Boris Johnson has debased British politics and public life. What’s more, he’ll be back
So finally the Old Etonian big bag of uselessness that is Boris Johnson has departed Number-10 — at least for now. His farewell speech in Downing Street was part valediction, part self-justification, part self-congratulation and part pledge of a return. Newly installed incumbent Liz Truss must already be dreading the man’s presence on the backbenches.
That Boris Johnson is a sociopath is beyond peradventure. Indeed in order to be a Tory sociopathy is a non-negotiable requirement. But this guy took it to a whole other level. Rules, the law, decency, integrity, sense of duty and responsibility, Boris Johnson set a new precedent whereby these qualities need not apply to a serving prime minister. All that need apply is bluster, opportunism, an appetite for lying and dissembling, and the thick hide of your average rhinoceros to ride the tide of criticism as you plough your way forward, completely and resolutely impervious.
The litany of untruths and half-truths which merrily spilled from the man’s lips during his farewell speech, claims of achievements that only exist in his own mind, was such that you half-expected him to lay claim to being responsible for Britain’s role in WWII against Hitler. In its place we had the war in Ukraine and the dastardly Vladimir Putin, the West’s current villain of choice, rolled out to ramp up the jingoism and war talk without which no British prime minister can do without.
The boast of the speed of the Covid vaccine roll out across the UK neatly abstracted the criminal negligence at the start of the pandemic — the failure to lock down quickly or strictly enough, resulting in the UK having the highest death rate per population in Europe at 205k. The UK funeral industry is one industry that saw business booming under Johnson’s watch.
Further still, the corruption involved in using Covid as a pretext to hand out multi-million pound contracts for PPE, ventilators and other Covid-related items to assorted Tory Party donors and friends in the private sector was off the scale, as were the lies told to justify it.
It has to count as a monumental indictment of British politics and its works that it was neither Johnson’s criminal negligence when it came to his…