned their principles if thyey had any, and became largely interchangeable with the competition. No doubt whoever steps into his shoes will lead a lame duck government and think they can win by bleating about CO2, then get flogging at the next election.

  • Ceres

    Can’t disagree that the polls had gotten bad and therefore self preservation reigns supreme.
    Boris got Brexit done along with a helping hand from the indefatigable Nigel Farage but going woke (thanks Carrie) with net zero, resulted in the polls and ditching him as leader. What follows may be worse. So be careful what you wish for in these insane times when no one will tell you what a woman is, despite knowing full well.

  • Davidovich

    Great article, Peter, particularly the sentence “We must face up to the fact that politicians, forever promoting their devotion to public service, are (with few exceptions) the most self-serving weasels that our Lord God put on this earth.” Has it always been thus? Looking back over the past 50 years it would appear so with, as Peter says, few exceptions although those few are notable..

  • Dave Winefield

    “Self Serving”, but also delicate consciences with other people’s lives. I agree the reason to leave was net zero, but as always the inanne trumps the political facts.

  • PeterPetrum

    Peter Marriott – I believe that the next PM will be the BRITISH PM, not the English one, although the Scots, Welsh and N Irish may not like the choice. Always amazed by Aussies talking about England when the mean Britain.

  • Alice Thermopolis

    Solo – “I think the most unfortunate thing about Boris is that he suddenly found (green) religion. Prior to his new girlfriend coming along I don’t know that he was much a believer.”

    Caroline Louise Beavan Johnson: wife of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Before her marriage to the Prime Minister, she described herself as a political and climate activist. Previously a Conservative Party media official, she remains a senior advisor to the ocean conservation charity Oceana. Wikipedia

    Pillow talk?

  • a.c.ryan

    The Green people of GB hate Boris as much as the hoi polloi, so I disagree with that assumption there. Also, it is obvious that the real reasons for his demise cannot be released to the general public, eg via the tabloids. There have been British and American spy movies and political dramas, forgettable now except for the easy to miss conclusion, that have alluded to this dilemma in the past. It goes like this: the President or Prime Minister and the whole of their Cabinet are corrupt or have done something awful, so if it can be quietly dealt with, major miscreants resign and it is not likely to happen again, the best thing for the common good is to leave it at that. Do we really want civil war? At the moment we have chaotic scenes at British airports and other escalating incidents of popular unrest. Don’t forget the very recent storming of the White House along with the tragic trail of mass shootings, commited on the most part by individuals with no criminal record, however those with an agenda choose to look at it. Anarchy and its online urgers loom very close when populations feel that there is no longer anyone they can look up to. Our current dilemma is that followers of political leaders are better educated than they used to be. The Internet is telling people what to think. There is no longer any leadership in Religion. Government leaders are having to cater to a vast array of different and divided opinions – mostly thanks to the Internet. There are solutions, and those with the ability need to put these forward. I’d say that the situation for most at the present time is as a bystander. And we all know how that panned out in Germany during the 1930s. But if bystanders are mobilised, which way are they likely to go? Wait, watch and listen, and try not to add to the confusion. And just a note to the hard liners here – is a hard line Conservative view really appropriate in this day and age? If your own children and grandchildren – the younger and more mobile population – adhere to those views, I think it would be called Fascism. We all have choices – Communism, Fascism and Democracy – right? What do the younger members of your families think? Have you ever listened to them?

  • sirtony

    To PeterPetrum:

    From Stephen Fry on QI (the fount of all knowledge) talking about “The Oxford History of England”:

    It was perfectly normal to say “England” for all of Britain right up until the 1930s, when Scottish nationalism arose and they got rather offended by it.

    Benjamin Disraeli signed the Treaty of Berlin as the Prime Minister of England. The Oxford History of England is actually the history of the British Isles.

    As AJP Taylor, the great historian noted, “When the Oxford History was launched a generation ago,” he said, “England was still an all-embracing word. It meant indiscriminately England and Wales, Great Britain, the United Kingdom, even the British Empire.” . This is not to say the term “British” wasn’t used, it was just that “England” could mean the whole thing.

    An example of Synecdoche.

  • brandee

    Just hoping that a new British PM will have the conviction and political skill of Hungarian Viktor Orban.

  • whitelaughter

    Because the traditional response to sexual harassment – a punch in the face – results in the police being called, and possible lawsuits, anyone dealing with stuff has to ratchet their response up to the next level.
    “Your hand touched me without permission, so my fist touched you without permission” was a far better response. Probably even this pincher would have preferred a black eye to losing his job.

    There is no social benefit to encouraging these twerps to grope.

  • Claude James

    Voters might be better educated (or hold higher-level credentials) than in earlier years.
    But what most voters today learned during their education was about their rights and freedoms.
    There has been little nothing taught in schools and universities, over the past four-plus decades, about the responsibilities of citizenship of our nation.
    Fact, most mentions of “nation” in the education systems, in the entertainment-arts industry, and in much of the media are to damn it.
    As is “fighting for one’s country.”

  • andrew2

    My litmus test for the state of corruption in politics is the unwillingness of a politician to resign their position in the face of moral failings. If a politician is allowed to keep their position no matter what they do, then we may as well have a dictatorship. Partygate was a shocking betrayal of the public trust and the height of hypocrisy. I would rather a political system where politicians lose their positions for what you might consider trivial moral failings then one where they hold on to undeserved power at all costs.

  • simonbenson65

    BoJo – like ScoMo and Zak “Green Boy” Kirkup before him and to a great degree ‘Our Glad’ Berijiklian – succumbed, rightly, to the latest conservative malady of turning your back on your constituents. When you dump on those who put you there from the giddy heights of left wing wokism you deserve nothing less. The other great problem is somewhat Clintonesque (Bill, that is, not the deplorable HRC). If the standard for sacking a postal worker – dishonesty in office – does not apply mutatis mutandis to our political leaders, then there is something terribly wrong. I disagree that the lockdown party drop-in was trivial politically. Politically, it looked like it always looks: one rule for the plebs, and another for the pollies. How naive can you be. Conservative leaders who embrace atheistic leftist wokism are doomed. Conservative parties never win from the centre, but by standing by policies that voters, on whom their political lives depend, do not take kindly to them reneging on. I doubt conservative leaders, other than Trump, are smart or brave enough though to learn this rather basic lesson.

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