Friday 9 June 2023

Boris Johnson's Final Farewell

Fridays aren't noted for a lot of politics happening, unless there are special circumstances. 9th June, 2023 turned out to be one of those days. As the indictment against Donald Trump was unsealed and the world saw how it's virtually certain that the former president will be swapping the orange of his fake tan for an orange jump suit, things weren't too peachy for the right on this side of the Atlantic either. The day started with the news that Rishi Sunak had trimmed down Boris Johnson's honours list. Daddy Stanley Johnson won't be getting his knighthood, and neither Alok Sharma nor Nadine Dorries are heading to the Lords. This was, apparently, to avoid two tricky by-elections. The extremely part-time member for Mid-Bedfordshire was not having any of it and, without fanfare, announced on Twitter at lunch time that she was quitting the Commons with immediate effect.

Then, as the afternoon rolled on, the details of Johnson's honours were made public. In the most horrific honorific list ever compiled by a former Prime Minister, there were titles going for every crony. Jacob Rees-Mogg, Michael Fabricant, Andrea Jenkyns and Priti Patel - all knighted and damed. Ben Houchen, the Tyneside mayor embroiled in corruption allegations, heads to the Lords. He's joined there by failed London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey, who is probably most famous for having a party at CCHQ during lockdown. Titles and gongs were handed out to lesser cronies, including a muckraker from Guido. By itself, the list discredits the entirety of the honours system. Not that Johnson has ever been bothered about touching off a crisis of legitimation.

And then, tonight, the coup de grace. Having received the findings of the Privileges Committee into PartyGate, Johnson announced his resignation from the Commons. Despite his best efforts, Sunak still got lumbered with two potentially fatal by-elections.

Just as Johnson's departure from Number 10 was the most graceless seen in modern times, he followed suit with his self-pitying resignation letter. In it, Johnson whines that the committee was "determined to use the proceedings against me to drive me out of parliament". Remember, this is a committee in which Conservative MPs are in the majority. He moans about the odds not being stacked in his favour, which is something of a novelty for this luckiest of chancers. Heading out the door, he casts aspersions on the neutrality of Sue Gray, even though he and his allies once praised her for unimpeachable devotion to the state, and whose work played no role in the evidence seen by the committee. He swipes at a "witch hunt" supposedly underway in the Tories (he's mixing his parties up), and he attacks Sunak for not securing a free trade deal with the United States. Which was always a figment of Johnsonian rhetoric.

And thats it, he's gone. He won't be parachuting into Dorries's seat, he'll be spending more time on the American lecture circuit, writing "exclusive" snipes for the Telegraph and Spectator, and maybe even a return to the Have I Got News For You for jolly japes and larfs. For such an egregiously corrupt and reckless blimp, a man who oversaw tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths, a life of feted luxury awaits. Which is more the pity. What he deserves is nothing more than eternal ignominy and the inside of a prison cell.

Image Credit


David said...

With any luck he will just fuck off and die. I doubt it though.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to mention the gong for his hairdresser!

(Reported on the beeb, so I'll give that a credibility slightly higher than rumour)

So if Sunak gets caesared after the by-elections, who's going to replace him? Liz Truss...?

dermot said...

F Hislop and Merton. Hislop for being an "anti-Establishment Establishmentarian", Whig muppet, and Merton, for being paid lots of licence payers money for sleeping on-air. Last watched the show around 2010, and was shocked at how half-conscious he was. Makes Biden look like Robin Williams.
I can do that. I can sleep on a panel show. Giz a job.

Ken said...

You’ve missed his sense of dress for the occasion. When the press mocked Foot and JC for their fashion choices, journalists were conspicuously silent about Johnson appearing as a drunken bouncer at a third rate “Gentleman’s Club” (1).
As for “jogging” in a white office shirt and shorts? Any left leader would have been eviscerated for this, along the lines of the bacon sandwich test for political leadership.
(1) There is such an establishment in the ground floor of a major shopping centre in Manchester. I only realised what it was when one of the female workers came out for a cigarette. The door was managed by two fit young men in sharp dark suits and coats which were perfectly fitted. They also managed to have their shirts tucked into their trousers.