Boris Johnson: A dead man is walking

Gwin Dier

“CAD”‘Rogue. ‘”Rotter.” The words used by British citizens to describe Boris Johnson after a Conservative MP failed to dismiss Prime Minister Boris Johnson last weekend have a strange antique ring. was. In England, no one speaks that way anymore.

But Johnson is strangely an antique person.He could be a villain in one of Charles Dicken’s novels, a comically incompetent CAD in the story of PG Wodehouse, or at best a fictional boy student Billy Bunter in a boy’s weekly newspaper. magnet(1908-1940). But behind the well-meaning but embarrassed tough façade is just a scammer.

David Cameron, one of Johnson’s last predecessors as Prime Minister, once called him an “oiled piglet.” He’s always in trouble, but for some reason he’s always overcoming it. until now.

He reflexively lied even if he didn’t need it, and everyone in the country knows it. He has transparent self-interest and is shamelessly empowered, and his only notable achievement during his nearly three-year tenure was “achieving Brexit.” Except that it is not’done’; it will fall apart again.

His relationship with the Conservative Party he led has always been a deal. Most of his parliamentary colleagues hate him and distrust him, but he believed he could win the election for them because many voters fell in love with Johnson’s chambling. rice field. They deliberately covered his lies and gave him a majority of 80 seats in the last election.

But that’s it. The public opposes him, and the Labor Party has led the conservatives by about 10% since the end of 2021 in polls, and he is no longer ending the deal he became prime minister. If there was an election today, the conservatives would lose in a landslide.

The Conservatives are famous for their ruthlessness of abandoning undeliverable leaders, and it is true that there was an attempt to abandon Johnson last weekend. More than 15% of party members requested a secret ballot from his leadership, which automatically triggered a vote on Monday.

As everyone expected, it failed because “salary votes” (members of parliament who have government appointments and are obliged to support the prime minister) make up almost half of all Conservatives. But the rebellion was far more successful than the rebels wanted, and it was the beginning of an almost unstoppable process.

The final tally was 211 votes to keep Johnson as leader (and therefore prime minister). 148 votes to drop him. As Johnson argued, it is not a “very good, positive, decisive, decisive result.” It is a defeat that does not come back.

One of the reasons is that a clear majority of “backbenchers” (those not on the “salary slip”) voted for a leader change. Now that they know their numbers, they become more confident and tenacious, knowing that they only have to wait for some of the mice (or ministers, vice ministers, or congressional secretaries) to abandon the sunken ship.

Another reason is that the British people (including conservative voters) have finally decided on Johnson. The decisive factor was “Party gate”. An endless series of fuss parties, birthday parties, and “Thank God It’s Friday” parties at Johnson’s homes and offices at the height of Covid Lockdown in the UK.

They were above the rules, with the general public, who had been leaked and fined for months and kept the rules to the extent that they did not visit their families who died in the hospital. It will turn out to be deadly to the Prime Minister of Johnson.

Johnson can stagger for a while, throw out random threats and promises, start a trade war with the European Union, or revive “imperial measures” (inch, ounce, quote). In the old Brexit war at his home. But he won’t go that far.

From now on he will face the same kind of guerrilla war that he himself defeated his predecessor Theresa May. Rebels within his own party combine with the opposition to thwart the deliberately provocative laws he seeks to pass.

Of course, Labor is hoping Johnson will choose to stay until the next election scheduled for 2024 or call the early elections as the final bet. This effectively guarantees the Labor Party’s victory. But the Conservatives aren’t confused enough to make that happen. Johnson will be gone within a year.


Gwin Dier’s new book is the shortest history of war Boris Johnson: A dead man is walking

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