The greased piglet has resigned .
A useful statement if for no other reason than to remind potential Conservative politicians that reliance on the steadfast support of the Daily Mail ( who coined the description of Boris Johnson ) is at best ill advised. If ever there was a fall from grace from favoured son to piglet status then we have just seen it .
It has been an extraordinary 72 hours of politics.
In my decades of following politics in the UK , and my recent significant birthday, points out that it is quite a number of decades, I have never seen anything like it .
It is hard to know where to start. of course the beginning was when Johnson was appointed in the first place, given his background . I’m happy to say that I said then that it was a disaster waiting to happen. It just took too long to get there .
Goodness knows he gave his Party enough opportunities. When the political history books are written I sense that they will not look fondly at the decision making processes of the Conservative Party right now.
They might also dwell on those politicians such as the Secretary of State for Scotland who felt it was still appropriate to support a serial liar whose moral compass included promoting a known heavy drinking sex pest who goes on to allegedly assault a man, in a public place in the most gross manner. But then the Secretary of State didn’t feel the need to criticise or or publicly express his concern over so many morally indefensible actions by the Prime Minister .
I spoke with a Tory friend in Dumfries and Galloway earlier today, a man of integrity, a one nation Conservative, who said with real anger “Jack is toast – after all we have worked for here his judgement on this reflects on all of us.”
I guess there are a lot of Conservatives who are thinking like that right now but those of us of a different political persuasion will have little sympathy. You rode the wave , you revelled in your victories and now you pay the consequences.
History has a lot to teach us. Plenty of countries have returned “charismatic” leaders with their parties happy to endorse them and minimise their failings because they got them votes. Pretty much universally, they assumed they could put in place, people and mechanisms, to temper the excesses that those leaders might move towards, and pretty much universally they failed.
I find it fascinating that so many people resigned yesterday quoting that their “ values” had been offended. Which values were they?
The ones that remain endorsing an illegal approach towards Treaty breaking? Or were they the values that think that the Rwanda policy is anything other than morally bankrupt. Perhaps they were the values of the Tory Whip who it was reported said to the man allegedly assaulted in the Carlton Club that his being gay “ complicated matters.”
I know that many Conservatives were remainers but were they the values that knowingly endorsed the lies told about Brexit?
Where do values come in when you accept one of the highest Offices of State and then tell the man who appointed you less than 12 hours ago that you cannot support him and he must leave ? There are several candidates there . Or perhaps they were the values that minimised Party Gate, ignored preference for friend’s companies in the PPI scandal or turned a blind eye to fraud on an industrial scale?
Frankly I have had enough of “ Conservative Values ” I no longer know what they are .
Within all of this pearls emerge like snowflakes miraculously escaping the worst fiery excesses of Hell. Johnson’s wry comment on his activity at PM Questions ‘ this morning I met with ministerial colleagues this afternoon I have a strong feeling I will meet with more” gave a glimpse of a wit that you could see could be compelling . Likewise his dismissal of Gove and the words emerging from No 10 that he was a “ snake “ are strangely apposite …..and welcome .
And yet….there are still people who are interviewed who genuinely feel it is shame that Johnson is going and seem unable to differentiate between policy and personality.
“He seemed like a good bloke .”
“ He was one of us .”
I particularly like the last phrase because it must mean that there are a heck of a lot of people in Stoke and Doncaster that must have gone to Eton . ( Two areas where people who were interviewed about his departure, said that .)
That sentiment even seems to have survived one of the least self aware resignation speeches in history. It isn’t his fault, it is the Conservative herd mentality, they just weren’t listening hard enough to his compelling case.
I’m not even sure if this is a “ thing “ but his speech reeked of self -sycophancy , as if he was trying to appeal to himself . Not an ounce of remorse.
I guess, with Johnson at least the public face and the actual performance is the the nub of the matter. Great campaigner, appalling administrator and unawareness of what the truth is for.
I dare say that even I could find the company of a fantasist and liar enjoyable for half an hour in a pub . ( Just so long as Chris Pincher was nowhere near .) But the thing is it would just be for half an hour and I wouldn’t feel compelled to believe the lies and fantasies or invest in them.
“ Yes I loved the story and thanks for the beer but I don’t want to buy that snake oil, or London Bridge.”
Yet it seems that a lot of people wanted to. It is as if “ real politics’ are too hard so why not just listen to what makes you feel good?
Perhaps some advice? The day before the next election go down the pub and listen to the garrulous fool in the corner who tells improbable stories and ask yourself “ would I vote for him ?”
The state of political education in this country is atrocious, a fact not lost on many people from abroad who wonder how on earth we appoint the people we do to political office.
Now? Well we may have Johnson for another 3 months , but that could change by tomorrow, and we probably will have a Conservative Government for the next two years because “ We have a mandate to deliver.”
Yet by all accounts of those who were determined for Johnson to stay that was a “ personal mandate ” delivered by the very much flawed individual that they chose to follow.
So why should we have that mandate inflicted upon us further? He has gone , in spirit if not in piglet and given the economic and reputation damage that this country has endured why should we suffer that mandate further ?
Decency would see another general election declared by the new leader.
But where will decency figure on their list of values ?